I’ve long expressed a desire to simplify our finances, and have finally taken a small step in that direction. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a number of online savings accounts. These include accounts from ING Direct, Ally Bank, EverBank, and so on.
While we’re still using a couple of these accounts, the others have fallen out of favor for one reason or another. The account that we’ve used the least in recent years has been HSBC Advance (formerly HSBC Direct) — largely due to their non-competitive interest rates. I therefore decided to go ahead and close this account.
Closing our HSBC account
The account closing process was actually quite easy. I logged in and transferred the residual balance out to our linked checking account. I then clicked on the “Bank Mail” tab, selected Savings Acct Inquiry, and sent the following message:
We have drawn our savings account balance down to zero (not including the interest earned in April which has not yet posted). We would like to close our account and have the outstanding interest mailed to the address on record:
I then waited for a reply. Not long thereafter, an HSBC rep got back to us:
We have not processed your request to close the Online Savings Account. If you close your account before the interest is credited, you will not receive the accrued interest.
Hmmm. Good info, I didn’t know that. I thus waited a couple of days for the interest to post, and then wrote back to close the account. Shortly thereafter, we received a check in the mail for the interest that we would’ve otherwise lost.
One down, several to go…
6 Responses to “Closing Our HSBC Advance (HSBC Direct) Savings Account”
Mitch, HSBC has always been a foreign entity. Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, hence the HSBC. Been that way since the 1800s when the British opened the bank. I too came here because I was confused to see the rates are so low. I will be closing mine, seems everyone else here has confirmed the low rates.
I too have several online savings accounts and HSBC pays one of the lowest interest rates. This article made me decide to close my HSBC account so I won’t have to monitor it every month or so.
I will keep Ally for now (1.29%), but will move most of my emergency fund to an online rewards checking account with a community bank. They pay 4.01%, no minimum required, no monthly fees. To get the high interest, you must do one ACH bill payment and use the debit card 10 times in one month. This is easy enough: I can schedule autopay of my internet bill each month and buy 10 cans of canned food, which I can run through myself at the self-check counter at the grocery store.
I’ve had a good experience with HSBC. They seem to have good customer service and are rather quick to remedy any issues. I had a discrepancy on a credit card statement and they fixed it quickly.
At this point with such low savings rates with online accounts (i.e., ING, Emigrant, HSBC, etc) chasing yield around is like a wild goose chase. The difference from 1 and 2 percent isn’t that great (I remember the glory days of 5 and even 6 percent rates!).
Oddly enough, I haven’t paid any real attention to my HSBC account and, on a whim, opened up a statement to see that it’s down to zero. Not sure if I’m going to rush and pop $50 into it just to keep it going or not; I’ve had that account under multiple names since 1977 (yeah, I’m that old), but now that it’s owned by a foreign entity, I’m not so sure I care all that much.
Recently closed INGDirect – pretty simple to close. Just transfer your remaining balance to your linked account. ING’s system is pretty smart – it asks you since you are withdrawing all of your savings, do you want to close the account. Just say yes and balance PLUS INTEREST till that date is transferred to your linked account.
Good to know. I’ve been thinking about closing our HSBC account for the same reason.