HSBC vs. Peter Gordon

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, there used to be a contributor in many of the Panama Yahoo groups by the name of Peter Gordon. All of a sudden he quit posting. Recently, Don Winner explained why Peter had become so mute.

It appears that Peter Gordon had complained about the service he was given by HSBC on many of the Yahoo groups that he participated in. When the dust settles, maybe the full story will come out. However, for now, it appears that HSBC (according to Don Winner’s article) is suing Peter Gordon to the tune of $5,000,000. As Don says, “Holy Crap, Batman”.

This case will bear following. It is getting a lot of coverage on the Panama Forum Yahoo group. Many are wondering why a company the size of HSBC would go to such extremes over a few complaints on some Internet Yahoo Groups.

Another post related to the same subject can be found in the Noriegaville News. I hope HSBC wanted the type of publicity they are going to get by this action.

23 thoughts on “HSBC vs. Peter Gordon

  1. dear don,

    so there you go an advantage to being “a lurker!”

    boy do frank and i wish we were in panama.

    thank you for your site. ellen

  2. Hi Ellen. Yep. Just like the old saying goes, “It is better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you are stupid than to open it and have a $5,000,000 lawsuit shoved down your throat”.

  3. This says a lot about HSBC.

    A. they are very worried about how they are perceived in the marketplace.
    B. they prefer using threats to trying to resolve whatever issue Peter had with them.

    I think this lawsuit will do them more damage then Peter could ever have done. I know I will never be a customer of theirs because of that alone.

    But unless Peter lied, this lawsuit will fall flat on its face. For a defamation suit to work, they have to prove that he purposely misrepresented them or whatever events he was complaining about.

    Still, gives one some pause :)

  4. This issue certainly has the potential to cause real damage quickly to the financial / privacy selling points that Panama has tried to promote. I have always had multiple accounts and in more than one country. I have a Panama corporation that owns my real estate but the bank accounts are in another country.

    I had read many of Peter’s rant about HSBC in the Yahoo groups, but they were so over the top in many cases that I discounted them to some extent. But HSBC Bank’s bullying behavior is inexcusable. I have (now had) an online HSBC saving account in the US that I am moving to an ING online saving account.

  5. I would think that everyone with current accounts in Banistmo will also be following what happens here since that acquisition is underway.

  6. An unbelievable threat to both freedom of expression and investment in Panama that will undoubtedly prove to be a landmark case. I agree that this sort of bullying behavior could have a chilling effect on the willingness of people to consider Panama as a retirement destination.

  7. Yes, I think when everyone understands that the wrong ruling in this case totally undermines the banking privacy area, even the Panamanians will be concerned. However, there is still a lot that isn’t known about this case and much is still speculation.

  8. OMG! The difference here in Honduras (I think) is that no gringo can ever win in court no matter what the facts of the case are. Hmmm, I’m off to review my banking articles!

    Thanks for the article, Don.

  9. Bringing suite against individuals or groups who speak out against another organization are unfortunately quite common, so much so, that an acronym exists to describe them, i.e. SLAPP suits (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation). In the US most states have passed laws to prevent this type of nuisance suite. If you are interested in more information on the topic use the below link to one of many organizations with advise on the topic.
    Later,
    J
    http://www.thefirstamendment.org/antislappresourcecenter.html

  10. In the US HSBC, which we should remember is the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank, has enforced such oppressive contracts that one must now use binding arbitration. If HSBC slaps the customer with a $39 late fee it would cost between $5000 and $10,000 to dispute the fee. Obviously it will not happen. Having said that please remember that Shea v Household (HSBC) claimed late application of payments as far back as 1994. It still happens today. HSBC settled Shea v Household for $11 million (USD).

    From credit cards to banking to mortgages to sub-prime mortgages HSBC has been likened to Providian, where high interest, overlimit fees, and late charges finally atttracted the attention of regulators. While perhaps guilty of the same and well deserving of the Providian comparison, HSBC decided on another path.

    Sue customers, hold them to binding arbitration, and change US bankruptcy laws. Follow up by changing US postal regulations so one cannot track statements. Then structure HSBC USA whereby one holding company owns another which owns another. In the end the final holding company claims state regulation and not federal regulation and stalls any investigation.

    Do you trust HSBC? At Household – HSBC Watch for years we’ve said customers need to be understand the real HSBC. Please see our article called ‘HSBC Killing Fields – Selected for Financial Slaughter’ (Google and it is number one) which describes HSBC customers as targets of opportunity. Is Peter Gordon correct in his assessment? Quite likely so based on our research, and it is my right to say so.

  11. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Panama: HSBC Sues Customer for Yahoo Postings

  12. I’m watching this case with interest since I’m thinking of opening a Panamanian account; I’m concerned about the privacy implications.

    BTW of interest is apparently under Panamanian law, unlike US law, in a defamation suit it is not an absolute defense to speak the truth (see, for example, this article, commenting on Mexican law, which is the same: http://www.phillipsnizer.com/library/cases/lib_case28.cfm )

    Nice site; I really enjoy being offshore as a US citizen myself, escaping taxes on the first ~$80k income.

  13. Woops.. Just read about this story a little too late…
    me having no clue about the laws, but always feel that a person should have the freedom to speak whatever about a service. If someone criticizes about a service, he definately has some reason to do it… why make a big fuss about it?..
    now having said that.. was wondering would my criticism of HSBC be considered as defamation?
    the blog post is at http://www.sajalkayan.com/linux/stay-away-linux-users-we-dont-need-your-money-hsbc/
    I have not lied in any way but somehow speculated on what HSBC would have been thinking.

  14. Pingback: Chiriquí Chatter » Blog Archive » HSBC Watch

  15. Breaking News:

    Carroll Foundation Trust – HSBC ‘Named Directors’ – Organised Criminal Conspiracy and Corruption Case

    HSBC – Kroll N Cooper – Queen’s Bankers / Coutts Bank / BAE Systems TAG Aviation – Slaughter & May / G James S Hall L Wylde – Salans / L Rosenblatt A Gaines M Alexander – R Bray Goodman Derrick / I Montrose HASLERS / DLA PIPER / R Lane – Smith N Pike – LG

    – Primary Criminal Suspects / International Criminal Syndicate –

    — The United Kingdom’s Enron Case —

    The Carroll Foundation Trust Criminal Case – Britain’s Longest Running Largest Organised Criminal Conspiracy and Corruption Case – $ One Billion Dollars ( $ 1.000.000.000 ) Embezzlement of Funds Criminal Liquidation of Assets on a World Wide basis.
    GJH Carroll primary victim subject of personal protection security following violent attacks with the use of firearms other weapons.

    Full and Complete Criminal Evidence in LOCKDOWN at Britain’s Scotland Yard – Sir Paul Stephenson Commissioner Metropolitan Police New Scotland Yard London UK – US State Department – FBI – within a major Cross-Border International Criminal Conspiracy and Corruption Case.

    Notice: Kingston Smith / E Robinson / Trust Auditors – Manches – ‘The Criminal Syndicate Solicitors’ – LOCKDOWN – Scotland Yard – Sir Paul Stephenson Commissioner Metropolitan Police New Scotland Yard London UK – US State Department – FBI – USA

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    Notice: Grant Thornton / Scott Barnes – ‘The Criminal Syndicate Receivers’ – Galleria – Croydon Power House / Gill Rose Fennemores Grant Thornton – Carroll / Yorkshire Property Holdings
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    Notice: Norton Rose / GJH Carroll Trust Solicitors – LOCKDOWN – Russian Federation – LOCKDOWN – FSB / Kremlin Moscow Russian Federation

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  16. Hi pleased to meet you all.first time.
    Names ed clarke, London based ! ha ‘that was until hsbc illegally evicted me’ impressive site welldone, thank the stars for ‘carroll foundation trust’ please tell me that ”lock down scotland yard – fbi” does not mean that there be no further action on this matter!. if not then would it not follow that the respective goverments could be seen as aiding & abetting criminal activity, ha! silly me’ cant be we pay these people to protect our ‘democracy’
    I’ve issued proceeding in the high court london
    Chancery div. e clarke-v-hsbc-grimley.lpa receivers-foxtons

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