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How to decide which bank to switch to?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm currently with Lloyds and am thinking of changing because I've had nothing but problems with requesting things from them. How did people decide what bank to go for? I've spoke to 3 different banks and have asked what they can offer me and information about switching. They've all said that for switching, I only need to do a few things and they'd do the rest.

All I need is a savings account / ISA and current account with debit card and internet banking - something most / all banks seem to offer now.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    im with RBS and have never changed because theyve always been faab with whatever ive asked them for. Increasing overdrafts in emergencies, that sort of thing.

    I dont know how much of that is down to individual branches though
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Go for one not founded on the slave trade...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm with the Co-operative Bank because I'm a woolly liberal.

    The Cash ISA is only 0.5 %, so I'm thinking of moving that to a Credit Union.

    They're very proud of having accessible online banking, but can't verify that it actually is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    woolly, like soft and needs to get into my bed for a cuddle like a cute little teddy bear?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks. Does anyone have any experience of Barclays?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    Thanks. Does anyone have any experience of Barclays?
    DON'T DO IT.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Barclays are not brilliant, I have to say. They're better than Lloyds, but that really isn't saying much. Lloyds are widely regarded in money advice circles as the worst bank of the lot, closely followed by Barclays and HSBC.

    If you have a local building society still running in your area, you can usually get good rates from them, and customer service tends to be better. Unfortunately all the building societies round here became banks, and then went bust.

    The banks I use are Santander (ex Alliance & Leicester) and the Co-Op. Santander screw up all the time but their staff are brilliant, the Co-Op screw up pretty rarely but all their staff really are as thick as pigshit (they seem to think Little Britain was a training manual).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you have a local building society still running in your area, you can usually get good rates from them, and customer service tends to be better.

    What is the difference between a bank & building society? We do have Skipton building society.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ownership, basically. A building society is owned by the members, a bank is owned by the shareholders. You became a member when you took out products with them, usually a pension or mortgage or similar.

    That's why so many of them de-mutualised in the 90s- the members had their share bought out, often for a few grand, and many people went for the windfall. The biggest buiilding society left is the Nationwide, which defends itself now by limiting membership and removing all rights to windfall payments to new members.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    DON'T DO IT.

    See this is the bizarre thing, I have been with Barclays all my life and have nothing but good things to say about them.....

    whereas the company I work for banks with RBS and I have found them to be so useless I would never switch my personal accounts to them in a million years.

    Everyone has different experiences, it basically comes down to luck whether you encounter good members of staff or thick ones!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    rant rant rant
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As soon as I pay off my overdraft I'm moving to the co-op (or possibly Smile, their internet version). Everyone I know who's with them thinks they're brilliant.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    (or possibly Smile, their internet version).

    How accessible are they? I also have an account with ING Direct and am having problems with the PIN they gave me.

    According to my parents, I'm wasting my time thinking about changing - all banks will do what Lloyds have done. (In 6 years they've - "forgot" to send me a debit card, tell me how I apply to receive gross interest on savings, told me rubbish about my iSA statements and have twice managed to screw up a simple request for statements for each account I have with them for the last 4 weeks)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    How accessible are they? I also have an account with ING Direct and am having problems with the PIN they gave me.
    My housemate who uses Smile has sight problems but I don't know how that affects her computer usage.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there,

    Choosing banks is quite tricky - especially when they all say they're the 'best'.

    However, there is an amazing tool on the Money Supermarket's website which allows you to compare Current Accounts and Cash ISA's. You can use the links on the left hand side to compare the products by different criteria; for example 'regular savers' or 'overdrafts'.

    I hope this helps.

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Neddy wrote: »
    See this is the bizarre thing, I have been with Barclays all my life and have nothing but good things to say about them.....

    whereas the company I work for banks with RBS and I have found them to be so useless I would never switch my personal accounts to them in a million years.

    Everyone has different experiences, it basically comes down to luck whether you encounter good members of staff or thick ones!

    I should say that right now, Barclays are being very good to me. But it took them a rather long time to start. They also told me different things in different branches. 'Yes, of course you can cancel your reserve!', 'No, we can't cancel that, whoever told you that is stupid'...etc.

    They also forgot to tell me that they were going to start letting me take out money I didn't have, and that they were changing their policy on overdraft fees (twice!).

    I just want to punch the lot of them in the face.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Santander screw up all the time but their staff are brilliant.

    My experience has been that the branch staff in Santander are ok, but the call centre staff seem to have been poached from some kind of primordial swamp. I'm not sure some of them even know what money is.

    The only bank I've had dealings with that is ok most of the time is Cahoot. The online-only thing can be a bit of a pain sometimes, but the fact that they actually seem to know what they're doing generally makes up for it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kaff wrote: »
    The only bank I've had dealings with that is ok most of the time is Cahoot. The online-only thing can be a bit of a pain sometimes, but the fact that they actually seem to know what they're doing generally makes up for it.

    Being internet only really puts me off. I'm with ING Direct as well as Llloyds; and have had nothing but problems accessing my account.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kaff wrote: »
    My experience has been that the branch staff in Santander are ok, but the call centre staff seem to have been poached from some kind of primordial swamp. I'm not sure some of them even know what money is.

    That's the same experience I've had with the Co-Op, as I mostly use telephone banking rather than visiting the branch. Some of the call centre staff are nice, some of them are obnoxious, but they're all uniformly thick.

    When I've had to ring Santander they're staff have been better, but that might just be because the Alliance and Leicester call centre was abysmal so they're starting from a low base. However their main call centre in in Bradford, so you can draw your own conclusions...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your best bet, particularly if you'd rather use the bank in person, is to go for a wander around the local branches and talk to the staff about what they offer, say what you're looking for, that kind of thing. Ask about alternative to that thing they all now use to send PINs out.

    From doing that you'll get a really good impression of what the local staff are like, and the ones that are helpful are probably the bank you want. If you mainly use telephone or internet banking then it's a different kettle of fish, but if you want branches, go and try them out.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your best bet, particularly if you'd rather use the bank in person, is to go for a wander around the local branches and talk to the staff about what they offer, say what you're looking for, that kind of thing. Ask about alternative to that thing they all now use to send PINs out.

    From doing that you'll get a really good impression of what the local staff are like, and the ones that are helpful are probably the bank you want. If you mainly use telephone or internet banking then it's a different kettle of fish, but if you want branches, go and try them out.

    I have started to do this. I've spoke to RBS, Barclays and HSBC. The staff I spoke to did seem to know what they were talking about. Although one wasn't 100% sure about accessibility and did have to phone someone for advice.

    According to my parents, I'm better off staying with Lloyds and that all banks will do what they did. (wanted bank statements for my 3 accounts from the last 4 weeks - sent nothing for 2 and sent statements from July to January for the other. They also claimed that they can't sent statements out for ISAs)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Nationwide will print me off statements when I walk into the branch and ask for them.

    Basically most banks are pretty rubbish, and you need to weigh up whether the effort of moving everything over, especially if you want to transfer ISAs will be worth it, bearing in mind none of them are perfect. You'd have to have a massive number of problems with Llyods before the effort of moving was worth it just for that sake.

    If you get access to online banking, you can look up your statements and solve that problem.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Steer clear of Lloyds for the sake of your own conscience.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have spoke to a few more banks and they seem to all offer the same thing. Only difference being the interest rates on savings.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    the co-op have so far been the best banking experience ever! Knowledgable call centre staff, helpful branch staff, I can use any post office to deposit and take out money over £250. I've got a good account with them so I get a few extras which help, plus, I have a credit card which gives money to charity and I know that the bank isn't going to do anything dodgy...

    worth a try maybe?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    As soon as I pay off my overdraft I'm moving to the co-op (or possibly Smile, their internet version). Everyone I know who's with them thinks they're brilliant.

    Smile is their internet only version. The normal co-op is fully internet enabled (and is actually the same web pages, just different colours and logos)

    I know one person who has had trouble with the co-op, but I'm not prepared to lend them money so I can't blmae a bank for not doing so

    The one concern I have about the co-op re sight, is they want you to use a chip'n'pin device for authorising bill payments if you do it on the internet - but you can always use the phone banking.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Big Gay wrote: »

    The one concern I have about the co-op re sight, is they want you to use a chip'n'pin device for authorising bill payments if you do it on the internet - but you can always use the phone banking.

    Britannia have something to do with the Co-Op, I think and the man I spoke to mentioned that can be an issue. However, I only have a phone bill (paid by d/d each month) to pay.

    Has anyone had any experiences with Natwest, please?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The fact that the guy who is currently living in the house I lived in last year for uni messaged me on Facebook last night to tell me that he's been getting post from them for 8 months addressed to me, when I asked them to change my address?

    Also I know exactly what those letters say and I am fairly certain that's a fuck up on their part, too. Hrrmph.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Natwest are shit. Complete and total shit. They've defaulted several of my friends' overdrafts for no apparent reason in the last couple of years and then sent nasty debt collectors round. Complete scum, as you'd expect from a bank that was run by Fred "cunt" Goodwin.

    I used to have a credit card and bank account with them and they had a lovely habit of "losing" credit card bill payments just long enough to slap fees on, and then being twats when you asked for the fees back. They're thieves and I'd stick the entire board of directors in prison for 100 years for their thievery and twattishness.

    I wouldn't touch them with yours.

    As for the Co-Op bill payments, it depends on what you need to do. Some transactions don't require the use of the reader, especially low-value or regular transactions, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue. The reader has a pretty big display so you should be able to use it if you have sight, even if it is reduced sight.

    Britannia were taken over/merged with Co-Op Financial Services about two years ago, so you don't always get the new customer benefits if you're an existing Britannia customer.
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