View Full Version : Bank scam

10th May 2013, 04:16
Yesterday I got a letter from Natwest saying that the current account I have with them is no longer going to be available from July, and it will be changed to another one.

One of the highlighted differences is that if you go more than 10 into arranged overdraft, you will pay a 6 fee as well as the interest.

It can't possibly cost them that, as there is no additional paperwork, or even computer time, which makes it an unfair charge.

I phoned them, and the excuse given was that they are just bringing themselves inline with other high street bank. So, if the others all went broke, would they, just to fall inline? (Sorry, they already "went broke")

Why do I rate it as a scam?

For years, they (and other banks) have been trying to push people to take up current accounts with monthly fees (offering discounts, that most will never use, claiming they offset the fees), and now the only way to have the same conditions as my present account, is to take up current account with monthly fees.

It is not my main account, it is one used for everyday shopping, and maybe 3 or 4 times a year it is overdrawn by 20-50 for a day or two as I did not have time/forgot to transfer money from other banks accounts. (In 2008, I split savings between banks to minimise losses if one went completely TU, and to open the savings account I wanted, I had to have a current account to get the better rates).

I think I am not a good customer, as although we have a few years cash isa with them and savings, we don't run up a big overdraft to pay them interest, and my credit card with them has had a credit balance for the last 4 years.

I get the message, mu business is not wabted! I have two current accounts with HSBC, so it is easy to change.

Has anybody had any experience with Santander 123? It look interesting, would appreciate any comments from anyone who has actually used it.

10th May 2013, 04:53
All I have ever heard about Santander is to avoid at all costs and give it a very wide berth.

10th May 2013, 06:15
Years ago NatWest was making a series of minor but irritating mistakes with my current account. I wrote to the branch manager to complain.

She wrote back saying how sorry she was and assured me that I would have "no further problems with my acocunt".

It's Not Working
10th May 2013, 06:16
I had 2 accounts with Santander and it took a lot of wasted time and effort to close them. They used to appear in 'Jessica Investigates', the DT's financial agony aunt on a weekly basis, for all the wrong reason. I wouldn't touch them again with a barge-pole (non-aviation content).

10th May 2013, 06:22
My NatWest ex-manager had the most infuriating habit of, when I complained about anything, writing back with the excuses why he could not do anything to assist, and then signing off with : " ..... but please don't hesitate to let me know if there is anything else I can help you with."

At least he never told me that I would have "no further problems with my acocunt"!

Santander ..........

10th May 2013, 07:15
My experience with Santander has been mixed. I'm about to shift away from them, for the simple reason that they've buggered me about and lied to me.

The good things were the high interest rates they offered initially and the bonus they paid if you switched business to them.

The downside is that they have often been painful to deal with, customer service varies from just about OK to a complete disaster. Their internet banking only works properly if you can get a good mobile phone signal (I can't at home) as they insist on using a text message payment authorisation system (this means I have to start an online payment, get in the car and drive up the hill behind my home, wait for the text, drive back home and finish the online transaction).

The final straw was when they reneged on a deal I'd made with them, causing me a fair bit of pain and grief. I'm in the process of closing my accounts and moving my money and investments elsewhere.

I'd second the advice above to not touch Santander with a barge pole.

10th May 2013, 07:21
You play ball with us and we'll shove the bat up your a**e!

10th May 2013, 08:02
In the UK, go with First Direct.

Really, they're very good. :ok:

10th May 2013, 08:08
Isn't First Direct HSBC?

10th May 2013, 08:25
In the UK, go with First Direct.

Really, they're very good.

I'm in the market for a new bank (see above). A key point for me is whether or not their internet banking system needs a mobile phone for authorisation. RBS used a simple card reader for this, worked well. Santander only use text messaging authorisation, which is a major problem when you can't get a mobile signal.

How do First Direct do this?

10th May 2013, 08:30
First direct is a subsidiary of HSBC yes. However they are different companies. No branches everything is done online or over the phone. They consistently score excellently in customer satisfaction surveys. I switched to them about 6 months ago (to take advantage of a savings account with high interest, a product that is no longer available). Very painless and courteous, they even told my old bank I was buggering off for me (including switching all DD's and SO's and a guarantee they would pay all charges if they got it wrong, which they didn't)

And I got £125 for the privilege of switching.

10th May 2013, 08:36
OK, subsidiary, but under the government protection scheme, they count as one.

Where are their service centres?

The biggest problem with HSBC is their useless help lines.

I note peoples comments about Santander, pity as the interest rate looks good.

I have no problems with HSBC online banking, there is a small device you use to get a log in pin, but once that is done, it is fairly painless.

10th May 2013, 08:46
First direct have no text message or little machine. All security questions and password. (If I remember correctly there are 6 security questions that you have to create) and a personal login that you create.

I'm well aware I the uselessness of HSBC phone lines sometimes. First Direct are a different class. Brilliant in all dealings with them so far. Call centre is ostensibly in Leeds however all people I've spoken to are definitely scots.

10th May 2013, 08:59
In very muted defence of Santander, I moved my current account there when Nationwide removed the good bits from theirs. Initial hiccoughs were resolved via the decent people in the local branch, who were only too aware of the appalling reputation they had. Things have improved since they got their acquisitions and systems more coordinated and on routine matters, they are fine. I can't speak for non-routine stuff, which is where all organisations and businesses show their true service.

I haven't bothered with the 123 account, as it needs a little more micro management than I'm prepared to devote, but I know someone who has and is making it pay - with proper oversight it is a very good offering.

10th May 2013, 09:19
Always though that "Nat West" sounded like a dodgy East End Jewish Bookie ..... original name was Nathaniel Westenstein! :ok:

10th May 2013, 09:23
First direct have no text message or little machine. All security questions and password. (If I remember correctly there are 6 security questions that you have to create) and a personal login that you create.

Thanks for that. Does that apply when making transfers and payments on line, too? That's where Santander's system falls over, as although you can log on and use their internet banking without needing the ability to get text messages, you can't actually use it to pay bills etc unless you can get a decent mobile signal.

Sometimes I curse living out in the sticks..................

10th May 2013, 09:23
First Direct is a subsidiary of HSBC. HSBC were not in any trouble during the bank crisis. Still I take the point about deposit guarantee.

FD have no branches, but if you need to pay in cash- you can do it at HSBC branches. Same for withdrawals too large for ATMs. I mail cheques in.

I deal with FD exclusively by phone. The operatives are extremely capable.

You can use internet with them if you like. I don't like.

They send you free texts every day- you set the parameters. So text if near o/d limit, big credits or big debits in my case. You pick your own criteria or dont bother with the texts.

If you're going to join, find a pal who is with them already- they'll get a bounty for you joining.

10th May 2013, 09:31
I have a savings account with FD, don't access it, had it for 7 years now just holding university fees for my daughter, who is just doing GCSEs now, so no need to access it.

May be worth a look though, thanks.

It is also good to see another side on Santander.

Any thing to do with a phone would be a problem for me. First I don't use one, secondly I need to access the account and make transfers when overseas (only the Philippines really, I still have accounts in SA)
This is also a reason why I have accounts with more than one bank, last time we were in the Philippines, I lost access to HSBC because you had to have the pin generator to log on, and it didn't arrive before we left!!! They weren't interested, for all they cared I could have been stuck there with no access to money. Fortunately we had multiple back-ups.

10th May 2013, 09:47
I have been with First Direct since they opened in '88-'89 and have never had anything less than excellent, friendly service.

You get ( as standard I believe ) a free overdraft up to 250 and possibly an agreed overdraft up to 500. I use internet banking extensively without problems and , when I use the 'phone they don't try to sell me anything unless I ask about any changes in interest rates ( they offer the usual low rates on savings accounts).

Main centre is in Leeds with also one or more Scottish locations. Response time to calls is excellent, usually less than three rings. I think they may have won the top award for telephone banking operations for at least the last 10 years .

The best company I have ever dealt with.

10th May 2013, 09:58
Several years ago Barclays pissed me off so I moved my accounts to the Co-op bank. Their service has been so good that I now use them for all my insurances as well. Always friendly, and UK call-centres too.

10th May 2013, 10:05
Sallyann, you may want to keep an eye on the Co-op, just in case.
BBC News - Moody's downgrades Co-op Bank's debt rating to 'junk' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22477745)

10th May 2013, 10:42
Nothing new there. I have no intention of changing.

Thomas coupling
10th May 2013, 10:53
1st Direct: possibly the BEST customer service COMPANY (never mind bank) in the whole of the UK. I have been with them for over a decade and to this very day, they still answer the phone within 5-6 rings and they still handle the customer professionally. OUTSTANDING bank:

I have found no need to go elsewhere when it comes to facilities as they provide everything online. IF you need to go into a bank, then use their parent bank(HSBC).

ONLY downside is I believe they require a minimum of 1500 into your account each month. Shame about this as I wanted my kids to join!

10th May 2013, 11:43
AFAIAC Nationwide is much better than most......

10th May 2013, 11:56
First Direct would have been my choice, everybody I know who uses them says they are outstanding. Unfortunately unless you can prove that you live in the UK they won't accept you as a customer, something to do with the credit act. This applies even if you don't need credit from them.

I do not exist as I am not on the electoral register in UK (or anywhere else) and although I own properties in the UK they are rented out so no utility bills in my name.

I am just mentioning this in case anyone else is in the same position.

10th May 2013, 13:05
Having been thoroughly screwed in the 1970s by Midland Bank who were bought by Honkers and Shankers, I regard all of HSBC as tainted and won't touch them with a barge pole.

10th May 2013, 13:36
Sallyann, the only reason I flagged the report on the Co-op bank (and the only reason I spotted it) was because of their takeover of Britannia. I have a mortgage with the latter (about 5% of the value of the house) and they were daft enough some years ago to offer me 0.74% above base on a flexible fixed-term mortgage. I'm not paying it off until the term ends because it gives me access to very cheap money should I need it, although we'll probably take it down to one or two percent of value this year.

The banking side of the Co-op seems sound; it's the Britannia side of the business that has hit the books; not surprising when they're only charging 1.24%, and have done since the base rate hit 0.5%. Do I look bovvered? ;)

10th May 2013, 13:56
The other great thing about First Direct - I too have been with them from the beginning - is that the call centres are in Leeds and Glasgow. It's so much nicer than speaking with Ray or Lucy (or whatever other assumed name they have) in Bangalore.

10th May 2013, 14:23
It certainly wasn't Ray or Lucy answered my mail to FD when I recently had a problem - very Indian sounding name.

10th May 2013, 14:27
Well, that's probably because they were in Glasgow and allowed to use their real name :p I always have a momentary disconnect when an Asian-Glaswegian appears on the screen and then speaks like Angus McLeod ( or MagnusP :ok: ).

10th May 2013, 17:04
Yes I know about the Britannia thing - not the first time that a bank has made an unwise takeover.
Although the Co-op Bank is struggling at the moment I intend to stick with them because they have always served me well and that deserves some loyalty. Naturally I do make sure not to exceed the protected 85k limit in any one bank.

10th May 2013, 18:20
Been with them since they took over Abbey (Abbey National as was) - never had a problem with them. I have changed to 123 Current account that pays me 3% interest plus rebate on many direct debits.

I do all my banking over the Internet except cheque deposits which I post to the local branch, as I say I have never had a problem with them and customer service have always been helpful and resolved any issues quickly.

14th May 2013, 20:58
When my Mother died, about 17 years ago, I inherited a small account of shares held by an outfit called Schroder. Some sort of Investment company ?

Total about 4,000 quid, probably hardly the cost of a pint of Watneys in Bethnal Green now, but I stuffed all the paper at the bottom of my mothers file and hardly gave it another thought over the years.

Schroders wrote to me recently, hardlly disguising the fact that they suspected that that I might be some sort of International Money Launderer, doubtless due to my having a - shock ! horror ! overseas address ?

I duly sent a requested copy of my passport and an electricity bill, proving my name and address, and had them certified by a local Justice of the Peace, a member of the local Magistrates Court.

I've just received a reply telling me that the documents I supplied are not permissible as they were not signed by someone of an occupation listed on their original letter, and that .. wait for it ... the declaration has not been completed in English !! !#$#&^%$*^& ( it was completed on the pro-forma that they provided )

Do these people have rocks in their head ?

For a start, I consider the integrity of a local J.P. to be far higher than the occupations suggested as referees, e.g. financial advisors ( like themselves perhaps ? !!) Stockbrokers, even - quote - Post Office officials !!

I'm about to tell them where to stick their heads, and to severe all further business with them, i.e. realise my account and send the cash to my bank.

It might buy me a bottle of decent NZ wine - to drown my anger.

Grrrrr, and double Grrrrr. :ugh:

Solid Rust Twotter
15th May 2013, 05:58
I will be visiting my bank today to glean just a single reason from the manager why I should stay with them. If he can't answer me, I intend to close all my accounts there and go elsewhere, although one is as bad as the other around here.

Losing between 5 and 10% of my salary on the exchange rate is unacceptable. They then sell the currency to someone else at extortionate rates, which makes them little better than usurers.

Of course, no prizes for guessing which political party have their cadres deployed as directors with this shower...:rolleyes:

Cyber Bob
15th May 2013, 07:58
Halifax. I've got their standard regular account that pays 5 per month if you pay in 1K per month. Think it also only charges a daily rate if you go over any agreed limits

I've had no problems since switching to them from Lloyds TSB (Totally Stupid Bars**ds). In fact, at both local and national level, they seem to be very accommodating.

Just recently had issues transferring a cash isa from Nat West (Shiesters!) and they even credited me 20 for all the phone calls I'd made from my mobile (Which I didn't BTW :eek:)

I don't know if it's because I do have a couple of products with them but since switching, it's been problem free and as mentioned I can call my local branch, on a local number, at any time and guess what, a real person picks up the phone who actually knows what they are talking about - Ta Dah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15th May 2013, 08:49
Another vote for the Co-Op. Glitch-free, unlike Santander who constantly got things wrong ever since they took over Alliance & Leicester who were squeaky clean.
Mind you, Direct Debits, etc, were a nightmare in the transfer: paid twice, not paid at all, threats to have gas cut off etc. Still don't know which bank b**gered it up - but I have me suspicions. Oh yes.