HSBC is closing down in Canada and sold its company to RBC, I will reflect on my experiences with the move here.

Communication

Keeping customers up to date is of course important in any transition like this.

  • Documentation by snail mail appears to be working out ok however customers are receiving this at different times, not all at once. I guess they must be sending them out in batches.
  • Emails are not working at all. I haven’t been receiving their email updates at all. I reached out to HSBC, who are still the main point of contact, and they are investigating. So far, I am missing out of three different emails. The important information in these emails I have more or less stumbled across by accident when logging into my account.  Since I know other HSBC customers I have been forwarded these emails, obviously they should come to me directly.

Client Cards

These were due to go out, according to their own timetable, on 8th February but we didn’t receive them until much later on. When I spoke to HSBC about another matter they hadn’t received their ones either and I would have thought they should get them first so the know the workflow the customers would have to go through.

Statements and Payees

It looks as though there won’t be any access to accounts between 28 thru 30 March. RBC are recommending to download all statements, tax documents and payees before that date.  They said they would be migrated over to RBC but maybe there is a chance that they won’t be.

From my experience to date I wouldn’t be surprised if there were hiccups so it is best to extract everything from there as possible.

Customer Service

There have been hiccups at HSBC but I’ve never had too many complaints regarding customer service especially as I have a rep I can call directly. The rep doesn’t always get things right or followed up with queries which hasn’t been very good.

Looking at reviews of RBC not many people have a good word to say about them which is very worrying.

Fees

I’ve never paid any annual credit fee or monthly charge to have a checking account in my life.  So the most shocking thing about RBC is how much they charge for their services, they are very expensive. I’m not even sure what I am paying for.

They will not be charging these fees in the first 12 months of being with RBC but after that they will kick in.

I am totally not impressed with this at all.

RBC Advantages and Disadvantages

There are some advantages of being with RBC over HSBC, but not many.

  • Will be able to put Debit Card on ApplePay, something that HSBC Canada won’t allow.
  • Use verification services.
  • More branches to visit.

Disadvantages

  • Potentially poor customer service.
  • Very high fees so we will be much worse off with them.

However, other banks or credit unions offer the same service with no fees so it makes little sense paying for a service at RBC when its free at other places.

Stay or Leave?

Everybody we have spoken to that is with RBC do not recommend them at all.  They say all they care about is making money. However, others say that about the bigger banks on Canada as well.

According to the Banking on Climate Chaos website, RBC is the 5th worst bank in financing fossil fuel globally between 2016 and 2022. I find this very scary and part of me doesn’t want my fees or profit they make from us to be spent on making the world a worse place than it is already.

I already have some plans in place and will share those experiences later.