"FGN Payment Limit" - HSBC £6 charge

HSBC FGN Payment Limit - £6 charge
HSBC FGN Payment Limit???
I was reviewing my HSBC Business banking statement over the weekend, when I noticed a £6 charge for "FGN Payment Limit". Not having a clue what this charge was, or what "FGN" stood for, I immediately phoned the bank to get some answers.
Once I managed to navigate the awful automated telephone banking system (press 1 for this, press 2 for that etc etc) I finally managed to reach a human operator.

The operator informed me that the FGN Payment Limit Charge was a newly introduced monthly fee of £6 to allow me to transfer up to £10k per transaction from my UK HSBC business bank account to international bank accounts via the internet – a service that until now had been included with internet banking for free!!

FGN Payment Limit - HSBC

When I explained that I didn’t make international transfers, so didn’t need a £10k limit in place, and therefore didn’t want to pay the £6 fee, I was informed that if I didn’t pay the fee, I would not be able to transfer any money at all via the internet to international banks.

So, its either pay HSBC £6 per month for the ability to transfer money electronically to international banks, or don’t pay the £6 fee and have to resort to telephone banking to transfer money internationally. It’s a kind of “Internet Banking Tax”. If you wish to use the internet for moving money, you must pay HSBC a fee.

When I opened my HSBC business bank account, the promise of “Free banking for 18months” wasn’t entirely correct. What they seem to have neglected to mention was that during my 18 month free banking period, elements of the service that were free would quietly get charged for…

And I’m not alone! Having spoken to business contacts and fellow HSBC business account holders, they too have been charged £6 for "FGN Payment Limit", and they also don’t remember ever being notified that this previously free service would suddenly become a premium chargeable service. Can we really all be wrong? Can anyone else rememebr receiving a letter or email explaining that we would soon be charged for this servic??

I tried doing a search on the HSBC website for “FGN Payment Limit” – the result was zero results found (see screenshot)

Even though HSBC were “kind enough” to reverse the charge (and very quick to offer to do so, suggesting I wasn’t the first customer to complain) , I’ve now lost the ability to transfer money internationally. In my view, this is very poor service. For a bank that sells its self as “The worlds local bank”, to charge UK customers a fee for the privilege of using internet banking to transfer money out of the country is very bad.

But what really annoys me is the sneaky underhanded way they have implemented this charge. How many companies wont notice this fee? Its just like someone at HSBC as said, “Lets stick a six quid charge on everyone’s account for something that was previously free, hopefully the wont notice, but and if anyone complains, we’ll just refund them”.

And after all this, I still have no idea what “FGN Payment Limit" actually means…

HSBC – you have lost a lot of credibility with this little stunt…