HSBC UK Bank Review | Bobatoo

HSBC Bank Review

Good choice of savings accounts

Earn cashback on your purchases

Competitive interest rates

HSBC logo
HSBC logo

Who is HSBC UK?

HSBC is a British bank who trade in several countries around the world and they are currently the largest bank in Europe. HSBC has been active in the UK since 1991 and have over 39 million customers across the 66 countries they serve in. HSBC is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

With their wealth of different financial services, HSBC is a feasible option for anybody looking to start or switch their bank account.

HSBC website

Current accounts

HSBC have 8 different current accounts on offer, all of which provide their own individual benefits. Some of them come at a monthly fee, while some require set minimum incomes or student status.

Here at Bobatoo, we have arranged the HSBC current accounts into 3 categories, in order to help you make a quicker and easier decision:

  • Standard current accounts
  • Premium current accounts
  • Student and youth current accounts

Standard current accounts

There are 3 current accounts which can be categorised as HSBC’s ‘standard’ current accounts: HSBC Bank Account, HSBC Pay Monthly Bank Account and HSBC Basic Bank Account.

HSBC Bank Account

  • No monthly fee
  • Contactless debit card
  • Online/Mobile banking
  • £300 daily withdrawal limit
  • Overdraft (subject to status)
  • £75 switching bonus
  • Can earn cashback

HSBC Pay Monthly Bank Account

  • £10 monthly fee
  • Contactless debit card
  • Online/Mobile banking
  • £300 daily withdrawal limit
  • Overdraft (subject to status)
  • No switching bonus
  • Can earn cashback
  • £50 fee-free overdraft buffer
  • Preferential rates

HSBC Basic Bank Account

  • No monthly fee
  • Contactless debit card
  • Online/Mobile banking
  • £300 daily withdrawal limit
  • No overdraft
  • No switching bonus
  • Can earn cashback
  • Some savings accounts not available

HSBC Bank Account

A HSBC Bank Account provides everything that you would expect to get from your current account and is ideal for most people’s everyday banking needs.

To apply for a HSBC Bank Account, you must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Live within the EU
  • Pay at least £500 into your account monthly (unless you’re younger than 24, or older than 65)

It comes with your own contactless debit card, a HSBC login for online and mobile banking and a £300 daily cash withdrawal limit.

You are able to apply for an overdraft, subject to your credit status, with a HSBC overdraft calculator available on their website to help work out how much interest you’ll be charged.

If you are new to HSBC, you will be entitled to a free £75 when using the Current Account Switch Service to transfer your balance, Direct Debits and any future payments to your new account.

You get a free 12 month British Cycling membership, giving you access to exclusive rates on bike repairs and insurance, as well as tickets to cycling events.

You also get the chance to earn cashback on purchases made with your debit card at selected retailers.

HSBC Pay Monthly Bank Account

A HSBC Pay Monthly Bank Account is similar in many ways to the HSBC Bank Account, but you are charged £10 every month for a host of additional extras.

To apply for a HSBC Pay Monthly Bank Account, you must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Pay at least £500 a month (or £3,000 over 6 months) into your account, unless you’re younger than 24.

These extras include things like exclusive rates on savings accounts, earning 3.0% interest with a Regular Saver on up to £3,000 for 12 months.

You also get preferential rates on travel money with HSBC, with commission-free foreign currency available for amounts between £100 and £2,500.

On top of that, you get an overdraft buffer of £50, meaning that you get up to £50 as a fee-free overdraft to help you cover any emergency costs that might occur.

You do not get a £75 switching bonus when opening a HSBC Pay Monthly Bank Account, but you can earn up to £100 in cashback when using your card to shop with partnered retailers.

HSBC Basic Bank Account

A HSBC Basic Bank Account is designed for those who have encountered financial difficulty and struggle to be accepted for other current accounts.

To apply for a HSBC Bank Account, you must:

  • Be 16 or older
  • Live within the EU
  • Close all other payment accounts with other banks

The account comes with a contactless debit card and full access to HSBC online and mobile banking, but some services such as overdrafts and selected savings accounts are unavailable.

Similar to their other current accounts, you can earn up to £100 in cashback at selected retailers when you shop using your HSBC debit card.

HSBC Premium Current Accounts

HSBC have 2 current accounts which would be classed as ‘premium’ accounts, meaning that they offer greater incentives in return for a higher income.

HSBC Advance Bank Account

  • Requires a minimum monthly income of £1,750
  • Contactless debit card
  • Preferential rats on savings and overdraft
  • 12 month British Cycling membership
  • £500 daily cash withdrawal limit
  • Access to HSBC Advance member's portal

HSBC Premier Bank Account

  • See requirements below
  • Contactless debit card
  • Switching bonus worth an average of £330
  • £500 interest-free arranged overdraft
  • 12 month British Cycling membership
  • £1000 daily cash withdrawal limit
  • Complimentary worldwide travel insurance

HSBC Advance Bank Account

With a HSBC Advance Bank Account, you are entitled to a range of extra perks for no additional monthly fee.

To qualify for a HSBC Advance Bank Account, you must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Pay at least £1,750 into the account monthly (or £10,500 every 6 months)
  • Live within the EU

The account comes with an exclusive contactless debit card, with the incentive of a free £175 when new customers switch using the Current Account Switch Service.

HSBC Advance account holders also get an exclusive rate of 5% on a Regular Saver for 12 months up to a maximum of £3000, earning a potential £81 in interest over the year.

Preferential rates will also be available for overdrafts, subject to status.

You will also gain access to the HSBC Advance member’s portal, where you’ll find discounts on restaurants, attractions, holidays and competitions.

You will also get a free 12 month British Cycling membership and a daily cash withdrawal limit of £500.

HSBC Premier Current Account

A HSBC Premier Current Account entitles you to a wide range of benefits from HSBC and their partner companies, at no monthly cost.

In order to qualify for a HSBC Premier Current Account, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • You have a minimum individual income of £75,000 and a HSBC mortgage, investment, life insurance or protection product.
  • You have investments or savings of at least £50,000 with HSBC UK
  • You have a HSBC Premier Current Account in another country

Switching to a HSBC Premier Current Account with the Current Account Switch Service will entitle you to either a free family getaway to a Merlin Entertainments resort or a luxury overnight stay for two.

You also get complimentary worldwide travel insurance with Aviva and a dedicated ‘Premier Relationship Management’ service to offer you support and advice around the clock.

Your daily cash withdrawal limit rises to £1,000, with the option of an interest-free arranged overdraft of up to £500, subject to status.

*HSBC Premier and HSBC Advance current account holders will not pay a 2% cash fee on withdrawals.

HSBC Youth and Student Accounts

HSBC offer 3 accounts for young people: Student Bank Account, Graduate Bank Account and MyMoney Children’s Bank Account.

Student Bank Account

  • Contactless debit card
  • Fee-free overdraft up to £3000
  • Mobile and online banking
  • Access to Regular Savings
  • Student exclusives

Graduate Bank Account

  • Contactless debit card
  • Fee-free overdraft up to £3000
  • Mobile and online banking
  • Access to Regular Savings

MyMoney Children's Bank Account

  • Contactless debit card at age 11
  • No overdraft
  • Mobile and online banking
  • Access to MyMoney Savings

Student Bank Account

When opening a HSBC Student Bank Account, first-year students will get £100 added to your account balance as a welcome present.

In order to qualify for a Student Bank Account, you must:

  • Be 18 or over
  • Have been a UK resident for more than 3 years
  • Not hold a student account elsewhere
  • Be studying, or intend to study, a full time course or apprenticeship OR be a post graduate who has completed an undergraduate degree in the last 3 years
  • Have proof of acceptance or student status for a qualifying course

With a student bank account you are provided with a contactless debit card for your current account, as well as an arranged fee-free overdraft of £1,000, with that limit increasing throughout your time of study.

You will also get full access to the HSBC mobile banking app and a HSBC Regular Saver with 3% interest on savings up to £3,000 for 12 months.

The account also provides you with a range of student exclusives, from freebies to competition entries.

Graduate Bank Account

Handling your finances post-graduation can be difficult. HSBC’s Graduate Bank Account is designed to make it that little bit easier.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Have graduated within the last 2 years

The account entitles you to a fee-free overdraft of up to £1,500 in your first year after graduation, dropping to £1,000 in the second year.

You can also make use of one of HSBC’s best savings accounts, the Regular Saver, and their mobile banking app.

MyMoney Children’s Bank Account

A HSBC MyMoney Children’s Bank Account is designed for children aged 7-17.

To qualify for an account, you must:

  • Be aged 7-17
  • Be a UK resident

A MyMoney savings account can be set up for children as young as 7, with a current account available for those aged 11+.

The current account comes with a contactless debit card with a £100 daily withdrawal limit, but no access to any form of overdraft – you can only spend what you have in the account.

Those aged 11 and up can also register for online and mobile banking.

Spending abroad with HSBC

If you’re planning on using your HSBC debit card abroad, be sure to inform them so that your account isn’t blocked for suspicion of fraudulent activity.

When making purchases on your debit card abroad, you’ll be charged a 2.75% non-sterling fee.

You will also be charged a 2.75% non-sterling transaction fee on any cash withdrawals made abroad, as well as an additional 2% cash fee*. Some ATMs will charge you extra on top to convert and withdraw your currency.

Switching to HSBC - The Current Account Switch Service

Switching banks has never been easier thanks to the Current Account Switch Service. The free service allows you to close down your old account and transfer any existing funds and Direct Debits, as well as any future payments, into your new account with just a few clicks.

HSBC Savings Accounts*

There is an array of HSBC savings accounts available, from high-interest savers to savers for children.

  • The HSBC Regular Savings Account will earn you 2.75% interest for 12 months, on up to a maximum of £3,000. It requires a minimum payment of £25/month to keep the account open and you cannot take money out of the account unless you choose to close it.
  • A HSBC Flexible Savings Account gives you instant access to the money that you have put away, but at a lower interest rate of either 0.10% or 0.15%. There are no minimum payments required and you can open the account with as little as £1.
  • HSBC’s Online Bonus Saver rewards you with 0.40% interest on months where you do not withdraw money from your savings account, with the rate dropping to 0.10% for the months that you do. You are limited to online access, meaning you cannot manage the account in branch or over the phone.
  • A HSBC Fixed Rate Saver gives you access to your savings after a predetermined period of time: either 3 months, 6 months or 1, 2 or 3 years – the longer you stow away your money, the higher your interest rate will be. Rates start at 0.85%, reaching 1.10% when opting for a 3 year fixed term.
  • HSBC Premier Savings is only available for HSBC Premier account holders. You get instant access to your money, with no maximum limit, at an interest rate of 0.20%.
  • A HSBC MySavings account is for children aged between 7 and 17, with an interest rate of 2.96% on savings up to £3,000. A £10 initial deposit is required to open the account, but there are not minimum payments required other than that. Money can be withdrawn from the account at a local branch using the cash book provided, and on the account holder’s 11th birthday, they will become owners of a current account and Visa debit card. Savings over £3,000 will earn 0.75% interest.
  • Finally, a Future Saver for Children is designed for saving towards a child’s future, with a flat interest rate of 0.75%. There is no maximum balance on the account and money can be withdrawn at any time.

HSBC ISAs*

HSBC offer one ISA – the Loyalty Cash ISA.

  • HSBC Loyalty Cash ISA is available for all HSBC customers. However, Premier account holders receive a higher 0.75% interest rate – standard customers earn 0.55%. Loyalty interest rates can be earned by paying a minimum of £1 into your ISA every year. Be warned that you can only pay into one ISA in each tax year.

HSBC also offer a Stocks and Shares ISA, with which you can allow your money to be invested into a range of different investment portfolios in the hope that they will return a profit. The reward can sometimes outweigh the risk, but your investments could decrease in value over time. For more on investing with HSBC, click here.

HSBC Online Banking – Customer Experience

Pros

  • Wealth of information on products
  • Live chat feature

Cons

  • Many problems can't be solved online
  • Complicated log-in process
  • Transferring money can be frustrating

The HSBC UK website is a central hub for HSBC customers, with HSBC internet banking allowing them to move money between accounts, manage personal details and view up to 6 years’ worth of transactions among other things.

The HSBC website provides both existing and potential customers with a wealth of information on the range of services that they offer, from current accounts to mortgages.

The website also has a live chat feature providing quick and convenient access to a HSBC advisor.

Customers who have left reviews on Trustpilot have suggested that the HSBC log-in process is far too complicated, while some are unhappy with the time it takes to transfer money to new and existing payees.

Customers have also complained of several issues encountered online which have required them to visit their local branch.

HSBC Mobile Banking App

Pros

  • Excellend reviews on iOs, good on Android
  • Touch and Face ID enabled
  • Access to live chat
  • View balance in accounts held elsewhere
  • See spending by category

Cons

  • Can't see pending transactions
  • Can't set up or cancel Direct Debits

From over 475,000 reviews of the HSBC Mobile Banking app on the Apple App Store, it has an average rating of 4.8/5. The app’s rating from around 14,000 reviews on the Google Play store average out at around 3.5/5.

The HSBC app allows you to utilise the face and touch identification hardware on your phone (but not yet tablet) to log in, opening up a home page that is clean and tidy with an overview of all of your HSBC accounts. You also have the option to view your balance held in accounts from various other banks.

The app allows you to transfer money both between your own accounts and to others with ease, as well as giving you the option to deposit a cheque by uploading a picture of the front and back of it.

You can view, download and print your bank statements as well as view, and search for, previous transactions. These can be summarised to show you what you’re spending most on, and where you could cut back.

HSBC mobile banking app

The app allows you to report a damaged, missing or stolen card with the click of a button with the option to block and unblock a card whenever you like. You can access the live chat feature to contact a HSBC advisor via the app, while there is also a helpful support section with a range of guides to their different services.

However, HSBC customers have complained that you are unable to view pending transactions, which can be a pain when making purchases over the weekend or on bank holidays as they will not show on your account until the next working day. You are also unable to set up or cancel Direct Debits via the app.

HSBC Rewards

Switching to HSBC

When switching to selected HSBC current accounts, you can earn up to £175 paid directly into your new account. You could also get yourself a trip away worth an average of £330.

HSBC Advance Portal

As a holder of a HSBC Advance Current Account, you gain access into the HSBC Advance Portal. This provides you with benefits such as:

  • Offers at UK attractions and hotels
  • Cinema vouchers
  • Offers on services such as Audible
  • Discounted entry to food and drink festivals
  • Money off your next holiday with selected providers

Customer Reviews

Trustpilot is one of several websites used in the UK by customers wanting to leave a review on their experience with a company.

From around 2,300 reviews on HSBC UK, 87% of customers rated them as ‘bad’ with only 9% of customers claiming that they were above average with their service.

HSBC Trustpilot review

Some of the negative reviews are critical of HSBC customer service, with some customers stating that they received unsatisfactory assistance from HSBC telephone banking phone, HSBC online banking and in-branch support. Many customers are also displeased with the HSBC website, which they claim is now more difficult to use than it had been previously.

A lot of the positive reviews left on Trustpilot make reference to the helpful nature of HSBC’s in-branch employees, while there are also some customers who are complimentary of the live chat service provided both online and through the app. Some customers also suggest that, after encountering a problem, HSBC were quick to act.

All companies, financial provider or otherwise, are likely to run into problems from time to time. Make sure you do your research and consider a wide range of reviews before making your decision.

Ratings (out of 5):

Trustpilot: 1

Reviews.co.uk: 1.5

SmartMoneyPeople: 3.75

ReviewCentre: 2

Average: 2/5

Pros and cons of HSBC

Pros

  • Excellent range of current accounts
  • Excellent range of savings accounts
  • Children's banking
  • Easy to switch
  • Good smartphone app

Cons

  • Limited options for ISAs
  • Website can be difficult to navigate
  • Poor customer reviews

HSBC is a popular choice for banking both in the UK and around the globe.

It has an excellent range of both standard and premium current accounts on offer, which are complimented by its variety of savings accounts that offer competitive interest rates.

The Current Account Switch Service makes it easy to switch to HSBC if you wish to do so and the smartphone app, while lacking in some features, is easy to use once you get past the initial setup.

HSBC only have 3 ISAs available, one of which is for stocks and shares, which is quite limiting. They also have a lot of customers who are unhappy with the service with which they have been provided and their website, at times, leaves a lot to be desired.

HSBC Contact Information

If you’d like to get in touch with a HSBC advisor, contact them via:

  • Phone: 03457 404 404 (UK) or +44 1226 261 010 from abroad for existing customers. Non-HSBC customers should call 03456 040 626 (UK) or +44 1226 261 010 from abroad.
  • Twitter: @HSBCUK
  • Facebook Messenger: HSBC UK
  • Smartphone App

If you found our HSBC bank review useful, take a look at our extended range of reviews for the best UK banks here.

*Rates as of January 2020