Monday, 18 July 2011

HSBC: MM2H Fixed Deposit and Premier Status

This is just a quick update that may be of interest to those contemplating applying for MM2H under the Fixed Deposit (FD) criteria of the MM2H 'Terms and Conditions'. HSBC, as many will be aware, operate Premier status accounts. These accounts offer a range of benefits that differ from country to country but one of the extremely useful benefits is the HSBC 'Global View' system and the facility it offers for Premier customers to move their money from their HSBC account in one country, almost instantaneously, free of charge to any HSBC account they may hold in another country. What can be off-putting for some is the limits that HSBC require you to keep in your portfolio (I stress in your portfolio, so it includes investments and such like, not just on deposit or in a current account) to qualify for the Premier status free of charge (you can opt to join Premier for a monthly fee if you don't qualify). In malaysia the sum required to qualify for Premier status free of charge is RM 200K. Once you are 'Premier' in one country you are automatically 'Premier' in all others.

Now, with MM2H, many applicants need to leave RM 150K per applicant in a FD which is 'Under Lien' to the Malaysian Government. Previously there had been queries around whether this RM 150K on FD would be counted by HSBC towards the RM 200 K needed for Premier status, particularly as it is held 'Under Lien'. Today (18 July) I contacted my ever so helpful Relationship Manager, Cha Pei Loh, at the Georgetown (Downing St) branch of HSBC who confirmed that the FD, despite being held under lien, WILL indeed count towards the Premier status 'criteria funding' of RM 200K. So, for those who consider HSBC Premier to be an attractive proposition, and I certainly do, both in the UK and Malaysia (their service I have to say has been exceptional in my experience), placing the FD with HSBC along with RM 50K of other investment / deposit is one way to consider obtaining it.

Anyone contemplating opening an HSBC Premier account in Georgetown can contact Chai Pei Loh on the following email address and telephone number:

Email address: chaipeicploh 'at' hsbc.com.my

Tel: +60 4 650 3283

7 comments:

  1. There seems to be an on-going debate as to whether you need both a deposit and a pension income, seems from your blog that you do need both?

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  2. Hmmm. Sorry, not familiar with where that debate has arisen to be honest. Under the terms and conditions section of the MM2H visa site they specify precisely what one needs to qualify. For those who are retired you either need to place RM 150 K on an FD in Malaysia OR prove that you are in receipt of a pension from 'government approved funds' in excess of RM 10 K per month. The purpose of posting the HSBC / FD post was in relation to applicants who choose / need to go the FD route.

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  3. Thanks for the clarification, I read your post thinking you had done both... 150k is doable for me, so that makes Malaysia interesting. Just a thought, though, do you have to show a pension income to prove that you are retired even if doing the FD - in my case I would be living off rental/investment income - not sure if they would class this as retired (I am 55). Great site BTW! Bill

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  4. True, I've held my MM2H FD in 3 different banks to date: Stanchart, CIMB & HSBC. In all cases, that FD (under lien) counted towards the minimum funds required to qualify for Preferred/Premier customer status.

    Of these 3 banks, HSBC is the strictest in applying monthly charges once the minimum fund limit is breached but, conversely, provides the greatest ease (& least cost) in self execution of internet fund transfers to one's own accounts with the same bank in other countries.

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  5. @ Net-Motorcyles: No, AFAIK you only need to 'prove' the pension income if you are using the 'offshore income' criteria. If you go the FD route, no need.

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  6. As I understand it, the Fixed Deposit will have a lien placed on it, and would earn a 3.4% interest. Anybody has heard whether the interest rate is fixed or variable?

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    Replies
    1. Ordinarily I suspect these rates will be fixed otherwise there is too much uncertainty over what your deposit will earn. It will however be important to check with the bank regarding any specific investment you make as the offers and contracts will vary.

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