London-based HSBC has had itsU.S.credit card division bought out by Capital One Financial Corporation.
In a strategic move that many financial institutions are taking, HSBC has sold more than $30 billion in credit card loans and other store-branded cards to Capital One, for a mere $2.6 billion premium.
Capital One has also bought out Dutch-based ING Group. ING online banking operations will now be owned by the Capital One giant.
With so many bank mergers happening as the value of the dollar plummets in the recession, customers are concerned when their bank winds up on the selling end.
So what does this mean for HSBC customers? Nothing, at least in the short-term. HSBC customers will be able to use their cards as usual without having to worry about additional or changing service charges.
The deal will allow Capital One to expand American credit card business and the transition should run smoothly enough. In fact, the acquisition is not set to be completed until 2012’s second quarter.
Experienced in integration, Capital One and HSBC should be able to minimize customer disruption and changing banking operations.
With no immediate plans to restructure the existing credit card programs, HSBC credit card holders needn’t worry. If you have HSBC credit cards, they will in no way be affected in the immediate future, so continue to use them as you always have.
HSBC will still exist in the United States and will retain more than 260 bank branches in theUnited Statesalone. Customers can still use their HSBC cards and HSBC banking customers can still visit their nearest branch location.
As a customer, when the buyout is completed and the transition begins, you may not even notice, because no action is required on your part to switch over the credit card.
If you happen to hold one of the accounts that are affected by the sale, you will be contacted with further details as the transition gets underway.
Don’t worry about reapplying for any HSBC credit cards you currently hold until further details are announced, which may not even happen for months.
Credit cards featuring rewards and points will continue to accrue benefits and you are in no danger of losing your hard-earned rewards. Since there have been no changes made in the terms and conditions of your HSBC credit cards, your current terms and conditions as well as rewards system will remain in effect until the sale has been completed.
Keep in mind, however, that terms and conditions may change once the buyout is finalized. Although this process may take several months, don’t be surprised if you are notified of any changes in interest rates, fees and other policies.
Continue to make payments to HSBC until you are notified otherwise. If you have any HSBC credit cards, monitor your monthly statements closely and keep up-to-date on the frequently asked questions on HSBC’s website.
If your credit card has been bought out by another company, you are not alone. The easiest way to handle a merger like this is to treat your card and your monthly payment the same as before.