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I bank with HSBC. HSBC is a huge organisation having a market capitalisation of over £100,000,000,000. As far as I can tell it was largely unaffected by the recent banking crisis. If it had any bad debts they were but a pinprick in its enormous size. It trades on reliability and safety, rather than on flashy products, and on most of its accounts pays derisory rates of interest.

Until recently its log on process to carry out internet banking transactions, was one of the most irksome I have had to go through, being spread out over several screens and requiring me to look up individual digits from my password. I was happy to put up with the irk as this seemed to me to be secure.

Now however it has "upgraded" its security. To me, the customer, this makes the process immensely more irksome as it now involves a second computer which is dedicated to the task of generating passcodes. This second computer takes the form of a credit card sized object, rather like a calculator. In order to use it I need a security code. On entering my security code the device shows me a security code. I then enter this 6 digit security code into my main computer. I can't tell if I have made an error as the new code appears only as a series of dots. Given that I am only going to use this code once it is of no possible use to any one looking over my shoulder. Why not show it on the screen, so that I can check it? 

HSBC's suggestion is that I should carry this second computer about with me on my keyring!

For all this additional irk, I do not believe the process is one jot more secure. HSBC did not provide a satisfactory answer to my enquiry about the cost-benefit analysis of the additional irk.

  • So I'm now looking to move my current account. The characteristics I am looking in my new bank are:
  • A secure but manageable log on process, using only one computer
  • Linked deposit and current accounts -
  1. so that my standing orders / direct debits are honoured even if the current account has insufficient funds
  2. so that my surplus funds are transferred to an interest bearing deposit account without my intervention
  • A current account that pays a good rate of interest

A range of additional accounts and services to cover other financial eventualities


Things I think I don't need, include:

  • Annual travel insurance
  • A monthly fee
Any ideas?

Tags: hsbc, online, security

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Now, I've had some trouble with Nationwide. A fixed term deposit has just matured and been transferred to an account paying no interest at all. I can't really complain about that it is standard banking practice. So i look on the Nationwide site for a new fixed deposit to roll it over into and find one called Mysave. Its not the best possible rate I could get , by a few decial places, but near enough for the convenience of being able to do an internal transfer. BUT!! The MYSAVE account is actually administered not onthe Nationwide site but on a completely different site. And they insist of logging me out of one site as I log on to the other. and they insist I change my password. And the NAtionwide site has a stupid calculator thing which demands a debit card and a PIN to make it work, but MYSAVE doesn't. WTF are these morons doing???
Have you seen the advertisement in which HSBC push their irritating little calculator as being a good thing. Some poor bloke has a few quid in a puzzle box and can't get it out. Just like trying to use an HSBC internet account if you've misplaced the stupid little calculator thing. As counter productive a piece of advertising as I've seen
I've just seen a forum on the Which site where a great many other people hate these security gizmos and share my doubts about the extra security achieved


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