HSBC right at home in Vietnam, unwelcome in U.S.

Business is business, both in America and around the world. But we always watch HSBC to see what the bank is up to, often at the expense of soldiers fighting for freedom. This is the same HSBC accused of abusing the United States military:

HANOI, Sept 14 (Reuters) – HSBC said on Monday it is partnering with Vietnam’s state-run postal service, Vietnam Posts Corp, to deepen its reach in the country of nearly 86 million people through the network of post offices.

You can’t really blame HSBC Plc. After all this group bought their way into America through Marine Midland Bank and predatory lender Household International. Just last week HSBC said the bank wants to expand in America. But not like you might think.

In Iraq, as the US and British military fought to make the country safe, HSBC was foreclosing, repossessing, and ignoring the law. If you think HSBC extended one bit of common courtesy to those who allowed HSBC the freedom to make money safely, you are sadly mistaken.

Now HSBC is back in Vietnam again. Better them than me. I served in the Marines from 1968 until 1993. I have seen the real Household International and HSBC. I concur with allegations of HSBC abuse of the military. There were similarities in Vietnam:

Brutal Treatment
Although the Geneva Convention of 1949 called for the decent and humane treatment of prisoners of war, these terms did not apply in Vietnam. The Vietnamese were accused of brutally torturing their captives — beating them with fists, clubs, and rifle butts, flaying them with rubber whips, and stretching their joints with rope in an effort to uncover information about American military operations.

I hope HSBC enjoys the bank’s new position with the Vietnamese Post Office. I don’t think Vietnam would put up with the garbage Americans, and American armed forces, had to endure while regulators ignored predatory lending. We already put up with enough. Vietnam has a track record:

The Americans were forced to record taped “confessions” to war crimes against the Vietnamese people and to write letters urging Americans at home to end the war. Poor food and medical care was standard. Prisoners were often isolated to prevent communication among each other, in addition to being denied communication with family members. American prisoners sometimes died in captivity, from wounds sustained in combat, or at the hands of their captors.

Perhaps HSBC will be right at home in Vietnam. HSBC is Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corp, or didn’t you already know that? Poor communication, calling customers “liars”, isolation, and denial of communication is common at HSBC. “We never received your communications” (fax, telephone calls) is common at HSBC Finance. Americans died a slow death at the hands of this predatory lender, losing the battle over whether payments were received on time, or classified as late. Properties were lost.

Our article about HSBC abuse and the military says, in part, “A HSBC spokeswoman last night told The Herald the bank had not seen the Fair Finance Watch study, but added: “HSBC works hard to abide by the letter and spirit of any regulation that applies to it and treat our customers fairly and respectfully at all times. “We take any allegation very seriously and will, of course, look at any complaint.”

The reply was nothing but lip service. We are used to it:

In April 1993, Harvard scholar Stephen Morris discovered a document in a Soviet archive indicating that Vietnam may have misled Americans about the numbers of P.O.W.s it held at the war’s end. The document, a translation of writings allegedly prepared by North Vietnamese general Tran Van Quang, stated that North Vietnam held 1,205 American P.O.W.s as of September 1972, just a few months before the release of the 591 P.O.W.s in Operation Homecoming.

HSBC does not belong in the United States. The bank should go back home. But HSBC is a perfect fit for Vietnam. Here at home in America when all active duty, retired, and former military recognize HSBC for what it really is, HSBC’s dreams of greatness will be shattered.

As for the HSBC employee who called us cowards for maintaining this website, we are still here and we are still watching, aren’t we? We will close with this quote:

Merle Haggard – I Wonder If They Ever Think Of Me Lyrics:

There’s not much a man can do inside a prisoner
Just take his memory trips and fights the pain
And a word from home can mean so much to a prisoner
It’s been years since that last letter came

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of mama
And my nights are filled with thoughts of sweet Marie
And old friends I ran around with keep on running through my mind
But I just wonder if they ever think of me

I wonder if they know that I’m still living
And still proud to be a part of Uncle Sam
I wonder if they think I died of hunger
In this rotten prison camp in Vietnam

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of mama
And my nights are filled with thoughts of sweet Marie
And I remember daddy sayin’ you’ll come back a better man
And I just wonder if they ever think of me
Oh I just wonder if they ever think of me