Xero does do this via a third party, Yodlee. I have read your opinions on these but they seem to have been well adopted and this feature would be invaluable for us - even paying a small fee to cover it.
Its the cloud accounting holy grail to have it all neatly integrated!
Yodlee do all the heavy lifting when it comes to bank integration. HSBC imports (along with Lloyds & Santander) even with Yodlee are only semi-automated, any bank that requires you to use a pin sentry device will always necessitate a pin is entered by the user in order to retrieve a feed… so not truly automated.
We have and still are considering Yodlee but it doesn’t do much more in the way of automation than isn’t already achievable using our bank feed Chrome plugin, this is certainly the case re HSBC. Plus with the Chrome plugin you’re not disclosing your login credentials to a 3rd party. Also Yodlee is far from error-free, just checkout some of the posts on other forums around reliability issues. Unfortunately until the banks provide a solid API for data access, any solution will use screen-scraping and will inherently be unreliable to varying degrees.
Merry Xmas and Happy New Year
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