Written on: 12/06/2012 by Richie010101 (10 reviews written)
I've banked with HSBC for 25 years and had a current account credit for all that time bar a handful of days. I've had ISA's with them, had about £10K of shares deposited with their Stockbroker, had over £10K in their savings account, had a HSBC gold card (paid off every month) and bought insurance and other products from them. So naturally when I wanted a mortgage on a property I was going to renovate and put down a 1/3 deposit I thought they would be dying to lend me the money. However they wouldn't, the reason being the property I was about to buy had had the kitchen sink removed and was therefore not a 'working' kitchen. I explained that the first thing I was going to do was gut the kitchen and put a new one in but this cut no ice. The mortgage advisor said 'in our rules we are not allowed to lend on a property that does not have a usable kitchen'. They were utterly inflexible so I went and borrowed the money from Skipton Building Society.
I've subsequently closed my almost zero interest cash Isa, sold my shares and moved my savings account to a high street bank paying about 2% more interest.
The annoying thing with banks like HSBC is that they have made appalling lending decisions in the past and are incapable of managing risk. So at exactly the time they should be tightening up their lending they fall over backwards to lend to any Tom, Dick or Harry, and when a low risk comes along at a time when they can safely lend money, they don't want to know.
Aside from their lending incompetence, I would also say their customer service is as bad as it gets!. Trying to speak to anyone at a branch is impossible these days.
I would say that HSBC is one of the worse banks in what is a discredited sector of the economy.