So you’re thinking of opening a business bank account and HSBC has caught your eye. As one of the biggest banks in the world, HSBC certainly has a lot to offer for business owners. But is their business banking really all it’s cracked up to be? Before you sign on the dotted line, here are some things you need to know about HSBC’s business banking services.
Overview of HSBC Business Banking
HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations, so their business banking services are comprehensive. An overview:
HSBC offers business checking and savings accounts with low or no monthly fees and competitive interest rates. They have options for startups, small businesses, and large corporations.
- Business Choice Checking is a basic account with unlimited transactions and no monthly service fees.
- Premier Business Money Market account earns interest and has tiered rates.
Loans and lines of credit
HSBC provides various business financing solutions:
- Term loans for equipment, real estate, expansion, etc. with fixed rates and terms from 1 to 25 years.
- Business lines of credit allow you to withdraw funds as needed and pay interest only on amounts used.
- Commercial mortgages to purchase or refinance commercial property. HSBC can finance up to 80% of property value.
- Business credit cards including travel rewards cards for your company expenses.
- Merchant services to accept credit card payments
- Payroll services to pay employees and handle taxes
- Business insurance including liability, property, and workers comp
- Foreign exchange services for international transactions
- Wealth management and investment services
In summary, HSBC business banking provides a robust suite of accounts, loans, and services for companies of nearly any size. However, their fees and rates are not always the most competitive. You’ll need to compare with other top business banks to determine if HSBC is the best choice for your unique needs.
Pros of HSBC Business Banking
One of the biggest pros of HSBC business banking is convenience. With over 2,500 branches in the US alone, there’s likely an HSBC near you. This makes it easy to deposit cash or speak to a banker in person. They also have a slick mobile app so you can bank on the go 24/7.
- Access to real people. HSBC offers dedicated support teams for business clients. You’ll have a direct line to professionals who can help you with loans, lines of credit, merchant services, and more.
- International reach. For businesses trading globally, HSBC is a strong choice. They have a presence in over 60 countries, so you can seamlessly send and receive international wire transfers, access foreign exchange, and open multi-currency accounts.
Competitive rates and fees
HSBC is consistently ranked as having some of the lowest fees among major banks. They offer very competitive rates on business savings accounts, loans, and credit cards. You can often negotiate the specific terms to get the best deal for your business. Some of the areas where HSBC really shines include:
- Business loans and lines of credit. HSBC frequently runs promotions offering rate discounts and cash back for new loan customers. Their base rates are lower than average too.
- High-yield savings. HSBC business savings accounts typically pay higher interest rates than competitors.
- Credit cards. HSBC’s business credit cards come with generous rewards rates, long 0% APR intro periods, and low ongoing APRs.
Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable, full-service bank for your business, HSBC is an excellent choice worth considering. With locations and services to match just about any need, they provide the complete package for most small to mid-size companies.
Cons of HSBC Business Banking
Cons of HSBC Business Banking
HSBC business banking may not be the right choice for every small business. Here are some potential downsides to consider:
After opening your HSBC business account, you may face steep fees for certain transactions and services. HSBC charges monthly maintenance fees for most business checking and savings accounts if you fall below their minimum balance requirements. They also charge for excess transactions like cash deposits, ACH transfers, and wire transfers. These fees can really add up over time and cut into your business’s bottom line.
HSBC’s business loan and line of credit interest rates are often higher than competitors. Their rates for term loans, SBA loans, equipment financing and more tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum. If low-cost financing is important for your business, you may want to shop around at other banks or online lenders.
HSBC’s business banking technology and online services can feel outdated. Their online and mobile banking platforms lack some of the features offered by competitors like transaction categorization, expense management tools and invoicing capabilities. If tech-forward banking solutions are a priority, HSBC may frustrate you.
HSBC has received its fair share of controversy over the years. They have been involved in several money laundering and fraud scandals that have led to hefty fines and damage to their reputation. While HSBC has taken steps to remedy these issues, their past missteps may still give some business owners pause.
In summary, while HSBC business banking has its benefits like a global reach and a variety of products, their high fees, less competitive rates, outdated technology and past scandals are worth considering before you open an account. For some businesses, another bank may prove to be a better fit.
Comparing HSBC to Other Top Business Banks
When comparing HSBC to other top business banking options, there are some pros and cons to consider based on your company’s needs.
HSBC’s business banking fees are generally lower than major competitors like Chase and Citibank. There are no maintenance fees for most business checking accounts as long as you meet their low minimum balance requirement. They also refund a portion of other banks’ ATM fees with their business debit cards. However, wire transfers and overdraft fees can be higher than average. It may pay to compare specific fees for services you use frequently.
Locations and ATMs
HSBC has a large international presence with locations in 54 countries, but their U.S. branch network is quite limited, spanning only 8 states. If in-person banking and easy access to ATMs is a priority, you may prefer a bank with more national reach like Wells Fargo or Bank of America. That said, HSBC’s online and mobile banking services are robust, allowing you to handle most transactions digitally if needed.
Online reviews highlight HSBC’s customer service as an area that could use improvement. Phone wait times can be long and service reps have limited authority to resolve issues. If premium business support and strong personal relationships are important, you may find service lacking. However, their online tools and resources for small businesses are helpful. It depends on how much direct interaction and hand-holding you require from your bank.
Where HSBC really shines is in their international services for businesses. They make it easy to transfer funds and conduct transactions across borders and in multiple currencies. If your company imports, exports, has subsidiaries abroad or deals in foreign exchange, HSBC should definitely be on your short list. Their global expertise and reach is unmatched among top U.S. banks.
In summary, HSBC is a solid, low-cost option for small to mid-sized businesses, especially those with international interests. However, limited locations and customer service are downsides to keep in mind. Comparing specific features, fees and services that are most meaningful for your unique needs is the best way to determine if HSBC is the right choice for your company.
Is HSBC Business Banking Right for Your Company?
Now that you understand the pros and cons of HSBC business banking, you need to determine if their services are the right fit for your company’s needs. Some things to consider:
Your business goals
Think about your short-term and long-term goals. Do you plan to expand internationally? HSBC’s global reach and foreign exchange services could help. Want to streamline payments or optimize cash flow? Their accounts payable and receivable solutions may be useful. If your goals align with HSBC’s products and expertise, they could be a good partner.
HSBC caters to businesses of all sizes, but their fees and account requirements may strain smaller companies. Evaluate if you have enough revenue, transactions, and cash flow to make their accounts and services cost-effective. If not, you might look for a bank that specializes in small business.
Location and access
HSBC has over 4,000 branches worldwide, but their U.S. presence is more limited. See if they have convenient branch locations and ATMs for your needs. Also consider if their online and mobile banking platforms provide sufficient access. For some, an online-focused bank is perfectly suitable while others prefer more in-person options.
Choose a bank that shares your values like corporate social responsibility. HSBC has initiatives around environmental sustainability, financial education, and community investment. But if things like local community support or diversity and inclusion are top priorities for you, compare HSBC’s values and programs to other banks.
In summary, evaluating your business goals, resources, preferred access, and values can help determine if HSBC is the right financial partner. Their global capabilities and range of services appeal to many companies, but make sure their offerings genuinely match your top needs and priorities before switching your accounts. For some, a regional or online bank may be a better fit. Take your time exploring all options to find what’s right for your unique situation.
So there you have it, the pros and cons of HSBC business banking laid out for you. Only you can decide if the benefits outweigh the potential downsides for your unique situation. As with any bank, HSBC isn’t perfect but for many business owners the convenience, services and competitive rates make it an attractive option, especially if you value a global presence and online access. At the end of the day, you need to go with what lets you focus on what really matters – growing your business. If HSBC checks those boxes for you, great. If not, keep looking. The choice is yours.