Adventurous and challenging banking experience

My adventure in opening a bank account in England.

You thought it’s easy? London is one of the most important banking and financial hubs in the world. What can be so difficult for these brilliant bankers?

Well, obviously banking is a pretty mandatory matters, that you got to deal with your money on a regular basis, daily, monthly, for salary, savings, investment, etc..

I know I should not take the efficiency in Hong Kong for granted. I should have done the HSBC overseas account set up before I left.
Here were what happened with HSBC UK.

1. My fault of not sending the certified passport copy when I was in HK
2. Took weeks just for UK HSBC to send passport copy to HK HSBC
3. Take 1 week for bank appointment
4. No phone no email if you want to reschedule your appointment
5. Rescheduled, that’s another week of waiting
6. Appointment day! Finally talked to a ‘should be very high rank banking officer’ , telling me that my school confirmation of study is not valid because that is a ‘printed signature’
7. Have to come again for another appointment to give that true document
8. Found out that they are not setting up a premier UK for me, they mixed it up when I rescheduled the appointment
9. Normal account banking officer can’t do premier
10. Go to premier floor, okay, start with step 3 again

Mind you that I’m not denying my responsibility to provide required documents here. I just think the whole process should have done in a more efficient and professional manner.

To be honest, I don’t quite get the idea of booking an appointment when you have no contact number to reach telling them you can’t make it or ask about the details of the required documents. I spent 15 minutes calling the HSBC hotline and they told me there is nothing she can do for me regarding the appointment and they can’t contact the branch for me.

I know I’m not a millionaire. All I wanted to do is to open an account for my scholar stipend to come in. And I want to have a premier because it’ll be free to transfer the HSBC HK $ to HSBC UK.

I do deserve a basic level of customer service?

So I gave up, I went to the Lloyd Bank. Friends told me they are efficient and you don’t need to wait for a week for an appointment. It takes you 30 minutes to set up an account.

I was really happy with the efficiency there and the officer even said he heard so many customers complaining the bank across the street……

3 days later I got the debit card and my pin in my mailbox. Even more delighted now, that’s proper efficiency,  meeting international standards.

I opened the envelope and I saw something like this.

For security reason, I better not showing the card 🙂

And I realise, they mistook the second word in my first name,  as a middle name.

For god sake, I’m an Asian, a Chinese, and we DON’T have a middle name.

It’s an identity issue, which may lead to future security problem, so I called the customer hotline.

I spent 10 minutes explaining I don’t have a middle name,  as shown on my passport. He even called me “Mxx Tang”, omitting my full first name completely. And he said,

“In this country, if there is no dash between the words of your name, we see it as a middle name…”

So if I don’t have dash between the words in my first name, you have the right and you think it’s okay to give me a ‘middle name’?

In a multicultural city like London, should the banks here show some cultural respect to their non-British customer?