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ScarletPimpernel v. HSBC


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I am engaging HSBC on several fronts. I had, in the past, a joint account, loan and a credit card with them, and subsequently a solo account. Following the breakdown of my relationship, my wife built up debt with the bank and promptly went abroad, so they pursued me. My attempts to agree repayment came to naught and they defaulted me within 7 days and cancelled the card. I have been paying it all back for several years - the card direct to HSBC card services and the account and loan to MCS. Until recently I had a single account but recently moved to a parachute account.


I did a SAR several months ago that they have still not fully complied with.


I submitted a claim for the charges on one account that they have acknowledged, but I have yet to hear anything from DG.


The overdraft is now disputed because of charges, and I have a nice fat complaint about telephone harassment and breaches of the OFT guidance for them to deal with.


The SAR showed that they don't have an agreement for the card, so no more payments on that.


The amalgamated loan and joint account debt that MCS were dealing with is the most interesting. It seems that MCS don't like SARs; all they have provided is a list of the contents of their file. It's clearly been created just for the SAR, and lists their calls and letters. For example:


(date) letter received - he wants all in writing and is willing to agree payments


(date) CDEA letter sent - full payment now or further action


(date) phoned - gent asks if CDEA and MCS are connected (they have omitted their reply, which was that they were not!)

And so it goes on.


Anyway, this clearly does not comply with the DPA, which requires them to provide copies of the data, not a list of it.


I have spoken to the Information Commissioner's office, who told me that if I complain, the complaint wil be handled individually; only complaints regarding late provision of statements are bundled and sent to the banks en-masse.


So, if HSBC don't comply fully with a SAR, hit them with an ICO complaint! I suspect that this wil cause them a good deal of hasssle, since their default setting is to assume SARs are for statements, and send them to some offshore facility to deal with. If you insist on a full SAR, it goes to a small department in Sheffield to deal with, which would clearly be quickly overwhelmed.

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