AN open letter to HSBC's Alex Hungate

Alex Hungate said: “I want to help HSBC grow by maintaining a relentless focus on the needs of its customers. In this role, with its combination of global leadership of the Personal Financial Services business plus the marketing function, I want to ensure that our services always deliver on the powerful promise of the HSBC brand.”

Good for you Alex. Here is an open letter to HSBC’s Alex Hungate:

I have been monitoring Household International well before HSBC bought them. That is because I was a customer. I regret every moment of it. I was in the U.S. military, where I attended a class about personal finance. When the discussion turned to personal complaints about finance companies we discovered that over 10 percent of attendees had problems directly traceable to HSBC Finance Corporation. The same problems continue today. I think you have a big job ahead of you.

After the personal finance discovery, my wife had a Best Buy card, also handled by you and your people. For her interest free financing she was graced with bills every month for eleven months. Month twelve saw no bill. A deliberate attempt to negate the interest free promotion, collect all interest, late fees and anything else HSBC wanted to scam out of her actually failed. We held another personal finance class after discovering that HSBC Finance cannot be trusted. Sorry Alex, but we discovered a trend.

Alex, let’s go on to the next HSBC subject that needs your attention. People who buy vehicles financed by HSBC need to know they can get a clear title when the vehicle is paid off. As consumer advocates and a watchdog organization we were successful in getting resolution for the first two people that asked us for help. After that our HSBC point of contact was no help at all. The problem needs to be solved. Good luck with that one.

I consider you to be an intelligent man Alex. Unlike some at the top of HSBC you seem to want to do a good job. We think you need to find out why credit card payments can be late when they are mailed two weeks early. I’m not talking about payments that were credited to the prior month. I’m talking about payments that were not really late either. If I mail my Citi payment, my Chase payment, my mortgage payment, and my car payment on the same day as my HSBC credit card payment everything processes correctly except my HSBC credit card payment. Perhaps that is why 80 percent of those who rated their HSBC card said it was poor or totally unacceptable. I think it is fraud. Good luck with that one too.

Actually Alex, you need to solve other problems with HSBC payment processing. Since 1994, and according to Shea vs Household, some of the trends you need to stop are deeply rooted. Good luck, since nobody has been able to stop the issues. For instance people report to us every day about the HSBC United States online payment website. The biggest complaint is that it does not work for everybody. Could it be the automated version of my wife not getting a statement in month 12? Some say that remains to be seen. I’ve seen if for years. What remains to be seen is if you can fix it before HSBC gets sued again.

Subprime issue are deeply rooted in HSBC Finance Corporation and former Household International employees. I called them “predatory lending issues” well before the $484 million predatory lending settlement. After that Household International was a predatory lender in everyone’s eyes. Since HSBC did not fire everyone and start with a clean slate HSBC is a predatory lender. We are what we buy, so to speak. I know you prefer the terms ‘subprime’ or ‘just under prime’. Sorry to break the news to you Alex.

Alex, if you really want to see what’s wrong with HSBC Finance Corporation just read our live complaints. They are right here. Have you considered that your job is to address consumer finance for HSBC with the exception of HSBC Finance Corporation? The jury is out on that one. You have much to do and we wish you well. If I were faced with the issue I would sell HSBC Finance to somebody else, get rid of the HFC and Beneficial names, and become successful at your job. Don’t let them drag you down to their level. You and I both know that global bankers and finance company personnel don’t run in the same circles. They don’t even belong to the same country clubs.