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I’m really starting to hate banks…..

January 24, 2015

OK.  I’ve been saving up a lot of cash to run my business and I’ve been putting that into my personal bank account.  Now HSBC’s computers see this, and says “this guy has a lot of cash, why don’t we give him a loan.”  This means that every time I log into my HSBC account, I get an ad for a loan.  Every time I talk to HSBC about some customer issue, I get offered a loan.  I’m getting phone calls from HSBC offering me a loan.

And I think to myself *GREAT*.  I’m investing in small businesses.  I could use a loan from HSBC to reinvest.

But then, I go to HSBC, and they find that I’m self-employed and am running my own business.  They also find that I’ve just started my business, so I don’t have any revenue.  The find out this and rather than tell me know, it’s a “we will call you back” and they never call back. I hate this.  Because I know the rule.  The general rule is that a bank in Hong Kong will want three years of cash flow before they will extend credit, with one year of revenue available to some small businesses.  For some reason, banks don’t tell you the lending criterion even though it would save everyone some trouble.

Because I’m self-employed, I cannot even get a tax loan.  The only credit that I’m able to get is credit card debt, and I used that to pay my HK taxes electronically.  At that point you have this huge balance, the computer kicks in calls me up and a nice person offers to convert my credit card balance to a personal loan, accept when I go to the bank, we go into the same ritual again.  They find out that I am self-employed, and then I’m screwed.

I have property in the United States.  It would be nice if I could get a loan against that property, so that I could invest the money in business.  It’s a win-win for everyone.  The loan is secured against property.  It’s generating rental income so that I can pay down the loan, and I can take the money and invest this into jobs and economic growth.  But NO!!!!!  I can’t get a loan because I’m self-employed.

When I was at the AFF, the last panel was all about banks trying to start accelerators so that they can get into the fintech business.  I have a brilliant idea, don’t start fintech incubators.  You might try something original like lending money to start up businesses.  And don’t say it’s too much risk.  If you say that you aren’t willing to put your money on the line to help out small businesses, and at the very same time, you are spending money on accelerators, one might get the idea that your goal is to get people to spend their hard earned time and money creating businesses, most of which you know are going to fail, so that you get to cherry pick anything that is left.

You might argue that this is for the greater good, you can use these technologies to become more efficient, so that you can fire more people, so that in desperation, they start companies using what is left of their capital and energy so that the banks can cherry pick what is left.  And this serves the social good, because….  Ummmmm….  You can more efficiently get people to go into consumer debt can’t leave their job and can’t start a new company which then….  Ummmm…  Errrr….

From → banks, hong kong

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