Bank does not want customers who make less than USD 150,000 a year, Which Bank? HSBC - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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Bank does not want customers who make less than USD 150,000 a year, Which Bank? HSBC

The bank that likes to say ... push off

· Customers must earn £75,000 to use branch
· Not everyone is equal, says HSBC spokesman

It calls itself the world's local bank, a slogan which conjures up images of kindly cashiers ushering rich and poor alike through the door to deposit their savings. At the HSBC branch in Canford Cliffs, Dorset, however, customers are judged by quite different criteria.

The bank has offended residents of the elegant seaside village in Poole by banning all but the most well-off from using the branch. Only customers with £50,000 or more in savings, a hefty mortgage or a salary of at least £75,000 are being allowed to talk to staff. Everyone else has to make do with the cash withdrawal and automated paying-in machines.

If they want to be served personally or make an inquiry, they will have to go to another branch.

An HSBC spokesman's attempt to justify the decision only served only to intensify the consternation. "We are trying to treat everyone fairly - not everybody in the world is equal. Some people have higher incomes and need greater services through the bank. These customers demand a better service," he said.
The bank admits it has based its decision on the area's wealth - it lies close to Sandbanks, an oasis of affluence whose main road is known as "millionaires' row" and boasts the largest collection of expensive properties outside London. The Premiership football manager Harry Redknapp has a house there, as does the computer millionaire Sir Peter Ogden and a host of company managing directors.
The Rev Jeremy Oakes, the vicar of Canford Cliffs and Sandbanks parish, described the wealthy tag as a caricature and said the move was "a very retrograde step" for the community of 12,500 people, whose homes overlook Poole Harbour.
He said the church itself was in a quandary over the bank's new policy.
Mr Oakes said: "Our church banks there and we have a collection on a Sunday but I don't know what we're going to do if they won't accept it. Canford Cliffs has been caricatured as being monochrome wealthy but we are not like that. We have a lot of people who have property but do not have incomes - well not that sort of income. We have a lot of retired people who need something local and accessible."
He added: "We moved from Lloyds to HSBC a few years ago because of the charges, but now HSBC has capped the lot."
HSBC's "Premier service" means that from June only people with £50,000 in savings, a £200,000 mortgage, or a £100,000 mortgage and a salary of £75,000, will get personal service from their branch-based "relationship manager" or, if they prefer, a telephone-based relationship management team available 24 hours a day.
Those not sufficiently affluent to qualify for that status can still join up - for a fee of £19.95 a month.
Ray Smith, a councillor and former mayor of Poole, said HSBC should be "ashamed of themselves". He said: "I'm very, very unhappy with this policy. The majority of people here are elderly and they might be property rich but they are cash poor. The policies are out of context with the area - it is scandalous.
"I know many people who are on the breadline. The banks are supposed to serve their customers. The old people who can't walk and don't have cars will now have to get taxis to another branch."
One resident, Helen Warner, 40, said the decision to ban essential services would hit the elderly hardest. "There are a lot of pensioners here and people in that age group like a personal service. They don't go in for PIN numbers, they want to be able to deal with a person.
"My brother is in his 30s and has banked there since he opened his first account. He opened it when it was a Midland Bank and it really is a slap in the face for him."
Canford Cliffs will become the only HSBC branch in the country to be solely a Premier branch. There are 48 other Premier branches but they are all situated within existing branches.
The bank's spokesman said: "The reason this has become a Premier branch is that it is a very small branch and it's in a wealthy area. There are no cashiers as it is already an express branch so everybody has to pay in using the machines."
"The vast majority of trips to the branch are currently for the ATMs and paying in so for the majority of customers and trips to the branch there will be no change." However, he said the bank would allow some customers who were physically unable to travel to the nearest machines in Westbourne, a mile away, or Poole, two miles away, to use the branch

The bank that likes to say ... push off | News_ | Guardian Unlimited Money
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 09:27 AM
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the funny thing is that here in the US, they really pray on the lower classes.

in political asylum
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mzsmbs
the funny thing is that here in the US, they really pray on the lower classes.
Yeah....I gotta wallet full of platinum cards to prove it. ....Go figger.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 09:48 AM
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This is basically Private Banking, isn't it? Big whup...if you don't like it, bank elsewhere.
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