Thursday, November 8, 2007

Welcome to the real world...

Was reading a letter written to the Forum on ST Online about how a Singaporean woman who ran into some problems opening up a HSBC account in London. Was wondering how many Singaporeans are faced with the exact predicament. I mean, Singaporeans come from a place where things (well more often than not) works. The plumber arrives on time, the MRT rarely breaks down, the train cabins are clean, there are no postal strikes, the IRAS tax calculation can be trusted, the lifts work, service stuff generally polite and know what they are talking about. So we are naturally frustrated when things doesn't 'happen' once we step out of Singapore. I don't know whether it's a good thing. But hey, it's a big world out there. Sometimes things just doesn't work. Well, Wife and I discovered it the hard way.

Was thinking of compiling a list of things that Singaporeans should look out for when they're coming round to reside in London. HP told me that it was a great idea... hmm... well, maybe I'll get to making that list someday.

But please, one word of caution. If you're coming to London for long term (I'm refering to Singaporeans), do open up a local HSBC premier account back home AND then get the local branch to open up a London account for you. Fly over only when you receive confirmation that the account is up and running. Otherwise you'll never ever get an account in London and that can be crippling over here.

Never ever open up a Nat West bank account here. The process is slow and painful and I've got an acquaintance who gave up and switched to HSBC after a couple of weeks. Oh.. one more thing, if you're thinking of relying on your Singapore credit card, it may not be accepted.

Maybe I should start on that list now...

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