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HSBC UAE / poor service

1 United Arab Emirates Review updated:

HSBC may wain the award as worst bank in Dubai...I have been trying for 7 days to get my internet password reset and no matter what I try it never seems to work. The last straw was when the call center agent told me I could pick up a phone banking number (my original was never received) at any branch. I went to the Ibn Battuta Service Center and was told they were out of numbers...all this after waiting for 1 hour while the single employee attempted to attend to the 5 customers waiting, some of which had been waiting for over 1 and a half hours. Their branches are crowded with long queues, they have poor service when you finally get someone, and their fees are was 80 Dhs for a transfer within in UAE!!!! I think it's time the central bank stepped in and did something about these banks and the poor service they are giving to customers....unfortunately HSBC is not alone in this area, Citibank and Barclays are equally poor.

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  • Ol
      30th of Jan, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I personnally experienced the same dificulties about these administrative things and I gave up about the phone banking number, as i have never received a number which works.

    Most important, I would like to draw up the attention of every HSBC customer - especially the EXPATRIATES - in the UAE about INTERNATIONAL TRANSFER. I regularly transfer US$ back in France, and I realised that HSBC was charging me TWICE. The first cost is the normal fees (as per terms and conditions of your HSBC bank account) charged by HSBC UAE and the second one is some charges took by HSBC NY, being the correspondent bank of HSBC UAE.

    How does it work? Let's take the example of a remittance of US$ 1,000

    1. HSBC UAE will charge you c. 20 US$ (normal), the remittance becomes US$ 980 .
    2. HSBC NY, which holds the accounts of HSBC UAE in $, takes a charge of US$ 20, the remittance becomes US$ 960
    3. Your bank in Europe receives US$ 960 and charges you let's say US$ 20$ (normal) . The final receiver of your remittance will then eventually receive only US$ 940 net of charge.

    As you noticed, you pay twice HSBC for the same remittance (1. and 2. = 40$!!!!). When I presented the issue to HSBC Abu Dhabi, HSBC ACKNOWLEDGED and said that it was NORMAL and that they can not do anything about HSBC NY (!).

    Why nobody was alerted before ? You can detect this tricjk only if you are on both sides - hence most of the remittance being from Mr X to Mr Y will carry this extra cost but it will be very difficult for Mr Y to prove to Mr X's bank, HSBC, charged twice the fees. Then, it turns to a ping pong party between Mr X's bank and Mr Y bank if you want to know who is charging what.

    This is a consumer abuse that I qualify as an evident fraud from HSBC: HSBC Consumer Tariffs Are Not The One Applied By The Bank.

    I am closing all my accounts at HSBC and strongly recommend to do the same to all expatriates living in the UAE.

    Please do not hesitate to transfer this information to all your friends living in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

  • Un
      22nd of Feb, 2017
    -3 Votes

    @Olivier Roblin hi, I am Unai Garramiola, spanish chemical engineer working in Peru, looking for someone with a bank account at HSBC in AUE for a quick business. You migh be interested. In a few days we can conclude our deal and you can make up to 100.000USD. Let me know if you can help me, regards 0051974624245

  • Ni
      20th of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    Totally agreement...
    I am having big problems with the as well..

  • Ah
      23rd of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    I agree with all the ppls in the UAE who recommend this HSBC as the most worst and pathatic bank of the region. Their all the services let it be Cash Deposit Machine in AUD for CC payment, Phone Banking for CC assistance, Statement Delivery etc every department of this bank is below worse. The Cash Deposit Machine in whole State of Abu Dhabi is 1 which never works.

    I recommend every one out there not to get stuck with this bank in any sort of dealing.

  • Ma
      3rd of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    Even I have similar experence with HSBC Bank Dubai .
    I had applied for a loan and no responce or any update from them for the last 2o days.
    The treatement is like a crimenal ...
    Not at all satesfied with the banking ...

    I never had this type of experience in my life ...

  • Vb
      1st of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I agree HSBC UAE is the worst bank. Incompetent staff (both at branch and the call centre) is just the starting point. I recently moved to Canada where I have a premier account and I was told that I should upgrade my Dubai A/C so that I can make transfers without charges. I have made 10 calls over the last 10 days, sent electronic message, I am told that someone will contact me within 24 -48 hours, but so far haven't heard anything.

    I wouldn't recommend this bank to anyone.


  • Ja
      5th of Sep, 2018
    0 Votes

    @VB Absolutely agree. I have premier account in the UK and Singapore. Service is so much better. They just employ monkeys in the Middle East. No governance and accountability and crooks.

  • De
      10th of Nov, 2008
    -1 Votes

    Very very poor customer service, so many complaints about my banking experience with HSBC in Dubai i do not know where to start. The worst is the double charge to my credit card that appeared on my statement and that despite having laid a complaint and having filed all the complaint forms I am still out of pocket to the sum of 200DHS. The bank refuses to correspond with me on the issue, i have asked for a written report on their investigation to the double charge, and have not recieved even a phone call back after more than two months. When I eventually build the energy to deal with the issue i intend to take it to the police, as it is theft, and to the media. I agree with all the above posters, the service is useless. The Customer servce centres cannot complete any banking activities and send any thing you take to them some where else for processing at a later time. Their fees are over the top. Their "personal banking advisor service" has been a complete joke, as my advisor has dissapeared, and my requests for a call back have been ignored. The online banking service is below international standard in terms of functions offered. I took a car loan through them and the customer service on this is non existant - they cannot even issue a loan statement or bother to return a phone call. Feeling better for having a whinge already :-)

  • Sh
      11th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    on 6nov i withdrew cash from trade centre branch, ebi-nbd bank, for an amount of aed 5000. i got a slip out with my atm card but no cash. i tried again for an amount of aed 3000, and slip, atm card and cash was dispensed.
    i immediately complained to the bank, and they informed to complain to my bank hsbc. i am premier customer, and immediately called the bank complaining this matter and was informed that within 24 hours the money will be credited. until saturday morning, there was no credit. i complained again and they sent me atm dispute form.
    i filled in and sent immediately through hand delivery, but till date 11nov, the moneys are not credited to my account.
    what is the meaning of premier bank service...firstly they never answer their extensions and barely respond to their email.
    other banks like emirates bank, habib bank are far more better in their service, although operating in smaller scale compared to HSBC.

  • Sa
      19th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    They are the worst bank in the world, not just dubai. I recieved a letter from them saying that they can no longer keep my account and they will close it in 30 days. The letter had no explanation on why they are closing the account nor any instructions on what I should do.
    The call centers are useless!

  • Mm
      16th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I totally agree that HSBC is the worst in UAE. I had similar cases and complaints like others as above described, hope this complaints reach the managerial levels or to be the drive for corrective actions??. The most worse case, that i received the Visa Card Statment for some other customer by mistake. I have concluded that my visa bank statment has reached the other customer also by mistake. When reported this issue to the call center or customer service they show no regret for the conflict!!!

  • Sh
      17th of Mar, 2009
    -1 Votes

    The above people are correct in accurately assessing the various service charges of HSBC. I have checked into this myself. HSBC would tell me one thing and charge another. I am not sure what other banks are charging for service fees, but I am shocked by the shrewd and cunning ways that HSBC cheats you of your money. I still have money with them and am waiting for the right moment to transfer everything out never to deal with them again. I hope others who have had similar experiences do the same. HSBC has really developed a bad reputation over the past decade and rightly so. It wouldn't surprise me to see this bank in real financial trouble in the future, and I'm sure poor service and management would play a large role.

  • On
      22nd of Mar, 2009
    +1 Votes

    you know what guys you all are fools, if you have so many issues with HSBC why the hell are you still banking with them. You all are hypocrites you just go with the flow with what one guy had to say. May be the person who had a complain was wrong as well, if you deal with a financial organisation in a fair manner nothing may go wrong. Mistakes happen with all but important is how they are resolved. If you guys have so many issues then why are you banking with them. What i feel after reading your mails is that you guys just have no work but to ### or may be other banks dont wants stupid fools like you to bank with them. If that is the case then you should be greatful to HSBC that atleast they are providing you with the account facility.

    Keep in mind that whenever you point your finger on someone to blame the remaiing four fingers are facing towards you. I have been banking with HSBC Middleast since last 15 years, even i had issues but they helped me always and yes at the same time in todays worst situations i see them standing strong so there is something different about them compared to other banks in uae.

  • Ni
      24th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    thanks..nice guy! :-)
    I agree with u...HSBC ROCKS!!

  • De
      29th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I agreee HSBC is the worst bank..I'm waiting for my credit card statement every month but they didn't sending this to me..I don't even know what are those amounts they are charging on my account..hope soon they upgrade their service so that they can accomodate their customer.

  • Gf
      8th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have only been in Dubai for a short period, but I have experienced nothing but sheer incompetence from HSBC to date. They offer a lot of promise but, in my case, have failed to deliver on every count.

    I chose HSBC because they are an international giant, and a recognised brand name. I have been waiting for a credit card for over a month now - having completed the correct form under the supervision of a member of their direct sales team, and promised that my new credit card would be with me within 4-5 working days, it has now been over a month of being forced to chase every single person with whom I have spoken trying to unravel the bureaucratic nightmare that has been unleashed. Forms filled out incorrectly, applications denied, chased, promises made, broken, more chasing, ignored phone calls - this pattern has continued for a month and I am sick of it. I have never experienced such appalling customer service before. Having been PROMISED (again) that my card would be with me on Sunday (yesterday), a phone call today revealed that it has not yet been confirmed and would take 2 more days minimum. If I didn't need this credit card for a trip abroad I would leave HSBC immediately.

    I will be leaving them as soon as I return, and I have transfered my salary to another (probably local) bank.

    Shame on you HSBC - I hope this post enlightens many more potential customers who are bought by your empty promises.

  • Ta
      1st of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    Shame on HSBC !!! Thats my comment. I took a personal loan and the Bank since Dec 2008 is under a stange habit of deducting my EMI twice a month !!! What a shame. I would have wasted good 100-125 hours on their phone banking no. I even visited teh branch thrice with a complete assurance that the problem will not recurr again but...

    The Bank even refuses to reverse the 2nd debit and at the same time they acknowledge yes the 2nd debit is wrong. How shameful.


  • Hd
      15th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    Anyone been called by aggressive debt collectors from a UAE bank and feel harassed? Want to tell a journalist your story? If so, email me at

  • Sa
      22nd of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    Me and my company also having very bad experience with HSBC UAE. Do anybody know, is there any powerful & justiciable authority (Centre Bank, Financial Ombudsman or Attorney) to investigate and resolve the disputes and issues. If any one know please forward us.

  • Mc
      20th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    Poor service is the least you could describe this bank. On more serious issue, thieving is better way to describe this bank. Just a note, I have been an HSBC customer worldwide for over 21 years. It is the first time in my life I open a bank account in a new country with another bank.
    Left UAE after closing my account, credit cards…. I was surprised that the account was still open after 4 months and I was charged for almost 800AED = 220USD for a credit card transaction!! When querying about it, they said it was in the pipeline for 4 months, but what was this mystery transaction, no one knows. After months of wrangling, I paid it off through bank transfer and requested via, IB email, fax, and phone calls to close the account. No one listens and no one closed the account. I was charged every month AED100 for status account which I closed and signed for closure while being in Dubai 9 months ago.
    Total spending on this ridiculous issue: AED 3600 in international calls and unknown credit card charges. Am I happy? What do you think?
    Called today and raised the third complaint. They responded after hearing my story: “we will TRY to get back to you within three days.” Try!
    If I were you, do not open a bank account with HSBC or any UAE related bank. Swiss bank branch in UAE will do. HSBC thinks they would help Dubai economy recover on tricks like the one I am in now! By the way, I have a friend who is also facing the same situation, the only difference is that he does not give a toss and will not pay them a penny. From my end, I came in peace and want to leave this country same way. Will they let me do that? Definitely not.

  • Jo
      21st of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    I totally agree that HSBC is the worst ###ed up bank in UAE. I always paid my credit card bills on time. I always paid my loan on time. But, this is something they don't like . because if all customers pay on time, then how the ### they will be able to charge late charges !!!

    They blocked my credit card and canceled it. They charged me 100 AED . they told me that my salary does not meet the minimum requirement which is newly set to 20, 000AED. What the ### is that. First, I was not informed about this before . Second, who employee on UAE whose salary is 20, 000 would ever buy on credit !!

    Not only that, just one month ago. They again deducted another 150AED from my credit account for this ###ed up card. And they charged me another 150 AED late charges. In totall, they made me pay up to 450AED on this virtual internet card whose limit is only 2000AED.

    For all UAE employees whose is banking with HSBC. Be carefull with these guys and change your bank immediatly

  • Va
      26th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    People, I am quite shocked you are still banking with HSBC after all this... You need to go stop doing business with them if you have so many issues and try some other bank rather than cribbing.

    I am not sure if you have expierenced service from any other bank in this region. Once you will, i am sure you will change all the comments above. the reason i say this is i have expiernced other banks and i think HSBC is far better compared to most of the banks here. Then again, one should understand mistake happens, am sure it happens in your respective business as well. especially when a bank is dealing with such huge customers. I remember one instance recently with a friend of mine, he did not get one of the doc, went on shouting at the bank ( not hsbc this time ), later when his application was retrieved, he had mentioned his PO box but not the emirate. The reason i say this is, there are times when we do mistakes as well and shout and swear at the bank.

    Nevertheless, If you have such issues with HSBC, try another bank ... Look at a bank where they have small number of customers, then hopefully you will not have these issues - the only risk you need to take is, your hard earned money may just disappear..

  • Ja
      5th of Sep, 2018
    0 Votes

    @Vajan Basically you are right. They are a bunch of crooks and get away with whatever they want as there is no complaint mechanism like in countries like Singapore and UK.

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