HSBC Bank Canada, formerly known as Hongkong Bank of Canada, is the seventh largest bank in Canada and is the largest bank in Canada owned by a foreign company. HSBC itself is one of the largest banking and financial service organizations globally, with more than 40 million customers and branches in over 64 countries and territories.
The bank has been serving Canadian customers since 1981. It has acquired multiple banks throughout its three decades of existence, positioning it as a bank with a very robust international presence.
As with most large banks, HSBC Bank Canada offers money exchange services and has its own exchange rates and transfer fees. Anyone looking to send or receive money abroad through HSBC Bank Canada should be aware of these fees to know precisely how much money will be involved.
As of 28 May 2021, their USD to CAD rate is 1.19, while their CAD to USD rate is 0.81. For European currencies, the GBP to CAD rate is $1.671, while the EUR to CAD rate is $1.429.
Forex rates change every day, so it’s best to check the bank’s exchange rates right before making a transfer.
As of 31 May 2021, their foreign exchange margin rate is 6.1%, according to TransferSupermarket.
To prevent any confusion, HSBC Bank Canada has an exchange rate calculator on its website. You can input the amount of money that will be sent, along with the sending and receiving currencies. The website gives you exactly how much the recipient will receive after all exchange rates are computed.
For wire transfers from an HSBC Bank Canada personal account where the currency used is different from the currency of the sending account, HSBC Canada does not impose any fees, provided that the total amount of the money to be sent is less than $10,000 equivalent.
However, you should note that the waiver of transfer fees for receiving accounts with a different currency only means that the sender does not have to pay a transfer fee. Instead, the transfer fee is charged to the recipient. This means they receive the transfer amount minus the relevant transfer fee in addition to other charges that their own bank or institution may impose.
For all other wire transfers that do not meet the conditions above, HSBC Bank Canada charges the sender $40 - $90 per transfer depending on the amount of the money transferred and whether the transfer was done through online banking or at an HSBC branch in Canada.
Since international money transfers usually involve two different currencies, you will have waived transfer fees most of the time if you have a personal account with HSBC. However, if you don’t have an HSBC Bank Canada personal account, or the recipient’s bank account is in the same currency as the sending account’s currency, just be mindful of the bank’s transfer fees.
International money transfer providers have a GBP to CAD rate of $1.696 - $1.703, while the EUR to CAD rate is $1.459 - $1.465.
Comparing this to HSBC Bank Canada’s GBP-CAD rate of $1.671 and its EUR-CAD rate of $1.429, it seems that international money transfer providers have a narrow edge, but HSBC Bank Canada’s rates are close enough to be competitive,
The main draw, however, is the transfer fees. With HSBC Bank Canada, there are no transfer fees if you are sending from an HSBC Bank Canada personal account. The recipient uses a different currency than the one used by the sending account. On the other hand, money transfer providers like Wise, Azimo, and Skrill have a fixed transfer fee of 2.28 – 4.22 CAD.
Another thing you should consider is that with HSBC Bank Canada, there is no minimum transfer. In contrast, international money transfer providers usually have a minimum transfer of GBP 100.00 or EUR 100.00 or its equivalent in the local currency.
All things considered, if you can meet the conditions for HSBC Bank Canada to waive its transfer fees, then you are better off using them for an international money transfer. However, it might be better to use international money transfer providers for large transfers and same-currency transfers.
Again, you should keep in mind that waived transfer fees are not absolutely waived; instead, they are charged to the recipient’s account. If you meet the conditions for the waived transfer fee, but the recipient needs a specific amount of money, you might end up shouldering the waived transfer fee anyway by increasing the amount you are sending.
Any financial service has pros and cons, and HSBC Bank Canada is no exception.
All these considered international money transfers with HSBC Bank Canada involve prioritization: convenience or costs. If you want to send money quickly and with the least hassle possible, transferring through HSBC Bank Canada is a good option. This is so especially since their exchange rate is competitive.
On the other hand, if you’re conscious about the transfer fees and transfer period, you might want to exert the extra effort to use dedicated money transfer providers.
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Domestic account opening can be done through this link, which comes with a welcome bonus of $300.00. However, international account opening can only be done by sending an email or making a phone call first.
Money transfers can be done online, through the app, or through one of HSBC Bank Canada’s many branches.
First, you must send an email to HSBC Bank Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can call their Global International Banking Centre at:
1-888-280-4722 (Toll-free North America)
1-604-419-4169 (Outside North America)
(9:00 am - 8:00 pm EST)
After that, an HSBC International Case Manager will handle your application and request the necessary documents from you. Once all forms and documents are submitted, you will have to wait for up to 30 days for HSBC Bank Canada to process your application and open your account.
For full details, you can check out their webpage on international account opening.
Transferring money can be made through online banking, the mobile app, or through a branch. Domestic transfers through online banking or the mobile app are done through INTERAC and are free. On the other hand, international transfers or transfers exceeding $7,000.00 are classified as wire transfers and are subject to transfer fees.
While sending money generally does not have any fees, receiving money via wire transfer has a fee of $17.00 per transfer.
Free INTERAC e-Transfers are applicable only for amounts less than CAD 7000.00 and require the recipient to have a Canadian bank account. If the transfer amount is greater than CAD 7000.00 or the transfer is to non-Canadian banks, the transfer will be treated as a wire transfer subject to the transfer fees of $40 - $90.
HSBC Bank Canada has premium accounts called HSBC Premier and HSBC Advance. Customers with these accounts have an additional privilege: Global Transfers, allowing them to send — with no fees — up to USD 100,000.00 or its equivalent per day to any bank in the world.
For general banking inquiries, you can call them at 1-888-310-4722. You can also send them a mail at this address:
885 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3E9
Finally, you can book an appointment through this link.
For concerns on online and mobile banking, you can call them at 1-877-621-8811. Lost or stolen cards have different contact numbers depending on the card, whether it is an HSBC Bank Card (1-888-310-4722), and HSBC Mastercard (1-866-406-4722), or an HSBC Premier Mastercard (1-866-405-4722).
HSBC Premier Customers with Premier accounts can call 1-866-233-3838 from Canada and the United States, or call collect 1-604-216-8800 from anywhere globally.
HSBC Premier Customers with concerns about their HSBC Premier Mastercard can call 1-866-405-4722 from Canada, the USA, and Europe. Foreign Premier customers can call collect 1-905-415-4722.
Business and Corporate Banking Customers can call 1-866-808-4722. This line is available only on Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm EST (6:00 am to 5:00 pm PST). Premier Customers can also email them through this link.
Small Business Banking Customers can call 1-877-955-4722. This line is also available only on Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm EST (5:00 am to 5:00 pm PST). Alternatively, small business banking customers can book an appointment through this link.
For the complete list of HSBC Bank Canada’s contact numbers, you can visit their Contact Us page.
As one of Canada’s biggest banks, it is no surprise that HSBC Bank Canada offers international money transfers to go along with the plethora of financial services they already offer. Since they are a bank with a massive international presence, international banking is well within their competence.
However, international money transfers with them can not only cost more through fees but also end up taking more time. With dedicated money transfer providers, you save on both time and money at a small cost of convenience.
At the end of the day, the right choice depends on your needs and preferences. If you want to send money in an instant, you can transfer through HSBC Bank Canada, but you have to know exactly how much you’re sending and how much the recipient is getting. If you want to save both time and money, going through a money transfer provider might be a better choice.
In this section, we’ll answer any questions you might have about HSBC Bank Canada. Since it is one of the biggest banks in Canada, you might have plenty of questions, from account opening to money transfers.