HSBC Chinatown Could Hire Honest Reps
A couple weeks ago, my dad went to HSBC in Chinatown to do some bank stuff. One of his GICs were close to maturing and he wanted to re-new or when it matures. He met with a bank rep with his request and left thinking it was done.
When he got home, he couldn’t figure out why the numbers are different. Since I don’t follow his investments, I didn’t know what to tell him and the statement the bank rep printed out for him was just a summary of what’s in his accounts, no history or transactions were provided at all. After questioning my dad about his visit to HSBC Chinatown, he revealed that the bank rep was not very clear with what he was doing with my dad’s accounts and asked him to sign paperwork which a copy was not given to my dad. The bank was hesistant with answering questions and my dad didn’t feel comfortable with the bank rep but he already signed the paperwork which immediately taken away. It was tempting to lecture my dad on signing unknown paperwork but I understand that as a senior chinese who doesn’t understand English, he would trust a bank rep from a major bank that he’s been with for years to be honest with him regarding his paperwork.
But after hearing the details of my dad’s visit, a lot didn’t make sense to us so we told him to get an explanation from another branch and he did.
It turns out that the bank rep did what my dad asked AND also he closed my dad’s other investment accounts and re-opened it, including one that was close to maturing. So my dad lost the interest and guess who gained commission on a new account (this has not been verified though, do reps make commission?). The other rep that explained what happened to my dad managed to contact the Chinatown branch and it was sorted out and the Chinatown rep called my dad. No apology was offered by the HSBC Chinatown rep as he blamed that it was a computer error that caused this misunderstanding. *eye roll*
To be quite honest, I can’t get over how someone would screw a senior over just for a few bucks. From their end, it was a misunderstanding. But unless the rep was not trained and have absolutely no common sense, his motives for doing what he did was quite clear. What he made my dad sign was a form to release his funds prematurely and say even if my dad suggested that (which he DID NOT), wouldn’t someone with common sense (or a conscience) say ‘Wait a minute, you’re losing out here if you do that‘. The fact that he was hesistant and beating around the bush when my dad questioned points to other motives.
I’m not writing this to bash HSBC or the rep from Chinatown, this is just a reminder that bank reps (or other financial reps) are just like you and me. Normal people who makes mistakes. Or people who are out there to take you for a ride. I wish that we (his children) could go with dad when he runs errands so that we could catch mistakes for him but we don’t simply because we have our own lives. But that doesn’t mean he should be a target to be taken advantage of. As parents get older, I find myself being more protective of them as much as my own children… sigh!