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  • Jun 20th, 2019 4:03 pm
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[OP]
Deal Guru
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Jan 9, 2011
10139 posts
12119 upvotes
Vancouver

What the...? HSBC

Last summer I opened an account at HSBC and got their WE Mastercard. I don't use the bank account much, preferring to do my daily banking at a credit union. But I have kept minimum $5k in it, use it for the free Interac e-transfers, and have my payroll going there.

Today I get this email:

Hi xxxxxx,

It’s been a while since you’ve last checked in with us!

A review is an important part of ensuring that your account stays on track. Our records indicate that we will need to update the information on your profile. It is important that we have up-to-date information to ensure that servicing of your account is not disrupted.

Let me know when you’d like to come in so we can set up an appointment.

Thank you,

xxxxxx xxxxxx
Senior Premium Banker | HSBC Bank Canada
[address and phone numbers of my home HSBC branch in Vancouver]


WTF...? I've never had this happen with any FI ever. Is this a common thing? I'm going to ignore this.
29 replies
Newbie
Jun 6, 2018
93 posts
91 upvotes
Toronto
Could it be related to CRS/FATCA?

Banks are required to verify the residency and tax obligations of clients. Usually this is done by a CRS self-certification.

However, if they have reason to believe you have tax obligations elsewhere (or you have a lot of money), they might perform enhanced due diligence and require additional documentation in person.
Sr. Member
Jan 19, 2018
924 posts
617 upvotes
This is normal for financial institutions. They're required by law to keep certain customer info up to date. The method by which they do this may vary. Some might call you, prompt you when you login to online banking, transfer you to an agent when you call in or try to set up in-branch appointments. If you don't co-operate to help them keep your info up to date, they may choose to deny you services or sever the relationship.
[OP]
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Jan 9, 2011
10139 posts
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Vancouver
So receiving an email from your bank asking you to make an appointment to come in and "update the information in your profile" is a normal thing? Learn something new every day. First I have heard of this—does it happen all the time? Or is HSBC particularly bad about it?
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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Edmonton
Kiraly wrote: So receiving an email from your bank asking you to make an appointment to come in and "update the information in your profile" is a normal thing? Learn something new every day. First I have heard of this—does it happen all the time? Or is HSBC particularly bad about it?
Financial institutions have “know your customer” responsibility. All banks, not just HSBC. The fact that you use your account infrequently while still have a decent chunk of money in it probably triggered something in their internal system. It’s not that you did anything wrong; it’s just their algorithms.

http://www.fintrac-canafe.gc.ca/guidanc ... /1-eng.asp

C
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May 8, 2009
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Not Leask
CNeufeld wrote: Financial institutions have “know your customer” responsibility. All banks, not just HSBC. The fact that you use your account infrequently while still have a decent chunk of money in it probably triggered something in their internal system. It’s not that you did anything wrong; it’s just their algorithms.

http://www.fintrac-canafe.gc.ca/guidanc ... /1-eng.asp

C
+1

That's why I prefer to leave banks on almost empty and stuff savings at credit unions, not the other way around.
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Deal Addict
Aug 18, 2018
1786 posts
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Bay Area
HSBC is more sensitive than most because of their money laundering scandals and the ensuing fines.
Sr. Member
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May 7, 2017
939 posts
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This looks more like a dormant account triggering their KYC.

Was your account empty or not used this time?
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
3759 posts
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This is not a dormant account though. Payroll is being deposited and etransfers are going through it. Reads like a sales appointment to me. The would simply call the sender of the email and request what type of info they are seeking. Go into a branch? No one does that anymore.
[OP]
Deal Guru
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Jan 9, 2011
10139 posts
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Vancouver
I emailed asking why this is necessary and asked if an in-person visit to the branch was really necessary. The branch replied and said that a "Unfortunately, we require a wet signature for any changes made to your profile. This is to ensure proper procedures are followed to verify your identity before making any account changes." I never requested any account changes. So I wonder what's up.
bobohobo2kx wrote: If you don't co-operate to help them keep your info up to date, they may choose to deny you services or sever the relationship.
I only opened the account and got the credit card for the promo and referral bonuses, got about $900 out of it. The customer service at this branch is terrible (you should see their Google reviews) and dealing with HSBC has turned out to be just as bad as dealing with Scotiabank, so I was going to cancel the card and close the account after the minimum wait time to avoid bonus clawbacks, coming up this fall. I'd actually be quite happy if they closed the account early on me.
Sr. Member
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May 7, 2017
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Chequing account changes are all done in branch. Everything else is online or over phone including card and wired transfers.
Deal Addict
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Mar 25, 2012
1858 posts
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Kelowna
Kiraly wrote: Last summer I opened an account at HSBC and got their WE Mastercard. I don't use the bank account much, preferring to do my daily banking at a credit union. But I have kept minimum $5k in it, use it for the free Interac e-transfers, and have my payroll going there.

Today I get this email:

Hi xxxxxx,

It’s been a while since you’ve last checked in with us!

A review is an important part of ensuring that your account stays on track. Our records indicate that we will need to update the information on your profile. It is important that we have up-to-date information to ensure that servicing of your account is not disrupted.

Let me know when you’d like to come in so we can set up an appointment.

Thank you,

xxxxxx xxxxxx
Senior Premium Banker | HSBC Bank Canada
[address and phone numbers of my home HSBC branch in Vancouver]


WTF...? I've never had this happen with any FI ever. Is this a common thing? I'm going to ignore this.
There are two reasons for this, but remember HSBC post-2012 is not the same as HSBC pre-2012. They have a Safeguard team and dramatically increased KYC procedures. They're likely hyper-diligent about making sure your information is up to date. They may even be reviewing your quarterly-soft pulled "account review" credit reports for mismatching information, which their Safeguard (Security & Fraud Risk) then escalates to a branch Premium Banker or Premium Relationship Manager.

This is one of the reasons why I've not re-opened an account. HSBC Bank Canada will be ruthless with these things and with exiting clients and I want no part of being a future HSBC client being exited. :(

The other reason is the usual cross-sell sales pitch.

Cheers,
Doug
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Mar 25, 2012
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CNeufeld wrote: Financial institutions have “know your customer” responsibility. All banks, not just HSBC. The fact that you use your account infrequently while still have a decent chunk of money in it probably triggered something in their internal system. It’s not that you did anything wrong; it’s just their algorithms.

http://www.fintrac-canafe.gc.ca/guidanc ... /1-eng.asp

C
Yes, but most financial institutions aren't this hyper-vigilant in updating information. HSBC, while freed last year from their originally 5-year corporate probation (extended to six years by the court-appointed Monitor), is being ruthless and over-zealous.

I repeat: AVOID, AVOID, AVOID HSBC. Do not do business with them. They do not even offer bank-to-bank transfers anymore and have not finished shuttering branches despite closing more than 20% of their branches in six years or so (155 to 129).

Cheers,
Doug
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Nov 15, 2004
19469 posts
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Toronto
I've never had this happen at any bank, but I don't really use brick-and-mortar banks. This sounds like nothing more than an upsell attempt, to be honest. I'd close the account if they get too aggressive about it.
[OP]
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Jan 9, 2011
10139 posts
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Vancouver
OK so after three email exchanges with the same employee at my branch, she finally said that the reason is that they don't have any IDs of me on file, and that they require two from all of their account holders. This request makes sense because I opened the account online and never submitted any IDs. So I will drop in to the branch. I just wish that the rep had been upfront about this instead of all secretive.
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Mar 25, 2012
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Kiraly wrote: OK so after three email exchanges with the same employee at my branch, she finally said that the reason is that they don't have any IDs of me on file, and that they require two from all of their account holders. This request makes sense because I opened the account online and never submitted any IDs. So I will drop in to the branch. I just wish that the rep had been upfront about this instead of all secretive.
This used to be a common occurrence with really long-time clients not having ID on file, but assuming you opened yours in the last few years, they should have your ID numbers in the system or have virtual account opening ID methods recorded. Bizarre!

Unless it was recorded wrong by whoever opened your account, which is possible.

Cheers,
Doug
[OP]
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Jan 9, 2011
10139 posts
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Vancouver
dmehus wrote: This used to be a common occurrence with really long-time clients not having ID on file, but assuming you opened yours in the last few years, they should have your ID numbers in the system or have virtual account opening ID methods recorded. Bizarre!

Unless it was recorded wrong by whoever opened your account, which is possible.

Cheers,
Doug
I opened the account online, and they say that the only ID info they have in my file is my SIN, which I supplied when I opened the account. I never gave them any other ID. So the request for more ID makes sense. Strange how it's coming 9 months later, though.
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Mar 25, 2012
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Kiraly wrote: I opened the account online, and they say that the only ID info they have in my file is my SIN, which I supplied when I opened the account. I never gave them any other ID. So the request for more ID makes sense. Strange how it's coming 9 months later, though.
Hrm, that was around the time they re-introduced all digital account openings after having taken them away in or around late 2012 thru late 2017 to mid-2018 (dates approximate), so perhaps they hadn't properly updated their digital account opening procedures.

Now what they do, I believe, is they have you enter your ID numbers online and then have you visit a branch to show your ID and a Personal Banker (CSR) will confirm they've been verified.

Cheers,
Doug
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Jul 26, 2018
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Canada, eh?
All the banks right now are tightening up on KYC/AML, HSBC is not the only one but it seems like they're most active on it probably due to compliance risks they've had before.

Been receiving letters from Scotiabank on FATCA and asking me to go in branch, except...I don't have any active products with them. lol.
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Mar 25, 2012
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secretalcoholic wrote: All the banks right now are tightening up on KYC/AML, HSBC is not the only one but it seems like they're most active on it probably due to compliance risks they've had before.

Been receiving letters from Scotiabank on FATCA and asking me to go in branch, except...I don't have any active products with them. lol.
HSBC is definitely waaayyyy stricter than the other banks, so it's fair to knock them. They deserve it - they perennially have lousy management, in my opinion. ;)

As for Scotiabank, you might check to see if you had a former branch RRSP or TFSA. Sometimes the plans get left "open" even if they have a zero balance. Also, if you have a dormant account or zero balance account, that'd do it.

Cheers,
Doug
Last edited by dmehus on Nov 1st, 2019 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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