Customers hit by HSBC charges hike

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HSBC Middle East has announced a series of tariff increases for its services to new and existing customers.

The bank has increased the monthly service charge for its Status customers by 43 percent to 100 dirhams ($27). It has also announced it will charge customers for new chequebooks for the first time.

The new charges will affect HSBC Bank Middle East customers throughout the UAE, and come into effect on September 1, the bank said.

While the first chequebook is free with every chequing account, HSBC will now charge its customers 25 dirhams ($7) for each subsequent chequebook.

The bank is also halving the number of free over-the-counter transactions allowed to each client every month, and doubling its card replacement fee for lost or damaged ATM cards to 50 dirhams ($14).

Earlier this week, a study by global management firm A.T. Kearney found that poor customer service is costing the GCC banking sector hundreds of millions of dollars in lost potential revenue every year.

Challenges including too few skilled resources, lack of product transparency, limited responsiveness and follow up on customer requests, as well as poor multi-channel offerings, especially online and with phone banking, are resulting in unhappy GCC customers, the report said.

“GCC banking executives would do well to remember that a happy customer increases a bank’s profits. Banks in the US generate an additional $1 billion in deposits if they can make just five percent of their customers highly satisfied,” said Dirk Buchta, managing director, AT Kearney Middle East.

Research by AT Kearney had found that a five percent increase in customer retention increases product profitability by 20 to 80 percent.

Arabian Business contacted HSBC Middle East but no-one was available to comment on Thursday.

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Posted by: JohnB

HSBC UAE immediately gave me copies of their internal remittance confirmations to send to Standard Chartered on both occasions. They were very helpful. Their online banking works perfectly. However I admit they are as prone to failure as any other bank here. HSBC Jersey are priceless, they have made poor mistakes on THREE large telephone banking transfers since September 2008, they are completely useless. They have apologised for the first two, I am waiting for their response on the third. Their Indian call centre cannot even get it right when I spell the beneficiary's name out using the international phonetic code (mike, whiskey, oscar, etc) and they repeat it back correctly. They still mispelled the name on the transfer. Call centres (and banks) are truly the bane of modern life.

Posted by: Luis

NBD seems to have a good reputation, and my won dealings with Emirates bank while not perfect have been much better than the continuous festival of incompetence that I enjoyed with HSBC (both private and corporate). I think HSBC here does not really care so I decided to take my account from Jersey, where they may care a little bit more. Maybe if mroe people follows trend they will put some pressure on them from above. But my advice here would be NBD (based on references) or Emirates (and accept some small issues)

Posted by: Omar Al-Rawi

NBD, the bank from which I transferred the money, was far more helpful than the miserable customer service at HSBC. Never would have thought that I would say something positive about a local bank, but in this case, they were really great. HSBC finally transferred my money back yesterday (we'll see how long it takes to arrive at my account), but one thing's for sure: they will never see a dime from me again. Banks are all rip-offs, but HSBC is the biggest of them all. I will cancel my corporate account with them next week. Let's see how they will come begging when they lose that amount of money...

Posted by: JohnB

Look guys, all the banks behave badly here. Standard Chartered 'lost' six monthly standing order payments from my HSBC account (not even consecutive ones, but random payments through the year), and it took over a year and an investigation by the Central Bank for them to 'find' my money. SCB finally credited my account but refuse any compensation and wont even credit me interest for the time they lost my money. They never even had the decency to say sorry. And that's after in 2005 they 'lost' another one of my automated payment in the same way. Just realise, there is no way to avoid the pain of banking in this country, you just get lucky if they don't screw you up, or you don't.

Posted by: Omar Al-Rawi

I transferred AED 50.000 on December 11, 2008 from my NBD to my HSBC account in Dubai. To this date (Jan 3rd), the money has still not arrived. NBD confirmed to me this morning that the money has left and is with HSBC. However, HSBC cannot find the money. I have transferred this money to an E-Saver account, which HSBC advertises with "daily interest earnings". So I haven't earned any interest for 3 weeks because they messed up.

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