What does HSBC Premier account involve?

I have had a common or garden HSBC account, in Montpellier, which I opened last year before moving to France and it has been fine. However, in mid-April I had to transfer a large amount of money, from the sale of my UK property, to pay for my new French property. A couple of weeks ago I received in the post a card from HSBC called "HSBC Premier Carte de reconnaissance/Recognition card (issued on 24/04/2013, which was the day I had to go into the bank to transfer money to my seller's Notaire, as it was more than the 10,000 euros you can transfer yourself). I didn't ask for, and don't feel I need, a "recognition card", so I'm puzzled.

I also notice in my recent bank statement online, that the heading now says HSBC Premier Account. Can anyone tell me what this means? I was under the impression that to qualify for a Premier Account you either had to have a large monthly input (my pension income is small) or a very large amount deposited with the bank (which I may have had temporarily until it was transferred to the seller's of my new property). When the money in my account falls below a certain level, will they automatically return me to bog-standard account or, as is my worry, will they start charging me a fee to have this account. Any advice from HSBC account holder gratefully received.

Thanks Shirley. I'm looking forward to getting all this bureaucracy out of the way and just living here. At the moment, I'm still waiting for Carte Vitale and someone is trying to sort out setting up direct debits for gas and electrics on my new place. No doubt by this time next year all will be well. Fingers crossed. Good luck to you too.

Thanks Shirley - I have internet banking anyway with the ordinary account and transfer money using Transferwise, which has a much better rate than HSBC. I can't see me needing any of the "benefits" of a Premier account. At the moment, because I moved money to France to purchase a property, I have had over 30,000 euros in my Montpellier account. However, by the time I've paid workman to renovate property and competely re-furnished I will be below the 30,000 limit, so I hope they downgrade me again. I shall look out for fees, and if any appear I shall contact them and tell them I don't want this account.

I have HSBC accounts in the UK. The premier account carries a charge but also offers benefits which you may (or may not) find useful … Travel insurance, breakdown cover etc.

Having first opened a bank account in 1968 I'm baffled as to how much they have changed. Once, even a young girl with not much money was treated with respect and could see the, usually polite and courteous,"bank manager" (remember them?), if necessary. Now, it seems we're very lucky they will take our money, and any idea of actually earning interest is laughable. Even 10 years ago, I was foolishly thinking that when I retired, if I could put some money in a savings account at a pathetic 5% interest, it might pay for a holiday every year. Ha, Ha! Will we ever see 5% interest again?

We had a substantial sum of money in a Nat. West. Expatriate Reserve Account looked after by our "personal account manager". When we wanted to transfer money to our French A/c & were told we could only transfer £10,000 at a time without notice. We gave the notice & transfered the majority out.

Guess what? We no longer have a personal A/C manager.

Have no doubts Gillian, The bank will treat you as it feels fit. Your requirements don't count!!