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Banks

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Banks Empty Banks

Post by merv Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:55 pm

I needed to have my identity and address verified by a HSBC employee for a small involvement I have with my son's business whose account is with HSBC;  I don't have a HSBC account. Having failed completely to contact HSBC by phone and online chat I decided I would go into a HSBC branch and try my luck. Inside, there was someone standing behind a pedestal going through someone's account,  with the person in full view and the hearing of everyone else and there was another casually dressed young man who, in fairness, asked if he could help me.
I explained what I required and showed him the list of people eligible to verify my documents and pointed out that at the top of the list was 'HSBC employee at any HSBC branch'.  'We don't do that any more' he said.  I politely suggested this could not be the case since I had the written request with the list of eligible verifiers.  Eventually, having made enquiries, he said that he could do it. 
I expected to be taken into an office and when I could see that wasn't going to happen, I said, 'Can we go somewhere private?' in preference to the section in front of the tills.  His reply, although offered in a friendly way, astounded me:  'I can do it on the window sill over there'! I was speechless. I really wondered what on earth had happened to professionalism.  I found it hard to believe that he was going to do a job that required care and about 15 minutes of time on a WINDOW SILL!   I cannot fault this employee's friendliness but it all seemed so unprofessional and casual. Perhaps I haven't adapted yet?
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Banks Empty Re: Banks

Post by Roopert Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:15 pm

I don't like it either, but I think there's an active intent to appear more "casual" and thus more approachable. My local HSBC has a similar arrangement, although I'm sometimes asked if I would prefer to discuss the matter in a more private area, so they are obviously aware that many people won't like having a discussion about their finances in the middle of the banking hall with a queue of other people looking on! Even the "more private" pens aren't very private, but they are constrained by the space available.

I've also noticed that the staff tend to be very young and inexperienced, and often have to ask questions of others rather than already knowing the answers. But that's probably part of a long-held pattern within the banking sector of employing lots of young, new recruits - because they don't have to pay them very much!

In fairness to HSBC they helped me deal with the estates of two deceased relatives recently, and they were very professional in dealing with both.
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Post by Bilbobaggins Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:19 pm

If personal details can be overheard by others then bank will be in breach of GDPR regulations ( successor to data protection regulations). Same applies inst Doctor surgery, pharmacy etc, you have the right to confidentiality

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Post by Heanorboy Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:36 pm

confused3

I am a ex fairly senior manager of HSBC and can honestly say that I never held a confidential interview in the banking hall or any public area anywhere but then I  confused3 jumped ship after 42 years in 2009.

Sorry to say that it seems that your experience is now fairly common through out the industry with banks seeming only employing people straight from University with the ability to think they know without the knowledge gained through coming through the mundane rolls, not their fault at all as most of those experiences don't exist any more and they are thrown in at the deep end.

Me oh boy am I happy I got out when I did when I speak to the guys still there.
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Post by HairyFool Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:49 pm

My local Barclays had a number of open booths for interviews but with hard Perspex dividers it was easy to hear from one booth to another. I once asked for a proper confidential interview I had to be taken through the non public parts of a bank to use one of the staff meeting rooms.

It's just talk but the staff member fully understood the issue and suggested I complain to the manager. Instead after over 40+ years with the bank I closed the account. Absolutely no attempt to find out why or try to make me change my mind, whatever happened to customer retention?
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Post by Roger G Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:55 pm

A slightly different slant on banks, this time Lloyds. 

I have banked with Lloyds for over 20 years and have had a business and private account for the full time. My business account was made into an equal partnership account with my wife a few years ago and the account has been permanently in credit. The bank informed me that it has a very high internal bank credit score. My personal account has not been use for several years as I also have a Barclays account, but has remained open with about £50 in it. 

Due to the Covid debacle, our business turnover has reduced considerably but we have  maintained a positive credit in the business account. My wife spent many weeks training for a new career out of necessity for us to have an income and started work a few weeks ago. We had a meeting at the local branch of Lloyds with the manager and a senior member of the staff to arrange changing my dormant personal account into a joint account so that she can have her wages paid into it. Coincidentally, as our business has been wedding video and photography, she had filmed the Manager's wedding 18 months ago. He was gushing about our services and the quality of our work and had even put a glowing review on our website. 

After the 30 minute meeting and taking details of signatures etc, they let us know that it would take a few days to change the account to joint. Imagine our surprise, when a few days later, we received a letter stating that they were unable to go ahead as my wife didn't meet the requirements. This is inspite of her having no debts, both of us with a high credit rating, her being an equal partner in a successful small business and her about to bring in a regular salary to the joint account. They were unable to give us any direct reason for the refusal as apparently they use an outside company to do the checks. So much for the bank helping us during the Covid crisis!

Needless to say we will be moving both the business and personal accounts to a new bank. 

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Post by bikeralw Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:05 pm

But won't any other bank use an outside company to do the checks, and no doubt they will have access to the same information.
I'm sure your wife is entitled to know the reasons for refusal.
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Post by Paulmold Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:34 pm

Try to add your wife to your account when she doesn't drive , therefore has no photo licence, doesn't have a passport  with a photo (nor do I), doesn't have utility bills in her name (all bills were set up in my name donkeys years ago). They would accept a tax code notification but she hadn't had one in the past 12 months. She rang tax office to get one only to be told she didn't exist (who had she been paying tax to?). Eventually it was sorted but took about 2 months.
This was also with HSBC and we already had a joint account at Barclays.

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Post by rogerblack Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:50 pm

My weirdest experience back when I had a business account with Barclays, where I called in most days to pay in cheques etc. was going in to conduct a different transaction one day to be greeted with a friendly "Good afternoon, Mr Black, how are you today?". Two minutes later as I started the transaction the same person asked if I had any identification with me - I pointed to my face and reminded her she'd just greeted me by name!   rolleyes

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Post by HairyFool Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:14 pm

I had to get some meds yesterday at the hospital pharmacy.

Had to stand 1m away despite the glass screen. I was then asked questions which had to be louder than normal due to the screen. All the same questions you have to answer when speaking to the bank loud enough for everybody in the department to hear

Roll on biometric ID cards.

A friend had a call from his bank and was promptly asked the same sort of questions. He answered and the caller said that they had satisfied data security. He then asked how much a particular direct debit was last paid for. The caller was very confused so he pointed out " you now know who I am, how do I know who you are.
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