Dubai couple reject Dh500 offered by HSBC after loan debacle

My husband and I applied for a loan from HSBC but six weeks later we still [at the time of writing] have not had formal confirmation and feel as if we are being messed around with repeated new requirements. We want the loan to consolidate a car loan with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, a personal loan with HSBC and to pay for medical treatment. We initially applied for the loan on October 4, giving all the details, and were told it was approved in principle, subject to various documents being provided. These were duly provided, but we had to wait three weeks for the liability letter from ADIB, so this, plus wage slips, were provided on October 31. We were then told, for the first time, that a salary letter would be required. Naturally this took a few days to get from the employer and it was given to HSBC on November 9. Apparently this is a mandatory requirement but we weren’t told this at outset. There were some further complications because of the sale of a car and we were told on November 14 that it would take three to five days to have the loan money paid to the account. On November 19 nothing had arrived so my husband contacted the person dealing with us, but got no response. He went to the branch to ask them to expedite and was told it was “fine” but two days later there was still no sign of the money. He went back to the branch and was again told it as all “fine” but on November 21 was told the loan couldn’t be processed without a clearance letter. Correspondence was then provided to HSBC on November 23 and he was told by a staff member that he would get the funds by that evening. No money arrived. He was assured he’d get the money the next day. Another meeting, more assurances, yet no money. On November 25 we still did not get the money. HSBC isn’t responding to our enquiries and we are at a loss as to what to do. Please help. PC, Dubai

Mrs C contacted me at this point, as she had missed another deadline for medical treatment and was very upset. I referred the matter to my contacts at HSBC, who confirmed they would look into the matter. Meanwhile, Mr C was asked to complete a new loan application on November 29 and told the funds would clear the same day but 15 minutes before the branch closed he received a call to say it has “gone to central processing and had been denied”. I understand that this was because of there being another loan, although this had been disclosed. Given the amount of time wasted, the best part of two months, Mr and Mrs C have advised that they would be closing their accounts with HSBC and planned to use their savings to cover their expenses. While I appreciate that the declinature may be a matter of bank policy, the problem is more with the way the application was handled and the poor communication and servicing. The only comment HBSC had to make was: “We take every customer complaint very seriously and investigate them thoroughly. HSBC does not comment on specific activity in its customers’ accounts. We are in constant contact with our customer in order to further discuss the matter.” I understand that Mr C has been offered the sum of Dh500 by way of apology but has declined this on principle.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only


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