When former Hong Kong resident Robert Lewis opened an account with the 'world's local bank' he thought HSBC would be able to cater for all his financial needs, wherever in the world he went. Little did he know that due to a breakdown in communication over his signature, he would be forced to embark on a marathon 16,000-kilometre (10,000 mile) round-trip from his native Australia to Hong Kong, simply to access his cash.
Now he is seeking AUS$5,000 (£2,800) from the bank to cover the cost and inconvenience of his journey.
Lewis's problems started in April when he tried to access his account online from his home in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.
He had turned to the bank's website after discovering that the ATM card he was issued in Hong Kong was no longer valid due to a security upgrade.
The account had not been used since he returned to Australia in August 2011.
Once online Lewis discovered he was unable to gain access to the account as he did not have an internet security device.
To get one, the 55-year-old learnt that he would have to travel to an HSBC branch and change his address in person.
This involved a 10-hour round trip to Sydney, 455 kilometres away - an inconvenience that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Two weeks later, and despite being approved by two HSBC officers in Sydney, the Hong Kong branch rejected the change-of-address application on the grounds that his signature did not match the one on its records.
That left the education consultant with no choice but to fly to Hong Kong and confront staff himself.
Lewis said his travails made a mockery of the bank's "world bank" claims and the convenience of its network.
"The first port of call is the nearest branch, where you expect there's a relationship between all these branches," Lewis said.
"This has cost me an incredible amount of time and income, inconvenience, stress and anxiety. It is hardly the thing you expect from an international bank."
An HSBC spokesman said the bank was checking the case and would not comment on the affairs of individual customers.