This is part two of my continued write up of the purchase of HSBC Canada to RBC bank; it’s been a bit of a gong show. See part one. Please see the end of this post for day to day updates.

Communication

Lets start on a positive note, it goes downhill from here.

Unlike most of the feedback left on TrustPilot, which is not that trustworthy anyway, whenever I have called RBC I managed to get hold of someone very quickly. Staff have been friendly.

Health Care Scam

On one of the letters I received, with an RBC letterhead, they mis-printed a telephone number. I called the number several times to ensure I didn’t dial the incorrect number.

The call was actually one of those health care scams in the US, one of those “companies” that try to get people to sign up for the useless Medicare Plan B things. The call started off asking for confirmation if I was over 50, then they said I had won a health care monitoring device. Then, the call was directed to another recording about their plan details; there wasn’t a live person, all recordings.

I called RBC to advise them, of course they didn’t believe me until I read out the number on the letter where they confirmed it was incorrect. They asked me to send them the communication they sent me. I scanned the document and emailed it to them. Of course, I never heard anything back from them, didn’t even have the courtesy to send me an acknowledgement from a live person.

Fees Too Expensive

I called RBC on another occasion about non-receipt of a Credit Card, the person on the other end of the phone said there was a delay sending them out.

Apart from dealing with that I had the following conversation with them:

Me to RBC: “Your fees are a rip off”.
RBC to Me: “Oh yes I agree”.

I guess that just speaks for itself.

Didn’t Receive PIN

I called RBC to report that I hadn’t received a PIN.

They asked for the reference number on top of one of the letters I had been sent, they said it should be the same on every letter. I said there was a different reference on every single letter I had received and asked them which one they wanted, or maybe all 15+ of them.

They said they couldn’t just send me a PIN on its own and they would have to reissue the Debit Card as well.

On a positive point I did receive both through a courier fairly quickly.

Your Products Have Migrated

Incorrect Message on the HSBC Canada app.
As of today, 29th March, there is a message on the HSBC Canada app which says:

“HSBC Bank Canada has been acquired by Royal Bank of Canada. Your products and services have migrated to RBC and can be accessed on the RBC Mobile app.”

This is incorrect. Part of the migration means that the 29th is in a dead zone where customers cannot access anything online at HSBC Canada or RBC. I was quite amused two weeks ago though, as I did log into my RBC account and saw some of my accounts set up, I even managed to set alerts and update some of my details. When I was at an HSBC branch staff there said I shouldn’t have been able to do that.

Summary

I have received a mountain of papers through the post; myself and others have just become overwhelmed with it all most of it repeating the same thing time and time again. What a complete waste of paper.

As I have previously stated RBC is not good for customers who believe in climate change. Their fees are a rip off, three of our accounts would cost us CAD76.95 a month which is CAD923.40 a year, and I had NO fees at HSBC Canada; absolutely ridiculous. RBC were recently fined CAD7m for not reporting suspicious transactions [see Global News story]. RBC’s interest rates are much lower than HSBC Canada; so I would not only pay fees but lose money in interest as well.

It doesn’t make any sense to remain with RBC so I am migrating to another bank. If I have to go through it with HSBC to RBC I may as well do it to another bank. It might be easier for me to do this than other customers and moving bank is a somewhat stressful situation especially as HSBC haven’t been that cooperative or timely with what they’ve been asked to do.

Updates

30 March 2024 at 09:43PST

  • Two weeks ago I managed to access my RBC account whereas nobody else could, not even HSBC staff. I set up alerts and was able to perform other functions. Last night, 29 March, I received a text alert from my chequing account and saw some data move in there; chequing and savings. This is via the desktop, can’t see anything in the app. The balance is not correct, so we’ll see if this changes.
  • I saw a story where RBC will make profit in new weapons being sent to Israel by the US government. It doesn’t sound good that RBC is profiting from blowing up people. [Source: PBICanada]

31 March 2024 at 10:08PST

  • I was trying to figure out why some accounts were showing in the RBC app but not when signing into the desktop. I noticed that the RBC website doesn’t work well in Firefox. That is not good at all. Also, in Firefox, RBC does not display external accounts, for example, my HSBC accounts in the UK. In Vivaldi everything appears to work ok.
  • The HSBC Canada app was available internationally, however, according to comments left on the Apple app store this is not the case for the RBC one. This is not good for Canadian customers who are living or working overseas.
  • My balances are still incorrect as of this morning on my chequing and credit card accounts.
  • Investment accounts are not showing but I think this is scheduled for later today.

1 April 2024 at 13:53PST

  • Some but not all investment accounts are now showing online.
  • Chequing accounts are still showing incorrect balances.
  • Global View in HSBC UK or External Accounts in RBC do not show credit cards; they did before.
  • Global View in either direction do not show investment accounts.
  • In Global View HSBC UK I have lost the ability to transfer funds from the UK to Canada. Unless this is fixed there is no point in having this facility. Even with the facility the RBC rates are not competitive with companies like OFX.
  • Even though I deleted them all in HSBC Canada some time ago all my payees have reappeared in RBC. Took some time to find out where they are stored at RBC but went ahead and deleted them.
  • When trying to book an appointment RBC do not show any venues to meet in:

RBC Appointment Venue

4 April 2024 at 21:34PST

  • RBC have an app called Launch which I installed. Even though there is the option for FaceID its actually greyed out so its not available. I noticed that other parts of the app just show error messages.
  • I have been trying to close a GBP account because RBC cannot provide the Global View/Transfer functionality as HSBC did. I spoke to someone over live chat, who said write a secure message. I wrote a secure message but no one answered. I phoned the general customer service number and after waiting on hold for 10 minutes they said closing it is not an option, she wasn’t going to give me a reason but I asked and she said 9 April is the earliest it can be done due to the migration from HSBC. I asked her why I wasn’t told this on the previous contact I had with RBC but she couldn’t answer.

5th April 2024 at 10:04PST

  • Search the RBC website to see if there were fees on Interac transfers, in the same paragraph they said its free but then went on to say its not with a $1 service charge.  I tried to complete the “Are You Satisfied With” box but just got a “technical error”. Pretty typical of RBC!

Interac

Interac

6th April 2024 at 12:43PST

  • RBC online booking system is still down. I reported this several days ago and they promised to put up a message which they never did. Screen dump of what I see today:

Appointment System Down

  • Prior to the migration HSBC said their emails would auto-redirect to their new ones at RBC. Today I wrote an email to our Premiere Manager and found out that clearly is not the case. Why RBC couldn’t have just done a domain redirect is beyond me.

Email Redirect

  • I finally got a secure message reply about closing a GBP account. Originally they told me I could close it by sending a secure message, this was by live chat. However, the person who replied by secure message said I can’t close accounts in that way. Another person told me closing the account wasn’t an option, when pressed she said I could close it on or after 9 April when the HSBC migration was out of the way. The 9 April date was not mentioned in the secure message reply.  I am receiving so much conflicting information from RBC I’m beginning to think no one there has been training or has the correct information on hand.
  • I tried to log on via the iPhone App and received a message “we’re having technical difficulties at the moment, please try again later”. Seems they are always having “technical difficulties”.

Logon Technical Error

7th April 2024 at 09:20PST

  • A group called SCAN (Seniors for Climate Action Now) protested in front of an RBC bank in Kingston, Ontario. [GlobalNews story]
  • This article, requires registration, outlines RBC’s struggle to go green but at the same time financing anti-climate change activities in a big way. [Business Week]
  • The Fossil Free RBC website details the bank’s anti-climate change activities and highlights some calls to action.

8th April 2024 at 15:25PST

  • I finally received an acknowledgement of a complaint I made a few days ago, they said they would look into it. One minute later I received a resolution message. So, not sure if they are really going to look into them. The IT issues I reported still haven’t been fixed and no messages have been placed on their website as someone said they would. It’s really bad.

9th April 2024 at 13:32PST

  • Yet another day the online booking appointment system is down. No response to my complaint about it.
  • I was previously told I couldn’t close my GBP account until the 9th April. Got a secure message today saying this is not the case and I can just phone through to close it anytime. I phoned them and they said they couldn’t close it over the phone but had to visit a branch. So many different stories by different staff, no one knows what they are doing. A total gong show.
  • When I called them I had a question about transferring my TFSA out, the rep said she would transfer me to the investment department. They put me through to a recorded message that lasted about 5 minutes then it dropped my call. Arrrggghhhh.
  • Despite the barriers put in place by RBC, I finally got in touch with my HSBC Premier Manager who was able help with some questions. I found there is no point phoning the RBC call center as their “advice” is generally incorrect.
  • The Premiere Manager sent me an email, as a courtesy I replied to it, however, it was rejected by the RBC firewall. Evidently VIP or other customers are now not allowed to send staff emails as we did with HSBC.
  • It does look as though RBC lost the TFSA “transfer out” paperwork so I will have to go through this again.

12th April 2024 at 14:27PST

  • The RBC online appointment booking system is still down. Customers have to phone their customer service department to get book a meeting.
  • I phoned the RBC Investment Department today and I was gobsmacked that I actually spoke to someone who was helpful and knowledgeable. I did have to sit through a 4 minute recorded lecture first though, which was tedious.

27th April 2024 at 15:04PST

  • As of today their “book a meeting online” is still broken.
  • I received a call from their “resolution” team about the complaints I had submitted. Regarding the conflicting information I had been given by RBC staff they said there has been some staff training issues. I asked about the IT issues but there was no comment, but it seemed the HSBC onboarding process had overwhelmed them. I told them paperwork had been lost and there was no comment on that either. The rep was polite but the call didn’t really achieve anything.
  • Since they had lost my TFSA Transfer Out paperwork another one was sent to them on 16th April. I don’t have much hope of them processing this to be honest.

1st May 2024 at 14:46PST

  • Since my TFSA account has vanished I suspect the “transfer out” request may have been processed. However, so far they haven’t sent me a notification or receipt. Nothing has appeared in my other bank account yet although may be a little early for that. We’ll see.
  • I received, through post, a statement for a “Line of Credit”. When I called them they said this was transferred from HSBC but I didn’t have such a facility there. Even though having the account is free they charge 9% interest for the pleasure of using it, another way of them to make money.
  • Couldn’t log in via the app, message popped up saying they had “technical difficulties”.

8th May 2024 at 14:00PST

  • Finally the TFSA transfer out was finalized and RBC sent out the last statement to me.
  • I tried to book an appointment online to visit a branch to close my accounts, however, as usual that system was down. I contacted their call center, the appointment booking system was down for them too. They transferred me to someone else who was surprised to get my call. All in all it took 15 minutes to book the meeting.

9th May 2024 at 09:30PST

  • At the branch I was supposed to have an appointment there was no front desk person available so I had to line up with others.
  • The person I was due to see at the branch had been off work for weeks. So, whomever booked the appointment made a mistake. However, someone else started the process in closing accounts.
  • I had two pages of feedback to give to them and I was able to speak to the branch manager. He said he would forward it to senior management. Regarding the appointment for today he said the call center keep making this mistake, 8 in the past couple of months. He said RBC was having teething problems regarding the migration but it would improve, this is what the resolution center also said to me. I said the IT infrastructure outside of the migration was still pretty awful. Reading between the lines it appears there must have been a data dump from HSBC to RBC without proper project management, parallel runs, testing or training – everyone done on a “seat of their pants” methodology.
  • The people at the branch were friendly. The manager said the right words. I think everyone in RBC is decent people but they are dealing with an unfortunate circumstances that decision makers have put them in.