03 December, 2006

The Problem with Bankers

They're just plain deceiptful. They steal money from customers through cunning little ruses and hidden charges. Of course, it isn't just banks, it's insurance companies, investment houses and all the other wonderful capital institutions. Just thought I'd blog about a simple case in point which I discovered today.
  • Bank: HSBC.
  • Issue: Cash withdrawal from credit card.
  • Ruse: They charge interest from the moment of withdrawal, no grace period (everybody knows this). What most of us don't know is that they waive (thank you very much) the grace period on the entire outstanding balance of the card. So, instead of a little interest on the say Dhs 200 you decided to withdraw, you're suddenly charged 2% monthly interest on your entire outstanding balance. So tricky!
  • Bank's explanation: It's hard to segregate the cash withdrawal from the rest of the balance and charge on that separately.
  • Last word: Give me a break!


Samawel said...

That's the reason I seem to prefer debit cards.

BD said...

I agree. HSBC, however, doesn't even offer one--and I'm sure there's a reason for that.

John B. Chilton said...

2% monthly. Ouch. What's that work out to on annual basis.

Ali said...

Now, let's say about RAK Bank, they offer %2 cash back. All banks charge you intrest for the unpaid portion of your monthly statement. But if you pay AED 9999 on Due date of an AED 10,000 and forget to pay 1 AED they will charge instrest for the whole statement (AED 10,000) from the date of the transactions (No 45 days grace period anymore!). This is almost hidden in their terms, and you'll find it once you got traped.

trailingspouse said...

BD maybe HSBC doesn't offer one for security reasons. I discovered that my Lloyds ATM card can also be used as a debit card. However, if I use it there is no requirement to enter a PIN code . . . the store just swipes it. This means that were I ever to lose it or have it stolen, anyone could use it to empty my bank account! As a result I try to carry it around as little as possible. What with that and credit card numbers still being printed in full on many credit card slips, I think banking security here sucks.

Anonymous said...

What about smaller banks... such as Dubai Bank?

I have had a credit card with them for more than a year and so far had no problems at all.

Although the downside with Dubai Bank is paying the credit card. It can only be done at UAE exchange and at their office near the Dubai World Trade Centre.

No online banking either :D - but I think small can be good.

Grumpy Goat said...

Read about the latest example of devious and underhand banking practice perpetrated by the Bank Whose Logo Comprises Four Red Triangles here.

BD said...

Two saving graces for me at the "red triangles bank", aka HSBC (say it loud!), are the pleasant Filipina accounts manager who handles my account and their Status account, which really means you don't have to wait in lines. It makes it the better of many evils. I was for many years using no frills, low-fees Habib Bank AG Zurich. In addition to being practically fee-less, they had an excellent and online banking system. But I finally had to let them go when I found I really needed some services. It was, for example, almost impossible to verify a credit card balance apart from the monthly statement. To do so required a call to the bank--during office hours only--which had to then phone a bank in Bahrain, during their office hours. All that just to find out a current balance--which seemed ludicrous since any merchant was able to verify your balance whenever they applied a charge.

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