Hong Kong Shanghai Bank comes to Seattle

This seems like news everyone in Seattle Washington is waiting for. HSBC said it’s planning expansion into the Seattle retail banking market. Good luck with that idea. Perhaps HSBC is counting on people to forgive and forget about the current financial crisis.

HSBC opened one downtown location — on Union Street — and another location is planned, said bank spokesman Neil Brazil. “Seattle is one of our expansion markets because we see a lot of opportunity in the market,” said Brazil. He added that the bank was attracted to Seattle because of its “international” makeup.

Wait a minute — Weren’t Washington State prosecutors looking at HSBC’s former predatory lender Household International? Seattle federal prosecutors are conducting a preliminary criminal inquiry into allegations that Household Finance Corp. shredded documents as part of a cover-up to defraud consumers who took out loans. (That was July 2003.)

HSBC thought so much of Household International that HSBC bought the company!

We see a lot of opportunity to point people to our complaints blog. See it here.

What will HSBC bring? Let’s start with this report:

HSBC manages the credit accounts of Gottschalks. For several months now they have harassed my 90 year mother. This began when there were charges on her account she did not remember. As her Attorney-in-fact I have asked for a statement so we might determine the legitimacy of the charges and any paperwork necessary to close her account. At her age and with me managing her affairs she no longer needs it.

They have received twice now copies of the power-of-attorney. One of their offices acknowledges getting the second copy and agreed to process the information request. No information has been forthcoming. HSBC has not made any effort to contact me. They have continued to phone my mother almost daily. None of their staff will identify themselves to my mother’s caretakers making it impossible to resolve this.

There isn’t much money involved. It will be a cold day however before I’ll surrender to this sort of harassment and petty abuse.

How is this relevant? Back in the Household International days Household evicted an 89-year old woman. The case attracted national attention and eventually led to a nationwide $484 Million predatory lending settlement for Household. It seems as if HSBC is still harassing the elderly.