I'm about to embark on an exciting change in my life- I'm about to go off to university!!! So I took the time to look and see which bank account to get. I already bank with HSBC and having heard about their student bursary competition I was going to enter anyway, I decided to go with them (as having a student account was a prerequisite to enter).
~~~DETAILS OF THE ADVANTAGES~~~
Advantages offered by HSBC:
-up to £3000 interest free overdraft
-Free worldwide travel insurance
-Additional credit interest on your first £1000
-25% off Lonely Planet travel guides
-HSBC Student Bursary Competition
Advantages OTHER banks offer:
-FREE NUS CARD
-FREE 16-25 Railcard (worth £25/year)
Whilst I'm not entirely sold by what HSBC offer to us students, I didn't want to have so many accounts at different banks which would only confuse me. The overdraft provided is appealing to some, but I'm hoping I wouldn't need to use the overdraft!! Fingers crossed.
What appeals to me is the free worldwide travel insurance as a bonus. Studying architecture, I'll be frequently going on trips which would make this a good bonus, though I'm currently already covered by an annual policy, but that will soon expire.
I think the Lonely planet guide discount and the supposed extra credit interest is just 'filler' and really won't affect me. I was enticed by Natwest's free railcard but only for a small while.
~~~APPLYING FOR AN ACCOUNT~~~
I looked online on the website and it says you can apply online or at a local branch. Knowing they'd need a copy of my university acceptance letter, I popped into my local branch. Not only was I subjected to slight abuse (counter woman was most patronising in asking if I'd been in the country more than three years seeing that I was Chinese and that my mum's English was not very good). Putting on a posh English London accent just to patronise her back, she told us to take a seat not two metres away, whilst she 'gossiped' away at her colleague asking her to deal with us.
Her colleague loudly said 'I can't open a student account for them' which we heard. Despite this, she sat us down and took our details and then told me to apply online. After questioning her as it said we could open it in the branch and I had all my documents with me, she still said she couldn't do it as they didn't have the forms or whatever.
I did work experience at a different HSBC and those forms you print from the computer! How she didn't have the forms is beyond me. Either way, clearly she wasn't being transparent to the reason she couldn't open it for me so I just went to another branch the following week with the exact same information and opened it successfully within half an hour.
NOT impressed. A week onwards and I have received a new payment book, cheque book and awaiting my new debit card. I opted not to have a credit card as I don't like the idea of spending money I don't own.
About the HSBC student bursary competition:
"Your student days are some of the best of your life offering opportunities and experiences that will stay with you forever. We'd like to help you get the best out of these years, which is why for the 4th year in a row we're running the HSBC Student Bursary competition for an opportunity to win £15,000 to help you reach your potential."
I aspire to become an architect who can solve social problems through architectural design; I'm passionate about sustainability and reducing the impact we have on the environment. I have just spent over £1000 on equipment for my course before receiving my first loan instalment including £70 worth of pens and a new laptop because mine currently would not run the AUTOCAD software adequately. Never thought shopping would be so painful!
I don't know if this would be classed as spamming but I would really appreciate it if you could please check out my video for the bursary competition at http://tinyurl.com/66cawm3 and vote for me!
Voting closes in two weeks on 30th September. Thanks for watching!!!
For more information about the bank account or to apply, please visit www.hsbc.co.uk or pop into your local branch.
HSBC doesn't really offer anything particularly enticing for their student account, but since I already bank with them and I wanted to enter their bursary competition, I chose them over Natwest despite needing a railcard.
After a frustrating incident at my local branch, I was finally able to open my account at another branch so all is well. Hopefully I won't encounter any more problems like this with my account. :P
I have been surprised by all the negative reviews HSBC student accounts have been receiving lately. I used HSBC when I was a student and their policy hasn't changed since then.
What I liked was that I got a free railcard which I used all through university and then for two years after which saved me a fortune on rail travel.
I also got a £1000 overdraft in my first year of university which is interest free. In my second year that went up to £1250 and then in my final year of university it went up to £1500. You do of course have the option to apply for more overdraft but any you get over these limits does charge interest.
The interest free stays interest free when you leave university but decreases each year. You can still keep the same overdraft but the amount of interest free changes each year by £250 each time and then when you reach £1000 again it becomes chargeable.
I always received great customer service from HSBC, they offer internet banking and telephone banking and the cash debit card you got at the time was a Maestro card which you can use all over the world in most places (this has now been changed to a VISA debit card).
I haven't had any problems with HSBC student account and I know people are complaining about the amount of interest free overdraft they are getting but I think that the amount HSBC give is more than adequate, as remember an overdraft is repayable on demand so if you had a £5000 overdraft this could get you in some serious trouble.
I would recommend HSBC student account to anyone that asks me.
I am an employee for HSBC and must tell you, it isn't the best bank to hold a student account with, we do interest free overdrafts for students but what we dont tell you is that is only for the first £1000 if you wer successfull in applying for an overdraft of £2000 we would give you the first £1000 interest free but the other £1000 we would charge you so so so much it is unbeleivable, and i work for them remember. I f you were ever to accidently go over your agreed overdraft we charge you £25 for every transaction, for example... If you have £20 left of your overdraft and 2 dircet debits for £20 each came out of your account we would charge you £50 even though technically you only went over by £20. If im totally honest i don't think HSBC should allow you to go over your overdraft especially of we then intend to charge you for it. Although the account may sound good on paper, there are things we don't tell you and then later slap you with charges. And please belive me, i work for them.
I've been with HSBC for years and its only recently ive wondered whether if this is wise. In the past staff have gone massively out of their way for me but in recent years theyre policies seemed to have slipped towards making a fast buck (as all banks are now I guess).
I do however love their recent addition of a change machine though as I collect change in a jar and banks are often really difficult about taking loose change. You just pour it into the slot and it counts it for you and puts it into your account without a fuss.
Im less keen on the new layout too; im guessing these will be rolled out across the company. It seems to be much more orientated towards Business Banking than individual banking and theyre system for seeing a actual person is rubbish too. You take a ticket (stating 9 mins or summat) and then queue (upstairs if its like our local one) and then wait and wait and then wait some more ..... Waaaay beyond 9mins more like 45 - there is no-one to ask if your likely to be seen soon as believe it or not you only have your lunch hr and they shut at 5/5.30pm. The new layout has also got rid of the cash machines being inside the building, to me this always seemed so much safer.
There's three good reasons to avoid HSBC student banking.
One is that scandal you might have heard about re. graduate overdrafts. To cut a long story very short, they advertised accounts as (like most banks) giving you a couple of years grace after graduating to pay off your overdraft, interest-free. This is VERY important as the last thing you want when desperately job hunting is for your debt to keep on rising uncontrollably. Out of the blue, they dropped this last summer - no warning, timed so it'd be when students were away, and effecting people who had already signed up.
In short, they can, and do, change the terms of their contract without telling you, to remove the very features that attracted you in the first place.
They backed down in the end, but only after a huge, high-publicity NUS campaign. As a HSBC customer I'm worried about what they'll do next.
The second reason is their website and internet banking. It's shoddy. You can't pay even off your own credit card online - there's some nonsense about a 'reference number' that just doesn't work. You can't change how you pay off your credit card online either - you need to do it by 'post', that strange system the Victorians used where everything takes weeks to process.
So, say you've got your credit card set up to pay off in full every month (a wise move). Your account is running very low and you've spent a few hundred on your credit card - quite a common New Year, post-Christmas pre-loan installment scenario. You've been hit by some unexpected expense and have realised that in the next few days, the credit card will automatically pay itself off, and your rent will go out, and that will wipe you out, put you over your overdraft limit and leave you penniless and in serious, non-interest-free debt, probably with an insult-to-injury bank charge too (their policy on this is really equivocal and suspect, reading between the lines it looks like they're continuing to quietly hit bank charges on customers they expect not to complain...)
With any sane bank, in this scenario, you could just log in to internet banking, click on a button, and stop the automatic credit card payoff. Not HSBC. You need to order a 'debit card mandate' by 'post', wait a few days for them to send it, a few more for it to arrive, probably a few days more for your folks to forward it to your term address, then fill in a form, then post it, wait a few days for it to be delivered, a few more for it to be processed...
By this time it'll be far too late. Am I paranoid for thinking that this might be a deliberate way to engineer a bit of extra cash from "oh what a surprise, you've gone overdrawn" bank charges every January?
One final worry: there's no real information about any of their policies (e.g. overdraft repayment, interest, charges etc) on their website. The only way to find out information about this is to phone up their call centre in [X Indian subcontinent city, not quite 'local bank'...], then spend half an hour locked in a stupid cat-and-mouse game trying to find the exact right question so that the operator will actually tell you what the policy is. They do everything they can to avoid answering your questions, which to me seems very suspicious.
What is it they don't want me to know about? Most call centres don't dodge questions or pretend to not know what you mean until you can guess the exact name and details of what you want to know about...
Oh, and finally, if you travel a lot, they're really bad for charging you for using cash machines abroad, and excluding capital cities they have branches in far fewer countries than you'd expect. The "world's local bank" thing is just a marketing gimmick.
When it came to opening my student bank account last year, I was, as most students are, only intrested in the essentials and necessaties of banking.
It was on this premis that I choose HSBC and the free MP3 player, had I started my course this year I would be banking with Lloyds who are currently giving away an Ipod nano.
Lucky then that HSBC have really been very good.
Opening the account was easy enough, all the usual ID needed to open a student account and a letter of acceptance from UCAS or your university.
The service I recived at my local branch was good, fast and efficient and I recived my bank card and cheque book quickly.
With the HSBC student account I was given a mestro/switch card, a £100 cheque gaurantee, and a £1000 over drfat limit for my first year rising to £1250 in the second year and £1400 in the third.
Over the past year I have had my moments when I have gone overdrawn past my limit, on these occasions HSBC have been very nice, generally they give me a call and say
"Do you realise your account is xxx amount over the OD limit?"
I feign shock and suprise and say
"Oh Gosh however did that happen, I am so sorry!" (whilst thinking oh **** I knew they were going to ring, why didnt I ignore the phone!)
We then agree a date by which the account will be brought back in to line, they wish me a pleasent day and we go on with our lives!
Also this summer when I moved house I needed some help with the deposit HSBC were very helpful uping my overdraft by £250 for a month untill I got my deposit back.
The only negative thing I have to say about HSBC is that they do tend to push you in to using the online and telephone banking rather than over the counter.
When I have paid cheques in over the counter I am always reminded i could use the machine in the corner.
Also when I wanted to change my address i was told I couldnt do it in branch I would have to go online (most annoying!!)
That said the telephone services and online service is good, its prompt, polite and helpful and open 24 hours.
So now the important news that you have all been waiting for - the MP3 player. It took ages to arrive and lasted about 3 days, it was one of those ones you can buy in argos for about £20 !
Grrrr i should have been sensible and gone for the rail card!
As with most students. trying to find the right bank to open a student account was a mission in itself. Choosing over the options available from differnt banks wasnt exactly an easy decision to make! I chose HSBC and im happy to say i made the right choice. With their Interest-free overdraft of up to £1,000 it was a great relief to know that if i did at any time fall short of cash, hsbc would be there to help me!. When opening the account you get incentives. This involvs either £50 or a free FIVE year rail card ( worth £90) which is a god send for all students traveling to and from home for the holidays. I happend to have misplaced my bank card a few months back but with hsbc's helpful customer service, my old card was quickly canceld and new one was already on its way for me to pick up two days later. Another plus point is the ability to do internet banking 24/7 without traveling to the bank.
When I was at school, I used to change my mind regularly as to what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. I was open to most things, and so when the opportunity came up to spend a day on placement at HSBC (and skip school in the process) I jumped at the chance. It was a fun day – we got to play with lots of money, and stamp cheques and watch videos, and most importantly, we got to meet all the staff, most of whom were lovely. At the time I was unhappy with my current bank and looking for a change, so decided to open an account here. A year and a half later, having just got my A Level results, which confirmed that I was off to UMIST (with 22 UCAS points to spare….), I needed to set up a student account, and so it seemed only natural that my first port of call would be HSBC once more, if only because it would be the easiest place since I already had an account with them, and so didn’t need to provide proof of my address and other mundane details. ** What You Need ** To be eligible for an HSBC student account, you must be 18 years old or older, and be enrolled on full time undergraduate course in the UK that will last at least 2 years. This course should be a Masters, Bachelor, HND, HNC, NVQ Level 4 or similar – A Levels, GNVQs, SQA awards etc do not qualify. The only exceptions are disabled students who only need to be on a part time course, as long as they are also receiving a Disability Student Allowance. To open an account you need to already have a normal HSBC account, or be eligible for LEA support (which most students are). You also have to provide proof of acceptance onto a qualifying course and, if you don’t bank with them already, some ID – passports and driving licences are both suitable, as are birth certificates, utility bills and so on. You need one month’s bank statements if you currently bank elsewhere, and proof of Disability Student allowance if applicable.
Along with these, you need a completed application form you can pick up in the branch, or request from the website. You also have to agree that they will be your main bank, and that you will pay money in regularly – a loan or your wages or, in my case, both. ** What You Get ** The current freebies are a choice between £50 cash, and a 4 year rail card – some of the most generous options around. As well as these, you get standard banky things including : · an interest free overdraft, which increases from £750 in year 1, up to £1500 in year 4 and £2000 in year 5 if applicable. · A fee free credit card (your choice of Visa or MasterCard), with a £500 limit · A Switch debit card which also doubles as a cash card here and abroad, and a cheque guarantee card. You can use Barclays and Natwest cashpoints free of charge, and also obtain cash from any LINK ones, although there may be a charge for this. · A cheque book and personalised paying in book · Interest while in credit (if you can call 0.1% “interest”) · Free telephone and online banking · Student counsellors in near-uni branches, who are most friendly compared to stereotypical bankers, and who offer advice on money management etc · 1% commission charge on foreign currency – instead of the usual 2% ** My Experience ** So far I have been pretty happy with the service I receive. One thing I like is that even when you ask them to bend the rules, they don’t say no instantly – instead they have a chat and look at your account history before making a decision. I needed to go outside my overdraft limit one day, but after they looked at my transactions, saw I was being paid into this account regularly and had never been over my limit before, they declared that it wasn’t a problem, and waived the usual fine and interest charged. Similarly, I wanted to incr
ease my credit limit on my MasterCard before I went to New York, so I rang them up to ask what they could do. They immediately said I could up it to £1000 (I stuck with £750 though, since an extra £500 plus me in New York shops would have been a bad mix) because I was paying the balance off in full each month by direct debit, and usually stayed well under my limit. My banking life with them has not been prefect, however. Last year my purse was stolen from a decidedly dodgy Gay Village bar (which begs the question of what we were doing there in the first place) just before Christmas. They arranged for new cards to be sent to me, but these somehow ended up at the wrong Oxford Rd branch, despite me having given them the full address of the one I wanted them at. It took 15 minutes of arguing at my local one before they decided that they might be down at the Manchester University one, and another 10 minutes before they agreed to phone and check – their initial suggestion had been that I just pop over and see. It’s not that near, I was on my way to work and, being Manchester, it was raining, so it wasn’t the best idea I’d ever heard. More recently (Saturday, to be precise), I went in to the branch near work to find out how much commission they’d charge me on the US$ cheque I wanted to put into my account. None of the staff members knew, so they had to dig out their battered guide before they could tell me that it would be £6 for “normal” people, but they weren’t sure how much for students. Useful then. Overall though, I am happy with HSBC, and at the moment see no reason to change. They’re much more efficient than RBS and Barclays in my opinion, and I can’t see any reason not to chose them as the company with whom to start off your student banking life. ** For More Information ** www.hsbc.co.uk 08457 404 404 PO Box 757 Hemel Hampstead Hertfordshir
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I stumbled across HSBC (or Midland as it was then) on my campus when I was a little fresher at Loughborough University, and chose to bank with them for two reasons and two reasons only. Firstly, there was a branch on campus so it wasnt far to go if I wanted to winge at the manager that I had spent all my dosh on beer and wanted an overdraft. And secondly, they gave me 50 bucks for joining. You cant say fairer than that. There was the option of either £50 or a 4 year railcard. I wish I had taken the railcard but a railcard would not pay for rounds of drinks during freshers week! Of course, I should have considered my choice a bit more throughly since I have been with them for 4 years, including one on a graduate account. But I guess I got fairly lucky because I have found them to be fairly flexible and friendly throughout that time. If you do find yourself in the situation where you need an overdraft - as most of us do, they are reasonable about it and, usually, if you ask you will get it. I think the maximum is pretty high, and it is incremental each year going up by about £500. Even if you do exceed your limit, there is no fee and you get charged only interest on the amount you are over your limit, which amounts to peanuts if you are only a few quid over. One of the most annoying thing I found with them was that they used to charge me a pound whenever I used a cash machine that wasnt either theirs or a bank they let you use. I ended up spending a lot on just taking money out just out of convenience. But they have stopped that now, and you can now use any machine free of charge (as long as the provider does not charge you) I have run in to no real other problems with them. They have given me a good graduate package, with a continuing overdraft which goes down in increments of £500 each year so you can get rid of your debt gradually. Again, in this account they are fairly leniant if you go over your limit but I
dont want to push it! Of course you get virtually no interest on the student account, so I advise that you seek out the highest interest easy access account on the market for your student loan in the meantime, and shift across whenever you need cash. You can do this all on the net, and the internet banking on HSBC is a real bonus, being easy to use and well-designed. You can get your statement, make payments, amend direct debits, etc etc. So, in summary, I would highly recommend this bank to new students. Above all, you should check out all the banks and see what they have to offer (not just in free cash or gifts). I think you will find this one fairly close to the top of your list.
I've never had a problem with my HSBC account, the staff are without fail friendly and helpful - especially when you are a skint student worried about going over your overdraft! I have found their student banking service excellent. The most useful part I have found is the Switch card - also, they do automatically approve you for a Mastercard which is useful because it means you get a credit rating. HSBC gives first year students a £750 overdraft, which increases by about £250 each successive year of your course. This is about in line with other student accounts, and I think most students will definitely find this extremely useful, and for some it will be a necessity. The main attraction of the HSBC student service was the free 4 year (yes, FOUR YEARS!!!) railcard. This is worth £80 to start with. This can be a lot of money - I reckon it's saved me AT LEAST £70 this year! Other banks might give you cash - usually about £50, but it just disappears into your student loan or other money, and you just forget about it. The rail card is definitely the best incentive I've ever seen. Another huge plus was the forms I had to fill in to open the account were refreshingly simple and easy to follow. I think this was helped by the fact that I already had an account with them, but they are so keen to have new customers, the forms for them can't be too much worse. Another HUGE advantage which cannot be stated loudly enough is the fact that almost all UK university campuses have an HSBC branch, or at least a cash machine. This is of vital importantance as you don't want to go trudging into town every time you need a tenner. In fact that's the first piece of info I'd advise future students to get hold of - make sure the bank you choose has at least a cash machine or even better a branch on your campus. It'll make everything so much easier! Altogether, a polite, helpful service that has given me and a lo
t of my friends everything we could have asked for in a student account.
HSBC WANT your business it's as simple as that. They know grants are non-existent they know students are becoming more & more clued up to student deals. They seem to be keeping up though! Interest free overdraft very useful, I'm still using mine!! Ignore the limits if you need to, it's always worth asking - friends of mine were running these at £2500 -£3000 interest free! Another bonus with HSBC is the 3 year graduated pay back & the cheap loans (7.8%) plus mortgage deals etc etc for post grads. Good stuff all round.
I've been with HSBC ever since I was 16, when someone fom the local branch made a visit to my school. They were giving away a load of freebies, so even if I didn't use the account much, I'd get a good deal. I did actually end up using it quite a lot. They gave me my first cheque book and also a proper SOLO credit (but not a credit) card, for use in cash machines and some shops. Solo cards are now much more popular. At the time there were not really that many places where I could use it. Its a bit like a young persons SWITCH card. When I left school and started university last year, I had no need to find another bank, as the 3 years that I spent with them in my younger days, were not bad at all. They offer a good student account. On application, I was given the choice of either a free £50 cash, or a 4 year young persons railcard. I chose the latter because I do spend a lot of time on trains (when they're working!!). With a value of £76, and then the extra 30% saved on each rail journey, its saved me probably hundreds of pounds. They also give you a SWITCH card, and extra credit cards if you want them, as well as a cheque book. They also start you off on a £750 intrest free overdraft. This then increases to 1000 in the next year. I am yet uncertain on whether it continues to rise in the 3rd year. I have always found the people working there very helpful. They have always solved any problems I've had, and never complained when I've handed them bundles of loose change. They always manage to do things very quickly and efficiently. I've moved house 3 times now in the last 6 months, and they've always done a good job of keeping up with me. As long as you keep them informed of changes, they can do little wrong. The only thing that once went wrong, was the wrong amount of money being transfered in to my account. This was my fault though as I stated the wrong value
of a cheque on my paying-in slip. Within a month, they'd spotted the problem, and sorted my error. They send your statements on a regular monthly basis, but you can visit the branch to get print-outs if you need them at any other time. With the statements they do often send some junk mail stuff, but you never know, one day it may come in useful.
As a student money is going to be tight, and you need an understanding bank. I myself have a Midland account, but many of my mates don't, but are changing as they have found out about the huge overdraft, which I have. Many of them have also had problems with the fact that their banks want to close their accounts, as they are only rarely in the black, but speaking as one who lives in their overdraft, I have had no problems. What's more is that as a student it is interest free! One thing I will say though, is that they seem to have at trend of automating their branches. Two of my locals are now almost completely terminal based, and it is a bit hard to actually find a member of staff to talk to, but what the heck. I also think the HSBC is a poor name for a bank, yes I know what it stands for, but I still think that midland was better.
I don't agree with a lot of the other opinions posted on this bank. In my experience, because it is such a large and powerful bank, it is quick to take advantage of vunerable students. Some months ago I had a problem at one of its cash machines where ten pounds was eaten back into the ATM. After endless enquiries and complaints, I never got it back. I am also enraged that you can no longer withdraw five pounds from most of its machines. I don't always have a tenner in my account, so I have to go without any money. Unlike banks like the Royal Bank of Scotland, their branches are impersonal and staff often unhelpful, particulrly when you reveal that you are a student.
I have been with the HSBC (or Midlands as it is still known to a lt of people!) for about 4 years now. I joined hile I was University as they offered a good package and gave you £30 cahs back as well. You could have been given a student rail card but being a student I chose the money back option! The HSBC are a really good student bank. They allow you to hvae a good overdraft facility which is interest free. They are very understanding asd realise that time can be tight when you are a student. They also give you the option of having a visa card which some student banks wont give you. Now that I have finished Uni they are still supporting me and my overdraft facilty is still available for a couple of years. This allows me to get used to the world of work! The only downside with the HSBC is that they allow you to borrow so much money that it is probably easy for some people to get into real debt. You have to be organised and trust yourself! I have never had a problem with this bank. I am sure that there are horror stories from some people but as far as I am concerned the HSBC are a good student bank. They have just started internet banking as well which will appeal to students. The staff are friendly and are always willing to help you.