HSBC Direct Online Savings Account Opening Process

After reading about HSBC’s new 4.80% APY rate teaser (good through April 30, 2006), I finally decided to open an account. Before I go any further, I should say that there’s currently a $25 bonus available for opening a new account. Simply use this HSBC Direct $25 Bonus link and use ‘start‘ as your promo code.

Once that’s taken care of, the account opening process is pretty painless. It’s just a standard application that asks the usual prying information. They then use these data to pull information from your credit report for identity verification — they ask you a couple of questions such as which bank is your mortgage through, how much is your monthly mortgage payment, etc. The signature card is handled completely online and, if you’re opening a joint account, you are then asked for info on the joint account holder. Easy peasy.

Next up… Funding the account. I’ve heard that HSBC Direct and ING Direct ($25 account opening bonus) don’t play well together and, sure enough, I was unable to pull the initial deposit from ING. Rather, I kept getting errors regarding the ING Direct ABA routing number (which is 031176110, by the way). Thus, I ended up pulling the initial deposit from our local checking account. Interestingly, they gave me the option of verifying that account online by entering the login information (which they then promise to discard). Alternatively, they can make old-fashioned verification deposits in the next 1-3 days, after which you return to the HSBC website to enter the amounts and prove that you own the account in question. I chose to do the latter. So now, I wait. The test deposits should be made within two business days, after which time I can get the ball rolling.

In the mean time, I’m pushing all of our money from ING to Emigrant Direct. I know, I know. I should have done this long ago (after all, I opened an Emigrant Direct account last fall). I just never got around to doing it. Since it looks like I’ll be unable to link HSBC directly ING, I’m going to use Emigrant as the hub for shuffling our money around (I linked ING and Emigrant before ING clamped down on that sort of behavior). So there you have it. I’ll post an update when I know more.

22 Responses to “HSBC Direct Online Savings Account Opening Process”

  1. Anonymous

    Be aware that HSBC has a breach of information, I have received a scam call, they knew I had HSBC account, my cell phone ( which is registered under different name). When I called HSBC about it, it took me more than two hours to reach and explain to the customer service my concerns. They blamed it on me, they said I might have lose my personal info or something, when I gave them the phone number of the scammers, they were not interested at all.

    Then I decide to transfer all my funds from HSBC to my other bank.

    So it took me another hour to reach the actual branch near me, they told me that they can’t transfer money to my other account, that I have to mail a request to theyir office in BC, I am in ON, so another week of waiting. I ask them what other option I have , they said I don’t have any other, so I should wait.

    Then I ask for the withdrawal of cash, but they said they don’t have cash on hand and that I have to wait up until next Friday, it was Thursday morning.
    Naturally, I was furious, because when I was opening the account they told me that I can withdraw up to 100K if I give them one day notice. After half an hour, of yelling at me that I have no idea how banks work, they decide to give it to me next Tuesday, I wasn’t happy with that too. So after another 15 minutes of arguing they agreed to give me part of the money, but the rest will wait till Tuesday.

    Then I ask them if I could do a money draft to transfer all my money and they finally they said OK we could do that for you, but have a seat we will be with you shortly.

    So then I was sitting there watching them serving other customers for another half an hour, and I notice that if one has “Premium account ” ( or whatever they call it, it is a black card) one will be treated with smiles and timely, and normal account holders are treated like a second class customers.

    So to summarize, The HSBC phone customer service are like a robots and they do not listen to what you say, they have the script of the template answers. And it takes several hours before you can get an answer to “unusual” question.

    The branch customer services is unfriendly and rude.

    HSBC will not give you cash (more than 10K) as soon as you request it or the next day. (even if they have it)

    They don’t care if a scammers are using HSBC name.

    They don’t care if there is a concern that HSBC may have a breach of information.

    Nothing beats a real banks, CIBC, TD, RBC, BMO etc.

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks to all of you for telling me about Emigrant direct. I am all over that. HSBC plainly sucks. Their billpayer service is down every weekend without warning. I assume it is for maintainance, but customer service is not informed.

  3. Anonymous

    I recently opened an HSBC Direct savings account. It has been a terrible experience and one which I will be ending soon. Their customer service is ill-informed on the basic manners with which a company should conduct itself. I opened an account and was told 1-2 days for the trial deposits…I continued to receive e-mails for 5 days telling me they could not complete my application until I verified the deposits…which had not posted yet…I emailed HSBC and after 2 days, was told it would be another 2 days. During this time frame, I needed to withdraw money from my transferring bank account, which left me with less than my original deposit amount of $50.00. I e-mailed HSBC, asking if I could change the initial deposit amount. I received no word back (and still have not). After the draft, I got an NSF fee because the money wasn’t in there. After 3 more days, I emailed HSBC to ask if they would help me out with the NSF fee due to the lack of response and not issuing the trial deposits on time. I received a form letter back telling me to wait for the trial deposits (obviously no one read my e-mail all the way through)…so upon emailing them back, voicing my frustration, a customer service rep e-mailed me back and told me that “I should have had the money in my account and waited to withdraw it until the trial deposits went through”…such tact…anyway, I will be closing my account as soon as I can actually access it. HSBC is unprofessional and lacks common courtesy.

  4. Anonymous

    I recently tried to mail in my check and address verification to the HSBC online address. They were attached to each other. I kept getting a notice in my e-mail stating they hadn’t received the required documentation. When I called I was told they received the check okay but didn’t receive the address verification. Whoever opens the mail detached the check and threw out the attached paperwork. I couldn’t get them to admit this but instead of working with me they cancelled my newly opened account and sent back my check. Their customer service sucks and they apparently have no accountability. I will never open another account with them because of this.

  5. Anonymous

    I actually look around to become more money for what I have on my bank account at Chase and thougt about HSBC. Is there more information arround to find the best bank?

  6. Anonymous

    I am thinking about transfering a large amount of money from my local bank savings into the “New Money @ 6% APY” Is there any apparent risk in using this On Line bank?

  7. Anonymous

    To whom it may concern
    I would like to open a savings account and would like all information to do so I will have my ssi check coming direct deposit and don’t want any mishaps can this be done and how would I obtain A T M Card so I could withdraw funds I suspect you would mail to me I want no other options available for internet withdrawals as that leaves people up to be victimized by these internet wizards. I have enlisted my paper mail address as someone has been deleting my e-mail Thank you William Best [email protected]

  8. Anonymous

    Have to agree with John. I work for a big bank, and if money is moved by ACH, the earliest it would be available to you is next day (so in theory, money ACH’d out to another bank on 3/2 should have been available to you at HSBC on 3/3 – but for personal accounts it may not be uncommon for banks to take another business day or two to give you credit, especially if it’s a larger amount of money).

    On the other hand, money sent by Fed wire is available to the receiving bank literally within an hour or two of being sent, so SHOULD be in your account the same day. However, when my dad wired me money a couple years ago, my own big bank wouldn’t give me full credit for the wire until the following business day – which may again be a standard practice for personal accounts (I work with business customers, and as long as we receive the wire by 3 pm our customer gets credit the same day). Fed wire may be an option if you’re sending money out of one bank, but you’ll most likely pay more for it. (Hey, how do you think all these big banks make money for their stockholders? Float, outrageous fees and microscopic interest rates!)

    Anyway, thanks to all for the insight on online svgs accounts. I’m going to open one or two, and will do a little more reserach, but I appreciate the advice to be wary of HSBC.

  9. Anonymous

    To Eric Joseph:

    I don’t have an account at HSBC, so I’m not trying to defend them here; however, I used to work at ING Direct and there was a 2-3 BUSINESS day period from the time you transferred your money from your internal account to when it reaches your linked account. If you requested the transfer on Thursday, March 2nd (especially if it was after 2 P.M.) then it would not be in your external account until Monday. This is due to the fact that all of these banks (ING Direct, Emigrant Direct, HSBC Direct, VirtualBank, etc…) use ACH transfers instead of wire transfers. These take a little longer and don’t cost anything, which helps explain the no fees/no minimums characteristics of these accounts.

  10. Anonymous

    I just signed up with HSBC, got my login info in the mail etc. All I can say is HSBC really really sucks. Their website is awful, try calling their customer service it is even worse. I found that just pressing random keys like crazy eventually gets you to a live person. The bank linking only works if you have a card # and a pin #, which they didn’t give me – which led to the support calls (email support was no help).

  11. Anonymous

    Good luck with HSBC. I have accounts with ING, Emigrant Direct and HSBC. HSBC is by far the worst to work with. The most recent event (this week) involved a direct transfer of a very large sum from an external account, which was debited on March 2, to HSBC which only credited the account on March 6. Customer service claims this is normal for electronic transfers. Last time I checked, these transfers occur literally at the speed of light. I could understand a day or two, but FOUR??? This learning experience cost me $150, which will not be paid for by the difference in interest in interest between HSBC and Emigrant or ING before April 30. All I can say is, watch out for these SOB’s. They’ve perfected the disappearing money scam.

  12. Anonymous


    What you are missing is the the 4.8% rate.
    When I opened my new accounts there was no fee.

    After opening the account, 4.8% adds up to big bucks. If you transfer $5,000, the interest alone makes up the trans. fee.
    Better yet, you can do it the old fashion way, simply write a check, it takes 5 days.

  13. Anonymous

    This is what HSBC’s terms and conditions state:

    Fund transfers-in: $15 per incoming transfer
    Fund transfers-out: $30 per putgoing outransfer

    What am I missing ? This doesn’t sound very appealing. I have not been charged by ING for any transfers.

    Would appreciate help, thanx.

  14. Anonymous

    I opened an HSBC account too and have been trying to get all my friends and loved ones to do the same. Nick, all your account information comes by paper mail and it takes a long time (well, it seemed like a long time because I was so anxious to transfer my savings) — at least a week. I had to wait for my username, password, account number and routing number in the mail. If you forget your password, they have to mail you a new one. It’s cumbersome, but I think it’s worth it. — Joy

  15. Anonymous

    I opened a GMAC Bank Money Market account when their rate shot above Emigrant’s rate. GMAC makes the perfect hub for moving money. You can link as many accounts to it as you would like (I have 3 checking and 2 savings accounts linked, soon to add HSBC). And it’s as easy as entering the routing and account number, there is no verification process, or delay. I know everyone has commented on the $500 min. but when will you ever have less than $500 if you have a full emergency fund? Plus you get an ATM card(w/ fee refunds) and 50 free checks.

  16. Anonymous

    Until Emigrant clamps down on those types of transfers. I am astounded at the “dirty tricks” these banks come up with to keep people from freely moving our own money.

    I wonder if these mass moves of cash create sudden liquidity problems for these banks. A giant stampede of millions of dollars moving out from one bank rushing into another can’t really be good for the stability of the banking industry. I can only guess that as competition becomes more fierce and as consumers become more savvy this will become a huge problem.

  17. Once I have HSBC open and Emigrant linked to it, I’ll be able to slide our back and forth freely:

    HSCB < --> Emigrant < --> ING

    without ever having to move it through an offline (lower paying) bank. So whichever one is highest after 4/30, you can bet I’ll be there.

  18. Anonymous

    Heh. Yeah, that 4.80% was way too tempting to ignore. I got my HSBC two trial deposits a day after applying, and now I’m just waiting to get my login information. I hear that comes by paper mail, so who knows how long that will take.

    I usually fund new accounts with a small amount, but I decided to go with $1,000 this time so that I can get a bit more. Then I’ll link ED to HSBC and transfer all but a few bucks in one nice big lump.

    The real question: where will our money be going after HSBC’s offer expires on 4/30?

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