Worst and Best of Times, HSBC A Beacon of Sanity in Subprime

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

HSBC, being one of the world largest banks that faced up to the pain of US subprime problems in 2007 Feb (see my previous blog), it was also one of the first bank to start the clean up process.

While reading the Businessweek article “A Beacon of Sanity in Subprime“, I couldn’t help myself but think that HSBC seems to be doing something right here. A bank (or any company) gets judged by how it deals with the most defenseless or weak customers. It is during the worst of times, that a bank can build loyal customers beyond reasons.

I have a friend that has been a loyal customer of HSBC for years and years, I used to laughed at my friend for not seeking the best deal else where (treating a bank like a commodity). Today, I finally understand my friend’s loyalty. And today, I’ve added HSBC (The world’s local bank) to my list of Lovemarks.

Let me end this post by including an excerpt of the article that made my eyes a bit runny,

Arvielo [president of a brokerage firm that works with homeowners to help restructure their loans] intervened with HSBC on Croom’s [a retired public school teacher] behalf in mid- February. Eight days later, Croom had a new, less onerous mortgage. His fixed monthly payment is $1,200—less than half the amount he was struggling to pay before. The bank has also cut the balance on his mortgage to $186,000 [from a ballooned amount of $251,000]. Says Croom of the workout: “I just wanted to break into tears.

I suspect HSBC had turned Mr. Croom into a life-long customer. And ladies and gentlemen, this is how you create a loyal customer beyond reason. One customer at a time.


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