Alert “06880” reader Peter Blau is not an HSBC fan.

He writes:

HSBC is closing its Westport branch, in Bedford Square — the one that moved from near Starbucks by Parker Harding Plaza — as well as its 2 remaining Connecticut branches, in Darien and Stamfod.

They opened about 10 Fairfield County branches in 2007-08. By 2011 they had closed all but 3.

In one of the more bizarre bank communications, HSBC tells me I can still enjoy “the same great service and convenient banking accounts” now that “all accounts will move to our Rye City branch.”

That’s right: Rye, New York. 22 miles away, and anywhere from 35 to 85 minutes, depending on traffic.

Not that I worry. I closed my HSBC accounts over 10 years ago, after a comical series of bank errors.

But I thank them for staying in touch.


6 responses to “HSB-Seein’-Ya

  1. Very funny Peter!

  2. John Kelley

    HSBC stood for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. The bank moved its headquarters to London when the Communists took over the mainland, and seriously entered U.S. retail banking with the takeover of Marine Midland Bank, a New York state bank headquartered in Buffalo but with a NYC presence. I guess their foray into Connecticut banking didn’t work out. I’m sure the letter they sent you was a polite way of notify you they plan on closing the branch and give you a chance to close your accounts. I’m sure they really don’t expect people to travel to Rye to do their banking.

    • Interesting back story. But as Peter noted, he closed his accounts over 10 years ago!

    • John, I believe HSBC operated out of Hong Kong for over 40 years after Mao’s revolution. They moved their HQ to London in 1993, not directly due to the pending end of British rule in Hong Kong, but because HSBC has just bought Midland Bank in the UK, and was required to move to London as a condition to the government approval.

  3. Marine Midland – that brings back memories. I had an account there when I was in college at Syracuse U. But don’t ask me how long ago that was!

  4. Amy Swanson

    HSBC (and their offshoot First Direct) were excellent banks when we lived in London. We banked with them for over 20 years. When we came here, it was a very different story. Revolving staff, overly complicated website security measures and a series of errors pushed us to close our accounts as well. Even closing our last (dormant) account recently took a 90-minute visit to the branch. I’m grateful it’s now done, as driving to Rye would’ve added insult to injury!