We set off in January 13 and in April/May and was using capital in these accounts to purchase food, diesel, accommodation i.e. means for us to live when suddenly I was not able to use my internet HSBC business accounts and immediately started to write secure internet messages to my bank with no effect, no feedback or phone calls. This began around Ethiopia and continued into Kenya, Tanzania. This went on for more than 6 weeks and thankfully I had Euro’s which I could convert into local currency. Again and again I would persist using the banks new age paperless routes of communication, but with the same result, no response and dysfunctional bank accounts for both my business accounts.
Eventually after getting no where, and at my own cost, I contacted my HSBC bank in Canary Wharf by phoning in; after opening the first accounts in 2004, I found out the HSBC bank had closed both my business accounts in my absence and without my consent. They also said, “We don’t have to give you a reason for closing your accounts”! Unbelievable, but they will get involved in money laundering and drug related practises in Mexico and the US when it suits them, most probably more profitable.
They also said they wrote to me (but couldn’t use the preferred paperless electronic communication to communicate this to me) with hard copies being sent out, and needless to say, I was not there and nor could I be there to cash the cheques they sent to my postal address. Their response was, “That was not their problem and because the bank accounts where now closed, there was nothing that could be done in this instance”, even after me saying that it was me and a small family that would be left in the lurch and needed flights back.
HSBC, you guys are so heartless and don’t deserve business customers loyalty!
After emails and telephonic time for complaining they helped cancel the cheques and transferred the funds, but the decision regarding the accounts was here to stay, closed with no reason.
Doesn’t loyalty count for nothing anymore!!!
So all you overland travellers, check before leaving whether there are any pending decisions to cancel your accounts and try make sure that you have a back up payment solution i.e. another bank account with another bank or foreign notes, for these unexpected surprises! It may come in very handy!