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Mr William Cambridge
30-09-2013, 13:40
Hello,

My bank in the UK was HSBC.
Does anyone here bank with hSBC in Moscow?
Can you tell me if your experiences were positive or negative please?

Thank you.

SV1973a
30-09-2013, 17:23
Hello,

My bank in the UK was HSBC.
Does anyone here bank with hSBC in Moscow?
Can you tell me if your experiences were positive or negative please?

Thank you.

HSBC does not offer banking services for retail customers in Russia any longer.
I recently tried to open an expat account at HSBC, but my application was refused.
I tried to get some feedback as to why my application was refused, since I meet all the criteria (at least those that they openly publish).
HSBC is hiding behind some `internal policies` that cannot be disclosed.
So you can say, my experience with HSBC is very negative.

frankjohn2
30-09-2013, 23:11
It was amazing while HSBC operated retail banking in Russia ... sadly it was discontinued in 2011. :(

Not sure what the previous poster is on about since HSBC offers NO accounts to individuals in Russia anymore. Those of us who had them were forced to close them in June of 2011.

SV1973a
01-10-2013, 08:36
It was amazing while HSBC operated retail banking in Russia ... sadly it was discontinued in 2011. :(

Not sure what the previous poster is on about since HSBC offers NO accounts to individuals in Russia anymore. Those of us who had them were forced to close them in June of 2011.

I applied beginning of September for an expat premium account at HSBC in Jersey. This is targetted at expats all over the world. There were a couple of requirements, one of them being that you needed to keep 65000 GBP or so, at all moment on your accounts. And there were also some salary requirements.
I met all these requirements, and when I called their customer service they advised me to fill in and send the application documents (which already is kind of difficult to do, if you are in Moscow, and you need certified copies).
Two weeks after that I got a mail that they cannot offer me banking services.
I called them to inquire what was wrong, but they simply say they cannot give a reason, as this is against bank policy.
The frustrating part is that they refused to open an account, and they didn`t give an explanation. All I know is that I currently don`t meet the criteria, but I am left in the dark as to which criteria precisely.
Just to check, I called the customer service again, told the same story (expat in Russia, well paid job as general director of a us company, ...).
Of course the girl said, `yes sir, you can apply for the expat premium account`...

Benedikt
01-10-2013, 10:53
Hello,

My bank in the UK was HSBC.
Does anyone here bank with hSBC in Moscow?
Can you tell me if your experiences were positive or negative please?

Thank you.

nothing better. Of course i am biased, I am an Austrain and a client with the bank since i got my first salary....

they for sure must be in the Uk as well.Transfer all you have there,or at least open a new account,makes than transfers and the likes easier.
The abnk offers -Raiffeisen connect- internet banking, you can do all your work from at home. however being in Russia, most tellers speak russian only, but you can find out who speaks english and they are always willing ot help, even if it might be just for a (technical) translation job.

Torres
06-10-2013, 02:57
Hello,

My bank in the UK was HSBC.
Does anyone here bank with hSBC in Moscow?
Can you tell me if your experiences were positive or negative please?

Thank you.

My bank in the US is HSBC too. It appears that those bustards are all over the place, except Russia. Good for Russia!

Atironta
23-10-2013, 20:24
I opened HSBC account while I lived in Toronto just because it was the only bank in Canada that allowed transferring money to the account in Russia, which I registered in my branch in advance. And the HSBC account was free of any service charge. Then they introduced service charges. When I actually wanted to wire money it turned out they introduced some security device you need to do that. I ordered it and it didn't arrive. As a result, I lost an access to my Internet banking account. I ordered it again, it haven't come so far, so I am going to lose the access again in 5 days. All I can do to get my money is to withdraw $250 from ATM everyday paying $3 for every transaction. I wonder if they hassle just me or anybody else.
Now you can guess what I think about HSBC.:fudd:

Elano
24-10-2013, 22:45
Hi,

Similar situation. I am a UK expat in Moscow, been banking with HSBC in Jersey for 16 years. They wrote to me last month to say my account is being closed in January 2014. The big question is - where else to bank offshore? I have tried numerous multinational banks (Natwest, Barclays, Citibank, Santander), and they all require a deposit of between GBP 50,000 - GBP 150,000, just to open a simple current account in an offshore jurisdiction.

If anyone has any suggestions of an offshore banking set up, where such large sums are not required to be kept on deposit, please let me know,

Many thanks.

tonytony
25-10-2013, 01:44
If anyone has any suggestions of an offshore banking set up, where such large sums are not required to be kept on deposit, please let me know,

Many thanks.


Elano,

Without meaning to sound rude, if you don't have those sort of quantities anyway then I really don't understand the need for an offshore account anyway.

Typically, savings accounts are paying 0.5% gross interest. So, if you've got 50k in the account then you'll earn 250 in interest and have 50 in tax withheld at source.

Is it really worth all the hassle for fifty quid?

To be frank, if you're being paid in roubles then you would probably be better off opening a rouble savings account in Russia. Currently, Raiffeisen are paying at least 2.5%:-

http://www.raiffeisen.ru/retail/termdeposits/savingaccount/


I presume that you're here on a HQS visa and so you're just paying 13% tax on your income anyway.

If you are here on a HQS visa then please don't think that you can easily get paid offshore. Your employer will need to report to the tax authorities how much they are paying you quarterly.

On the other hand, if you are only declaring the minimum salary required for a HQS visa in Russia and the rest is being paid offshore then I would have thought that the minimum deposit requirements for offshore banks would have been no problem for you - otherwise why even bother with all the hassle for very minimal tax benefits?

ilya25
26-10-2013, 00:11
Agree I don't understand why a foreign account is needed for a foreigner working in Russia Russian salary should be pain in RUR to Russian bank account
Russian banks offer all kinds of services now

Bodge
27-10-2013, 19:23
Raiffaisen seems to be the best bet.

Abydosxr
04-11-2013, 12:48
Raiffeisen is your solution.

With Raiffeisen Connect (internet banking) you can VERY easily receive your salary paid into your RUB account. As an expat you also get/can open a EUR and USD accounts.

It is VERY easy to transfer money between your own accounts here in Russia, including Foreign Exchange (FX) transfers between your own accounts here (e.g. a transfer of RUB funds every month into a Raifeissen USD account, online).

Raifeissen now use a very useful SMS (text) verification system when you want to authorise a transfer between your accounts. You set up the transfer, online, press the "get an SMS code" button, they SMS/text you to your cell/mobile, you put in the code, you wait the 24 hours or whatever to receive your funds.

Similarly you can then set up an Overseas transfer. Very easy if you are the same account owner both ends (e.g. transfer USD from Raifeissen USD account to HSBC USD account in Jersey). Again there is a SMS verification tool.

Once the money is in Jersery (USD) you can then make any transfers within the HSBC "Global" network almost instantly, including FX swapping, at very good currency exchange rates. (e.g. Jersey USD to UK GBP, or straight to HSBC in the US). HSBC use a physical tool to verify your transfers. It looks like a mini-calculator and you need to input codes when prompted. I suggest you get that in the UK or US.

Note that all my exeriences involved fully paid up taxed salary (HQS) where I have paid full tax at source via my paycheck by my Company, and everything is transparent. Don't even try to evade tax here. Anyway, why would you? Tax is 13% here on HQS, one of the best rates in a non island-shelter in the World. Actually, I am HAPPY to pay 13% accross the board, which is a very reasonable rate, there is no reason to evade reasonable taxes. After all, if you do live here your taxes contribute to the environment you are living in and society here.

Bottom line, especially if you are a Brit, I recommend Raiffeisen all day, every day.

FatAndy
04-11-2013, 14:04
You may open usd or eur type account w/o being an expat. Sber does it in 1 day.

tonytony
04-11-2013, 16:59
Note that all my exeriences involved fully paid up taxed salary (HQS) where I have paid full tax at source via my paycheck by my Company, and everything is transparent. Don't even try to evade tax here. Anyway, why would you? Tax is 13% here on HQS, one of the best rates in a non island-shelter in the World. Actually, I am HAPPY to pay 13% accross the board, which is a very reasonable rate, there is no reason to evade reasonable taxes. After all, if you do live here your taxes contribute to the environment you are living in and society here.

Bottom line, especially if you are a Brit, I recommend Raiffeisen all day, every day.


Totally agree with what you say. A lot of people don't seem to realise that Russia is a pretty good tax haven for ordinary people.

On a salary of 5 million roubles then you are taking home 4.35 million roubles net. If you were earning this much in the UK then you would only take home 3.25 million roubles

rabi
20-11-2013, 10:12
and while it will take a few weeks before they come to Moscow, it is definitely worthwhile to get acquainted with the new bill.

GlitterQueen
28-11-2013, 20:39
Talking of bank accounts, I understand that to open an account I need to get a notarised translation of my passport into Russian. Haven't got a clue where to start. Who does notarised translations and how much do they cost?

inorcist
28-11-2013, 21:14
Talking of bank accounts, I understand that to open an account I need to get a notarised translation of my passport into Russian. Haven't got a clue where to start. Who does notarised translations and how much do they cost?

Any Notarius in town should be able to do that in no time - and there are many, just look around. Cost is about 1'500 Rub as far as I know.

Rumor also has it that major banks nowadays are fine with just your passport and migration card when opening an account.

Benedikt
29-11-2013, 05:09
Talking of bank accounts, I understand that to open an account I need to get a notarised translation of my passport into Russian. Haven't got a clue where to start. Who does notarised translations and how much do they cost?



and this has nothing to do with bureaucracy. you might be aware that maybe a teller might translate your name wrong, from english/german/whatever into russian language. and one wrong letter might give hassles and problems without end. this is more a safe guard for you and them.

for instance:Maier,Meier,Mayer sound all the same, but are written with different letters. In russian language as well. And one Mr Maier will be glad to have it done correctly and the money will not be wired to Mr Mayer. (despite having different accounts, if the name is not correct the banks computers will not accept it anyway).

SV1973a
29-11-2013, 09:03
and this has nothing to do with bureaucracy. you might be aware that maybe a teller might translate your name wrong, from english/german/whatever into russian language. and one wrong letter might give hassles and problems without end. this is more a safe guard for you and them.

for instance:Maier,Meier,Mayer sound all the same, but are written with different letters. In russian language as well. And one Mr Maier will be glad to have it done correctly and the money will not be wired to Mr Mayer. (despite having different accounts, if the name is not correct the banks computers will not accept it anyway).

But on the Russian visa in your passport, you have the official Russian translation of your name. Why should you need a notarised translation ?

inorcist
29-11-2013, 09:08
But on the Russian visa in your passport, you have the official Russian translation of your name. Why should you need a notarised translation ?

Not every foreigner coming to Russia needs a visa.

SV1973a
29-11-2013, 09:10
Not every foreigner coming to Russia needs a visa.

True.
But then again, those that do need a visa have a Russian transcription in their passport, so why should those need a notarised translation ?

inorcist
29-11-2013, 09:14
Brazilians, Israelis and so on have Russian transcriptions in their passports? :question:

SV1973a
29-11-2013, 09:20
Brazilians, Israelis and so on have Russian transcriptions in their passports? :question:

No, but the rule could be that those people that have a Russian visa issued by the Russian authorities (or even passport with Russian as official language if that exists),don`t need a notarised translation.
Those that don`t have a Russian transcription (Brazilians, Turks,...) in their passport need to get a notarised translation.

inorcist
29-11-2013, 09:32
There were some news recently that rules will be changed. And a notarized translation won't be needed any more if the Russian spelling of ones credentials is already provided through any other official document such as migration card, visa, registration.

SV1973a
29-11-2013, 09:35
There were some news recently that rules will be changed. And a notarized translation won't be needed any more if the Russian spelling of ones credentials is already provided through any other official document such as migration card, visa, registration.

That would be a good thing to simplify life. Although it is not a big deal to get a notarised translation of your passport. Everything that can be done to make things easier are welcome.

Moscowclog
29-11-2013, 11:36
Given the situation around Master Bank I can understand why people would be uncomfortable with holding large savings in Russian banks. The secured limit of 700k Rub is relatively easy to reach in one bank and I don't see many expats open multiple bank accounts in Russia.
This leaves you a choice to either increase your savings to amounts well over 700k or to consider sending your money elsewhere. Problem with that is that just the fact that you are based in Russia scares the living daylight out of compliance at banks hence many people get refused even if they have enough funds to open an account.

How has the situation with Master Bank effected your trust in the banks here?

SV1973a
29-11-2013, 11:43
Problem with that is that just the fact that you are based in Russia scares the living daylight out of compliance at banks hence many people get refused even if they have enough funds to open an account.


That is true. I tried to open an account at HSBC (their offers for expats). I met all their criteria, at least those that were announced on the website, but still got refused.
They did not explain, saying some corporate speak like `we regret that the bank does not need to explain a commercial decision` and the likes.
If they would have told me this before I took the effort to send my application (and get the documents), I wouldn`t have needed to spend money.
Anyway, HSBC seems to be the bank of crooks anyway. Just recently it has come out in public that they helped 3000 or so rich countryman to avoid taxes. Not passively, but with active help.

Moscowclog
29-11-2013, 11:52
As for Russian Banks I personally can recommend Alfa bank. Especially their internet banking service is very useful. One small issue is that the interface is in Russian though so not that great for non-Russian speakers.

inorcist
29-11-2013, 13:04
How has the situation with Master Bank effected your trust in the banks here?

The entire Master Bank thing has been in the news for about two years when the central bank issued a first warning to them. Then last year in April an official investigation started. The red flags were there.

To be honest, if I place a sizable amount with a single bank I better do my diligence before that. No matter which country I'm in. Pro memoria: Just a few years ago a lot of US banks defaulted.

Benedikt
30-11-2013, 08:18
But on the Russian visa in your passport, you have the official Russian translation of your name. Why should you need a notarised translation ?


and THAT was the reason i suggested it..... lapse of memory that is was only a few short years back i also had to do the visa runs....:5387:

swansong
01-12-2013, 12:22
i'm gonna jump into the fray here....
From what I recollect, HSBC quit doing consumer banking because it was to much hassle and not enough profits. Seem to remem seeing an article about it on MosTimes or somewhere when it happened back then. They only do corporate banking now. ING too (who is a pretty good for online banking). I think the only foreign banks that do well here are Citi and Raiff. I myself have VTB and Sber.
For the poster who asked about translation.... when you get it done, ask for like 6 copies. You never know when you will need one for something.
About the 'name spelled in Russian on visa so why bother with a translation'... banks require your passport info page translated. As for the visa, I have like 13 in my passport, half with мягкий знак inserted in my middle name, half without. Which has caused paperwork problems before.

Hope this helps.

Moscowclog
02-12-2013, 18:21
About the 'name spelled in Russian on visa so why bother with a translation'... banks require your passport info page translated. As for the visa, I have like 13 in my passport, half with мягкий знак inserted in my middle name, half without. Which has caused paperwork problems before.

Can't agree more. This is especially important if you have a residency permit or an intention to get one. Different spelling of your name on documents can cause huge delays. Therefore best is to pick one translation and stick to this one when you do the other documents. (This would be your valid visa translation obviously) I've literally spelled my name for the translation agencies to make sure they put it down as I needed it to be spelled and not as their 'artistic impression' of how my name sounds like to their translator. This is normal so just insist or find another translation agency. There are millions out there in Moscow anyway.