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2017-12-07 02:21

“LHV gave me a wrong advice, I lost 1000 € that went into the bank's pocket”

I came to settle in Estonia. As soon as I applied for a residency card, I then went to open an account at LHV Bank. My worst decision. Here, I share my story to prevent other people from experiencing something similar.

I didn't compare Estonian banks: as a user of e-residency card I went directly to LHV Bank as this is the bank e-residency team advises (at that time I didn't know that wasn't for the best of reasons). There I met a client executive. I told him I have money (I revealed the amount) to buy an apartment in Estonia, but in the meantime, I wanted to know the best solution the bank could provide to earn maximum interests (and minimize the exposure to the inflation). I said I wanted a no term investment as I didn't know when I would find the apartment I was looking for. He stated that LHV Bank doesn't have anything better than 0,01% per year on current account and the bank has no "gold" ("premier"...) status clients, in contrast to other banks, but the majority of daily operations are free. I signed the contract. The client executive told me he would be my contact person in the bank, in case I have any question or needs in the future.

More than one year later, I discovered that the bank has an "au.client" status that offers 1% on current account. Over that time I got around 10 € interest, when I could have get more than 1000 €. In short, I lost more than 1000 €.

I contacted the client executive to ask why he gave me the wrong advice. I didn't get an answer from him, but instead I received an email from a client manager (my first interaction with her). She didn't ask for more details as if she wasn't surprised or didn't care. She didn't arrange a meeting to discuss the trouble, contrary to what other banks would do. She only said there will be no fix. Neither was there an explanation nor an apology for the wrong advice given by the bank.

As I was moving from country to country, again and again, the money was moving from one bank to another. If I'd forget to warn the bank, it would have blocked the money and asked to reveal the source of the money, as that is the due diligence that has to be performed to fight money laundering, terrorism, etc. When this money arrived at LHV Bank, I didn't get any request at all, in contrast to other banks. It could have gone two ways: I either provided all proofs the day I came to open the account, or the due diligence has been performed by LHV Bank without me (in which case I wonder how). I let you guess. For comparison, after all the checks have been done, other banks would have invited me to become a "gold" member to keep the deposit for as long as possible, in a win-win relationship.

Unlike all the other banks I've worked with, that warned me whenever I would get a new account manager, LHV Bank has never contacted me. Unlike all the other banks I am working with, that yearly contact me to update personal information and needs, LHV Bank has never contacted me. Unlike all the other banks I am working with, that annually send an updated (or not) tariff list around New Year., LHV Bank has never contacted me. Had LHV Banks reached out perhaps the fact I was not using the right services would have been detected and the problem could have been fixed earlier. It seems as if the bank avoided contact, or it has really poor service. LHV Bank could say it didn't want to disturb me. However, after closing my account, I got an email about the new contract for a bank card that I have never owned or requested.

I sent a complaint to the client service. And even though they promised an answer the same day, or at least within 15 days, I didn't get it. Meanwhile, I got no question that would prove they are investigating. After sending a new complaint that I got no answer, I was again told there would be no fix... from my account manager, whose decision I was complaining about! Complaint department at LHV Bank seems to be a masquerade, in contrast to other banks that have a mediator who tries to find a neutral solution. By the way, LHV Bank won more than 1000 € short term in this case, but lost much more in another short term/mid-term as I closed the account and canceled all my plans with this bank.

A lot of clients are undoubtedly satisfied with LHV Bank. Fortunately. But there probably are some clients who should check whether the products and services they use fit them the best. Perhaps the bank didn't fix issues caused by the wrong information because what is a "trouble" to me isn't a trouble for the bank: providing wrong information could be a way to do "business" for them. While I lost more than 1000 € during more than one year, LHV Bank earned 9,9 millions euros during the first half-year of 2017.

[Update 12/12/17] LHV bank phoned today to talk about the 0,21 € debt.

[Update 30/08/23] Financial inspection fined LHV 900 000 euros for missing anti-money laundering controls.

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