Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Social > Jet Blast
Reload this Page >

Best choice for a new bank? (UK - High Street)

Jet Blast Topics that don't fit the other forums. Rules of Engagement apply.

Best choice for a new bank? (UK - High Street)

Old 8th Jul 2019, 16:57
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: West Wiltshire, UK
Age: 66
Posts: 369
Best choice for a new bank? (UK - High Street)

Thought I'd ask this of the JB hive mind, as banking seems to be a bit of a minefield.

The problem:
We currently bank with Santander, who have been sort of alright, in the main. One recurring problem has been that we use online banking, which is OK for checking balances and transferring money between accounts, but falls over whenever we wish to make a transfer to someone else. The problem is that we can't get a mobile 'phone signal, and Santander insist on using a text message to send an "OTP code". Without this it's impossible to use some aspects of their online banking service. We've been living with this hassle, by using the trick of one of us driving a mile or so up the lane, to where we can get a signal, with the other sat logged on ready. When the text arrives it's relayed by a 'phone call to the landline, where (with luck) I can type it in before the screen times out. Not ideal, but there are only a handful of times a year when we need to set up a new payee, so it works OK. However, as from September Santander are changing their online banking so that you must be able to receive a mobile 'phone signal for it to work, as they are extending the text message system so that an "OTP code" is needed every time you log on.

The challenge:
We need to find a new bank, as Santander will, effectively, cease to function for us from September. The problem I have is in trying to sift through stacks of stuff and choose a bank that is likely to remain usable by us without causing me to need to go through all this faff again in a year or two.

Our banking requirements:
  • Must have a High Street presence in Salisbury, or perhaps Shaftesbury, as I much prefer going in to see someone face-to-face from time to time, plus we still regularly get cheques that need to be paid in.
  • Must have online banking that works on a PC and that doesn't need a mobile 'phone signal to function. I understand some banks use a card reading machine to deal with the authentication issue, which seems ideal.
  • Must offer the normal range of current account services, debit cards etc. I prefer not to pay for current accounts services, really as a matter of principle.
  • Would be nice if the same bank also offered a reasonably competitive range of savings accounts, ISAs etc, but not essential (I can always stick our savings somewhere else, as long as I can get at them easily).
  • Ideally, we'd like a bank that isn't about to close the local branch (probably a tall order trying to guess this, though).
Top of my shortlist at the moment is Nationwide. HSBC are also a contender, but their service doesn't seem great in the reviews I've read. Online-only banks, like First Direct, aren't really an option, for the reasons in the first bullet point above. The banks that have branches in Salisbury and that might be possibles are (I think):
  • Barclays Bank
  • Bristol & West
  • Cheltenham & Gloucester
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds
  • Nationwide
  • NatWest
  • Portman Building Society
  • Woolwich
I'd be very grateful for the collective view on the good and the bad out of the above bunch.
VP959 is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:00
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Northampton
Posts: 511
Nationwide for me. Seems to be no probs and wide range of services.
rogerg is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:08
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Elsewhere
Posts: 243
I have a NatWest Rewards account, we switched to it two years ago and have received over £600 back. It uses a card reader to set up payments.

For a £2 monthly fee, it pays 2% cashback on council tax, gas, electricity, water, home phone, mobile, TV and broadband bills, as long as you pay by direct debit, pay in £1,500/mth and log in to online or mobile banking every three months.
k3k3 is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:11
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: spacetime
Posts: 256
And Nationwide are also offering 1.6% on 2 year bonds. Not brilliant but best of the rest.
gemma10 is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:11
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 1,321
Many of the banks are now introducing the 'two step' process for certain transactions (including new payee, shopping online and even just logging on to online banking (usually if you are using a computer/device it does not recognise as your normal machine/device). All sensible anti-fraud processes.

However, Lloyds Bank will call you on a landline if that is the number you have stated as your default (IIRC you get to choose from a list of given numbers each time the system requires you are to be authenticated a second time).
Wrathmonk is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:14
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 455
I dunno if these meet you criteria, however in good faith, from experience:

Avoid like the plague, problems far too numerous to itemise: Barclays

Never had any problems with: First Direct. - until 3 weeks later, when FIRST DIRECT tried to wriggle out of refunding a wrongly taken Direct Debit under the DD Guarantee Indemnity.

AVOID FIRST DIRECT AND BARCLAYS!

Last edited by pilotmike; 30th Jul 2019 at 20:16. Reason: Dreadful customer service by First Direct.
pilotmike is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:20
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 10,653
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but can you not nowadays send text messages to a landline phone and have a nice automated voice read them to you ?

If so, why can't Santander do that ?
DaveReidUK is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:23
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Southampton
Posts: 664
Again, I have been with first direct without any problems for quite some time.

You our can always speak to someone very quickly and they will give you all the help you need.

I’ve also sent large sums of money very easily just by asking them to. They have also politely queried where I got the account numbers from, just to make sure I wasn’t being scammed.

highly recommended.
Saintsman is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:26
  #9 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Too close to Croydon for comfort
Age: 55
Posts: 5,738
Been with Nationwide for years, happy customer. Wish I'd had my mortgage with them.

Paying my mortgage off was only mild gripe; I'd have preferred to have handed a cheque over in person (symbolism!) but Halifax insisted on an on-line transfer - had to do it in four separate transfers with a code from the Nationwide code thingy which took some finding (embolism!), thank God it was only a small mortgage! Took an hour or more, doing it by BS cheque would have been 10 mins. Spoiled the moment but not NW's fault.
treadigraph is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:27
  #10 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: West Wiltshire, UK
Age: 66
Posts: 369
Thanks for the suggestions, really useful. Looks like Nationwide or Nat West could be contenders. I used to bank with Barclays years ago and they weren't very inspiring in terms of customer service then, interesting that they seem not to have improved (that's reflected in on-line reviews of their service, too). Lloyds might be a contender, as I can live with getting a 'phone call to get stuff to work, if need be, although the card reader system looks to be the easiest way to deal with the two factor authentication issue.

First Direct would be a contender, based on reviews, if it wasn't for their lack of a High Street presence. We still regularly get cheques that need to be paid in, and it always seems easier to resolve things that may arise face to face in the local branch.


Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but can you not nowadays send text messages to a landline phone and have a nice automated voice read them to you ?

If so, why can't Santander do that ?
No idea, I have asked them (repeatedly) but their system won't allow you to use a landline number for authentication. Frankly I'm just fed up with Santander being so unhelpful over this, it's been an ongoing niggle that I've raised with them several times now. Them extending the OTP code thing to every online banking log in is a step too far.
VP959 is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:37
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 455
Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions, really useful.

First Direct would be a contender, based on reviews, if it wasn't for their lack of a High Street presence. .
First Direct are effectively HSBC, so you can use HSBC as if it was your highstreet bank.

... but to be avoided like the plague as they try to wriggle out of honouring the Direct Debit Guarantee...

Last edited by pilotmike; 30th Jul 2019 at 20:13. Reason: Let down badly by First Direct resisting the DD Guarantee
pilotmike is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:46
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Newark'ish
Posts: 56
I’d vote for Nationwide, their top fee paying account gives world wide travel insurance, car breakdown cover, good rates on foreign cash machines and 5% interest on up to £2500. Plus they are “soon” to introduce a cheque deposit process where you simply take a photo of the cheque to pay it in!
.......worth a look?
mikemmb is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:53
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: No longer in Jurassic Park eating Toblerone....
Posts: 2,652
I've been with Midland/HSBC for 46 years, often looked at shifting but never found anybody better. Local branch always helpful and their online stuff works well.
LowNSlow is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 18:00
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Beyond the Blue Horizon
Age: 59
Posts: 682
First Direct would be my recommendation having been with them since inception. Left field choice would be Handelsbanken who are Swedish but only have branches in the North of the UK, but are very good in my experience.
Kind regards
Mr Mac
Mr Mac is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 18:00
  #15 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: West Wiltshire, UK
Age: 66
Posts: 369
Originally Posted by pilotmike View Post
First Direct are effectively HSBC, so you can use HSBC as if it was your highstreet bank.
Thanks, that's very useful to know, and not something I was aware of.

Originally Posted by mikemmb View Post
I’d vote for Nationwide, their top fee paying account gives world wide travel insurance, car breakdown cover, good rates on foreign cash machines and 5% interest on up to £2500. Plus they are “soon” to introduce a cheque deposit process where you simply take a photo of the cheque to pay it in!
.......worth a look?
Thanks for this, it looks like Nationwide are moving steadily up the ranking to me. They seem to come out well in the various reviews I've looked at, often only second overall to First Direct in terms of customer service. The fact that Nationwide have three branches that we can get to fairly easily (Salisbury, Amesbury or Andover at a push) bodes well, too, as it may make it less likely that we suffer from a branch closure.
VP959 is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 18:08
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Lincoln
Age: 67
Posts: 454
Originally Posted by LowNSlow View Post
I've been with Midland/HSBC for 46 years, often looked at shifting but never found anybody better. Local branch always helpful and their online stuff works well.
Same here just slightly longer, still using the top account and have enjoyed the travel and car insurance, plus, only realised I had mobile phone cover recently (all end when I reach 70), everything I need to do I can do on my mobile without getting codes etc and that includes setting up new payees and reading statements.
Exrigger is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 18:11
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 463
Why do you need an actual Bank building ? Why do you need a face to face meeting ?
Go for Starling - it’s very very good, it’s all on line and , it’s great for overseas cash machines with none of the rip-offs from the old style banks.After every purchase anywhere it pings you.
To pay in cheques I go to the local Spar shop Post Office counter and pay them in using an envelope.
I’ve also been with Lloyds for c58 years but, like me, it’s seen better days !
NRU74 is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 18:16
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: England
Age: 56
Posts: 238
Depending on the capabilities of your mobile phone then consider WiFi calling which will allow you to send and receive texts as long as you have a reasonable internet signal. I have little or no mobile signal in the house but am on EE and WiFi calling allows a full mobile service inside the house. Do beware that not all WiFi calling is the same, for example WiFi calling on Vodafone works fine for calls but doesn't seem to send and receive texts. You will need a smartphone to use WiFi calling though so may be a problem if you don't have a suitable mobile phone.
Don Coyote is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 18:31
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Norfolk
Age: 63
Posts: 3
While many areas of the country have poor mobile phone coverage for certain networks, few have no mobile coverage at all. The solution may be in finding a mobile service provider that does have network coverage in your home. Different phones also vary greatly in sensitivity at the edges of coverage zones. It may well be that your current network provides perfectly for your needs and an alternative network that actually provides a signal in your home has some shortfalls that make it unattractive. The option then is to use a dual sim phone that allows full connectivity to either of two independent networks from one phone. Given sufficient height, a mobile signal is available just about anywhere in the UK. It is possible to fit signal boosters on a mast to provide local coverage of low lying areas such as in a deep valley. Driving a mile or so up the road to get a signal is rather passé in this day and age.
G0ULI is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2019, 18:32
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Newark'ish
Posts: 56
Spookily as I read your reply an advert for Nationwide came on TV .....they are offering £100 to switch!
mikemmb is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.