Blog : My bank doesn’t want me to have a new car

Keith Adams

My name is Keith Adams, and my bank doesn’t want me to buy a new car.

Last week, I went to look at a new addition to the fleet, and after agreeing a price and handing over a small deposit, I told the seller that I’d transfer the money (or at least the majority of it) electronically in the next day or so. I was happy, he was happy – we all seemed happy. That was until the banks got involved.

The purchasing decision was made on Tuesday, and after a couple of delays at my end, I requested a transfer from my Internet savings account on Thursday afternoon. A snag was immediately hit – the bank told me that my payment ‘would be delayed in order to perform anti-fraud checks’. The delay was said to be 24 hours, which meant payment would hit the seller’s account on Friday.

Except that it didn’t. And when I checked again, my bank informed me that these checks would take a further 24 hours, and as that hit a weekend, payment wouldn’t land in the seller’s account until Monday morning. By this time, the seller is quite rightly beginning to wonder whether I’m spinning him a yarn. After all, it’s going to be a week before he receives his money; and his bank’s telling him that Internet accounts should indeed be instant.

Come Monday morning, and the money still  hasn’t left my account. This is now getting embarrassing, and I make a ‘phone call to the bank to vent my spleen. After all, I have removed this money from my savings account (as they won’t let me transfer from there), and into my current account. And you know what that means at the end of the month.

After working through multiple menus, I get through to an adviser.

‘Hello,’ says I. ‘I’d like to talk about a transfer I’m having trouble with’.
‘Of course, sir,’ he says. ‘How can we help?’
‘I have a transfer that’s being delayed due to you making anti-fraud checks’.
‘Ah, nothing to worry about sir, it’s random and not against you – and will clear through in 24 hours.’
‘I made my payment on Thursday. It’s now Monday.’
‘Yes, ah. I now have a troubled seller, and I really want to pay this guy. And you’re stopping this.’
‘I can see why that’s a problem.’
‘How can we rectify this? This guy needs paying now.’
‘Well, you could go to your branch and pay it over the counter.’
‘What’s the point of Internet banking?’
‘Exactly, it’s a poor system.’
‘Okay, so I can’t do that. Could you at least inform him that the money is coming?’
‘Sorry, no we can’t do that. His bank doesn’t know payment is coming.’
‘But it’s the same bank!’
‘Yes, but his branch won’t know of the payment, even though it’s delayed.’
‘But he thinks I am trying to do him over. Do you have any other suggestions?’
‘Not really – just tell him to wait, it will be paid.’
‘So what are these security checks?’
‘Sorry, we can’t tell you.’
‘Cheers then’

At that point, I realise the bank had got me by the knackers, and I really was at its mercy.

My next thoughts are simpler. Okay, I’ll finish an hour early and hit the counter myself. I check on the Internet to see what the opening hours are. 9.30-5.00 it says on site, so I should have time. You know where this is going. When I arrive at the bank at 4.45, it’s closed, and there’s a note on the door – opening hours 9.00-4.30. Bugger. I text the seller – ‘sorry, the bank’s operating in the 1950s, and it’s closed.’

I receive no reply.

The following morning, I check my account again. And guess what? The transfer’s finally been approved, but has been bounced, as my current account is now overdrawn by £46, following some payments coming out from my recent trip to Germany. ARRRRGH!

Another transfer from the savings account to top up the current account, and again we try. And this time, success. Finally. The seller is successfully (and slowly) paid. A week after we shook hands on the deal.

My experience has been a salutary one. If you have savings, stick ’em in a box under your bed. Or buy gold with it. Or classic cars. Anything aside from putting it in the bank. Okay, so it’s a string of unlucky experiences, but it really shouldn’t have happened in 2012, especially given the potential benefits of electronic banking… as far as I am concerned my hatred of the banks has just been ramped up yet another notch (and it was already pretty high, given the world events leading up to – and subsequent from – 2008’s global banking collapse).

I’ll let you know what the new car’s like. Assuming that’s okay with Barclays.

Keith Adams


  1. Keith,

    What a nightmare. How very dare you spend your own money on a car when it could be better used by the bank to pay bonuses!

    I hope you can get petrol for your new car….Britain 2012. What a place!

  2. You should try dealing with banks in the United States. being in the 1950s would be about a century ahead of where they are now. The world outside of US borders simply does not exist.

  3. There’s a simple answer here. Change banks. I’ve got nowt but praise for my local Nat West branch staff.

  4. Keith, a word of advice. I used to work for a high street bank and elected to leave as they are truly hateful and corrupt organisations.

    I now bank with a building society who are not under quite the same pressures to steal money from, and inconvenience, clients. Move to a current account with a building society and have nothing more to do with these dreadful people.

  5. Peter: Except Building Societies can’t do certain transfers, IIRC.

    Barclays are one of the worst for transfers and general messing about. And customer service. And being generally a bit rubbish.

    However, they’re also the only one that sailed through 2008 without needing support.

    (I don’t like the term bail out. Taxpayers have an asset in the form of that stake in the banks that required Government funding to remain sustainable whilst adjusting. An asset that is, as we know, generally a profitable enterprise regardless of the state of the economy it’s in the process of trashing, because banks make money on the movement of money)…

    • Err… Barclays DID need support… and that managed to screw over their UK shareholders while they did it. They sold share cheapy to the Arabs (Kuwait government if I recall correctly) but did not allow UK shareholders to buy. The new shareholders promised not to sell thier new shares for a profit, but lied and sold as soon as the price had risen enough to make a massive profit.

      All the banks needed recapitalisation, but I was HSBC that did it honestly, raised the capital needed from their existing shareholders, rather than external sources (is government or new, foreign, investers)

  6. I feel your pain Keith! Halifax did us the courtesy of blocking payments from our account on a Sunday afternoon, due to “suspicious activity” as several payments had gone out in quick succession. Well yes, that kind of happens when you pay a very large sum of money into the account, you tend to spend it!

    Then after sorting some new accounts out for my aunt, Halifax very kindly moved me 150 miles away to Tamworth! This was despite changing my aunts address, and not even bringing mine into it! Finally after 4 different calls I managed to get everything sorted.

    Banks, the bane of everyones lives!

  7. An excellent analysis Richard Kilpatrick, when people rant off at me at work about this topic I point out that when the Swedish did the same in the 90s they made a killing when those shares were sold on later.

    I’m always intrigued to know exactly what fraud checks they can undertake without talking to either you or the 3rd party and how fruitful those checks will be,they don’t know why the moneys being moved, whether its a one off or a regular payment. Its an oddly held belief that an honest person will stand for a delay whilst a fraudster will try and back out of it. Which is mad.

    All I will say is that the bank I work for will ring you, there and then, on your mobile to confirm a payment set up online and then let it go on its way. And we don’t have those silly little Code Generator things!

  8. Do what i do,just leave enough in the bank for bills,keep the rest at home,in a secure box,then,when you buy anything,you can pay cash,no internet crap,pound notes,and yes it still does work,money talks.

  9. @ Richard.

    I use the Nationwide and do free same day transfers online regularly. I’m sure though that they can’t do everything a bank does but in 5 years of using Nationwide for everything I’ve not been stuck yet.

    Barclays have had their share of deceit based scandals over the last years and even months as have the majority of the banks. I work in the city and am completely pro-business, pro-profit and pro-private wealth generation but the banks in particular have gone beyond reason and honour.

    It’s a personal opinion but there it is !!!!

  10. While traveling home to NI from a track day in Belgium through England a few years back, I paid for a (pricy) hotel, spent quite a lot on fuel, booked a ferry, stopped at an outlet place and bought a ton of stuff for my daughter and other half. Finally stopped at McDonalds for a snack, where my card was declined due to suspicious activity (for a whole £3.99).
    I didn’t have enough cash to pay for it (and the place was bunged as it was 1730), so, while gaining the disapproving looks of about 50 people in the queue and the staff, I had to phone the bank to check it out. They couldn’t help me (other than to confirm I had more than £3.99 in my account) and I had to go into a branch – which of course was closed. This despite their much lauded 24 hour ‘friendly’ telephone banking.
    I have never been so embarrassed in my life. Needless to say, when I got back, I changed bank pretty quickly. They let well over £1000 go in 3 different countries in under 24 hours, yet stopped the smallest transaction of all…

  11. Keith why the hundreds of words? Being married to an ex-Barclays employee (swallowed woolwich employee) I think BARCLAYS ARE BA***RDS is an easier message!

  12. Another “bash a bank story”.

    Turn it on its head, had you not have made said transfer and they had released funds without further checks how would you have felt? Presumably the amount in question was fairly sizeable and indeed not your normal account activity?

    Come on, banks are businesses. Do you moan about Esso, BP, Total etc making you shell out a fortune for petrol everytime you fill up?

  13. On the rare occasions when I’ve dealt with Barclays they have been singularly incompetent. They managed to delay one of my transfers by several days with consequent loss of many £ of interest. With my Santander (formerly Abbey) account I can transfer money instantly between savings and current account using online banking and the savings rate is competitive by todays poor standards.

  14. @ Richard Kilpatrick comment 5

    Not exactly true. Barclays didn’t sail through the banking colapse, they took money from the Middle East rather than go to Alistair Darling. If they hadn’t they would have went the same way as the rest eventually. So yes, they didn’t get UK government support, but they needed to raise money elsewhere to survive.

    I remember it well, I worked for one of the banks that had to be bailed out and was made redundant as a result. The events of 2008 are etched vivdly in the memory.

  15. We were left stranded in Switzerland by Barclays when we tried to use our perfectly useable card abroad and they declined due to “anti fraud checks” – we needed fuel desperately so we called them. The friendly but hard to understand lady in India asked me to answer some questions. “You went to a restaurant 3 months ago and part of your bill was spent on drink, do you recall how much that was?” …. at this point, I thought I had been Fonejacked, “3 months ago? are you serious?” ….”OK sir, I shall try another question, you bought some homewares from a store approx 8 weeks ago, can you tell me which store that was?” ….”Err? no, I use my card all the time, how can you expect me to remember that? why can’t you just ask me my date of birth and my shoes size or something?”… “I’m sorry sir, if you cannot answer the questions I cannot authorise the card” at which point she HUNG UP!!!! Suffice to say I have never, ever, ever stepped foot in Barclays again.

  16. It’s also worth mentioning, we were doing a 3 week road-trip around Europe and had called Barclays before we went to get assurance that we would not encounter problems as we could possibly be in different countries in the same day along the trip “Oh, of course not sire, I shall make a note on your account if anything should cause a problem it will be clear for all to see…”

  17. Few years ago I walked into my local Barclays and said..”I need to buy a new van, mines knackered!” ‘When do you need the money Sir?’ the nice man asked.. “NOW!” I replied and 20 minutes later I walked out with 4k stuffed in my pocket, I got my new wheels and it was out at work the same day!
    Internet is shyte for doing something FAST, nothing beats face to face and a friendly smile!!

  18. Change banks. I’ve had similar experiences with Barclays. They really are rubbish with their customer service. I’d recommend the Co-operative Bank. Everything is much simpler – you really get the impression they want your business.

  19. @13 – Mr T – it’s not a bash the bank jobbie – it’s telling us that they were incompetant transferring money in teh promised timeframe (as I understand Keith’s article) several timeS! We all appreciate Banks looking after our money, and ensuring that we are not affected by fraudulent activity. That said, a certain State Owned Bank ‘lost’ £4000 of my money, which after 18months cost them agreat deal of embaressement (Main City Branch closed by Bailiffs taking walking possesion of it two days before Christmas) and it cost them over £20K (peanuts I know) – but then this was 12 years ago!

  20. …and teh problem is that they’re all as bad as each other – and you’ll run out of banks, or have to go back to them after x years – and I’ve only had to change once in 35 years 🙂

  21. I’ve never had a bit of trouble with HSBC, personal and business.. same story with my Dad and his banking.

    Get a bit tired of the plethora of key chain code generators O have to keep tabs on.. but it smooth banking’s the out come, maybe I should moan so much.

  22. barclays are useless and allways have been,i had a string of bad experiences with them 4-5 years ago,been with co-op banking for 3 years now and they are perfect,i am allways buying cars over the net and the bank account transfer is a vital part of this process,they really are good,i suspect your bank knew that other payments were pending so withheld your car payment”cleared funds” i believe is the terminology.

  23. You know people are more likely to move house, divorce and change job than change banks, and in this case Keith that’s exactly what you should be doing. Along with a complaint to the banking ombudsman.. Banks hate that!

    Used to have similar problems with lloyds TSB.. And I changed to cooperative bank, that was ten years ago and I could not be happier. Is an ethical bank owned by its customers, meaning you get a few, & I mean few, quid one a year as a dividend..

  24. I absolutely HATED Barclays (terrible, terrible service) when I was with them and moved over to HSBC.. the lesser of the two evils. In the end, I went over to Nationwide as they allow me to switch between accounts and make instant transfers, pretty much at will now.

  25. you see the principle is very simple – Banks were designed to help you save money – and what better way than not to allow you to spend any?

    Sorry Keith – but this is a fair representation of most banking experiences.

  26. Barclays tchhh, distinguishing arses and elbows troubles them! I transferred a mortgage from Barclays to HSBC and there was a £200 difference in the final and estimated settlement figure, the difference remaining with Barclays. It took several weeks to recover the money due to conversations along these lines –

    Me:Can I have my money back
    Barclays:Yes sir – what is your account number?
    Barclays:Sorry Sir, that account is closed
    Me:But you have my money!
    Barclays:Yes Sir.
    Me:Can I have it back then?
    Barclays:That account is closed Sir

    …..repeat conversation several times over a number of weeks until resolved, never used Barclays since.

  27. Change banks. They rely on inertia. I spent twenty years with Barclays before I finally did something about it. Their service is much worse than the other major banks (although don’t go anywhere near the Halifax or whatever it’s called these days).

  28. The banks really do not give a shite about you or your custom. what is really annoying is that they spend £squillions on advertising to tell you that they do. They think we are stupid.

  29. As we all know the banks are scum of the earth-who ever heard of the banks bankrupting themselves and us end up paying?why does a firing squad come into mind?the message is simple-barclays,shove the account right up your fat arse im going to the co-op or metro bank.

  30. Was in the RBS this morning in fact going through a similar experience. In short, I had a not-unsubstantial amount which was in an account opened in my name by my late mother. Having been through the mill trying to retrieve her estate from the RBS over the last few months (another story), I’d had it with them and wanted to close the account. If you have ever seen the Jack Lemmon film “Avanti” where he is trying to get his dead father’s body out of Italy and back to the States, you get the picture. It went something like this:

    Me: I’d like to withdraw all funds and close the account.
    RBS: Really, we CAN keep the account open if you want?
    Me: My mother died four months ago, this is money she said was mine to use afterwards, and I just want to transfer it all into my main account in another bank and close this one.
    RBS: I’m sorry to hear that. Do you want to see what else we can offer instead, we do savings and investment accounts.
    Me: No, all my affairs are in another bank.
    RBS: You can transfer your current account to us, we have some cracking ones.
    Me: No, but thanks anyway.
    RBS: You can come in any time for a review of your finances and see if we can do a deal?
    Me: Look, this money is my inheritance and I just want it all in the one place. I really don’t want this account anymore.
    RBS: OK, we will get this sorted out for you. It will either have to be in cash or a bankers’ draft
    Me: Can’t you just write a counter cheque out in my name, the Nationwide, Santander, do this?
    RBS: No, we don’t offer that service. I can electronically transfer the money to any account of your choice.
    Me: OK, then, that will do.

    (After much prodding and clicking of her computer, she then looks at me with a forlorn expression:)

    RBS: Oh I’m sorry, this account doesn’t allow electronic transfers into another bank, only another RBS account. We can still do a banker’s draft?
    Me: Ok.
    RBS: But that will cost you £10
    Me: OK, well what is the interest that has been earned on this money in the last year (bearing in mind that the financial year ends in a few days’ time) I’ll use that to pay for the draft.
    RBS: Oh I can’t tell you that until we’ve withdrawn all the funds out but I’ll try.

    (More clicking and fiddling with the computer…)

    RBS: The interest rate on this account is only 0.05% so I doubt that there will be much interest to pay out. Do you still want the draft.
    Me: Look, just give me it in cash.

    (I simply wasn’t going to see £10 of my inheritance get spent on subsidising Fred The Shred’s pension, so by this time I had resigned myself to walking to my everyday bank to redeposit the funds with my pockets stuffed with used £50s…..)

    RBS: One moment sir, I need you to sign here to withdraw the funds
    (which I do)
    Me: Is that us?
    RBS: No, because it is such a large amount I need to get it countersigned by my supervisor.

    (Once my photocopied passport had been countersigned, the withdrawal form countersigned, and counter-countersigned and the whole lot stapled together she starts counting the cash.)

    RBS: Sorry, I don’t have many £100 notes. It will be mostly £50s
    Me: (sigh) – yes, whatever
    RBS: There we are sir, do you want me to close the account also?
    Me: I thought we’d done that
    RBS: No I have to get you to fill out this form to close the account, then we will send you a cheque for the interest, minus tax. Do we have your national insurance number?
    Me: I gave it when I opened the account.

    (Getting more exasperated, and conscious that my car is parked in a 30 minute parking space, I fill the form out)

    Me: Here you go.
    RBS: Thank you, we’ll be in touch in a few days. Anything else we can help you with?

    25 minutes later, much the consternation of all the other customers who were queued up behind me I left. The moral of the story should be pretty clear – don’t bank with the RBS!

  31. I totally sympathise with you Keith. I find with Banks that they dont trust us – “the customer” – yet it is us that shouldnt trust them!! When buying cars via a part ex with a dealer I usually pay a £200-500 deposit on a debit or credit card then pay the balance by a Bankers draft + my p/x car.

    As I get older I find it easier dealing with Car dealers and salesmen than Banks…

  32. @36 Kevin. £100 note? I had to Google that – didn’t know there was such a thing (only in Scotland). I fancy one of those!!!

  33. In the middle of buying a house, and I’ve had the great displeasure of dealing with several banks to get my life savings all in one place, after years of squirreling ISAs away with most of the major banks.

    Barclays – fast, friendly service, same day transfer, five minutes in the branch and all done. No problems.

    Santander – incompetent, useless, endless form filling and questions. Can you fill this in, sign this, sign that, check that, read that, what’s this, why’s that, what’s it for… just give me MY bloody money. Thank you. Eventual transfer a few days later.

    Bank of Scotland – Haha. That was a good one. Usual round of questions and security checks, sorry we cannot do electronic transfer, only cheque or cash. And cheque will cost you £30. Really? Cash it is then. Errr, I don’t think we have enough behind the counter. Well you will have to go to the £50 shop and get it sorted then. Walked across to my main bank with a brown envelope stuffed with £50 notes.

    RBS – Been my main bank for the last ten years. Tried to transfer the deposit for the house over to the mortgage account – sorry, we cannot exceed £10k transfer online. Rang a call centre – sorry, we cannot exceed £10k transfer over the phone. Into the branch – sorry, transfer over £10k will cost you £20 – why?? My money, I’m not paying you to move it around. Also the inevitable question – what do you have planned for this money? I’m going to buy lots of drugs and Bolivian dancing girls, what’s it got to do with you??

    Banks, who’d have them??

    Having said that – our mortgage is with Lloyds. Superb local branch, superb service. So they’re not all bad.

  34. Banks are and always have been an emotive subject. The only way to beat them is to not owe them anything, which of course is easier said then done.

    After the Nat West very thoroughly shafted my Step Dad and his business in the early 90’s, I opened an account with them to get my salary paid into.

    I then transfer this each month in to a Nationwide current account from which to pay out bills etc and if ever I need anything important or sensitive doing such as a loan or mortgage, I use the Nationwide who at least have an understanding of human beings. My Nat West account never therefore goes overdrawn, and neither do they keep hold of any substantial amounts of my money. I therefore enjoy the all the benefits of free banking and them writing and telling me me how they can save me money on my account. I always ask them how when the account is not overdrawn, and attracts no charges. The ‘suits with lashings of hair care products’ then go a bit quiet and I wont hear from them for another 6 months until my name comes up on their computers for another ‘review’ – which I think is bank speak for ‘lets see how we can get our claws into this one’.

    Believe it or not I have an overdraft limit of over £ 2,500 on this Nat West account that I never applied for, but most importantly, never use. Can you believe when they wrote to tell me about this unsolicited overdraft limit they also said, ‘so why not go out and celebrate this by treating your self to something you would not normally do’ or words to that effect, encouraging me to spend needlessly. How irresponsible is that?

    My other gripe is that when we moved house 3 years ago, I went into my local Nat West branch and queued at the counter to get a balance and withdraw £ 20 at the counter. After I did that I told the polite lady I had moved house and she told me to join another queue elsewhere in the branch. When it was my turn (for the 2nd time that visit) I was told I could not change the address on the account as I had insufficient identity.(Nevermind that I had sufficient identity to get a balance and empty the account). I was told the FSA would not allow me to change the address with the identity I had with me. I pointed out that Nationwide had allowed me to do this 30 minutes ago, and was this the same FSA that had allowed them to run riot with the nations economy? The address got updated.

    Nasty nasty organisations and I do not trust them

  35. The best customer service is Nationwide. Both my ISA and Mortgage is with them and they are far better than Halifax who I still have my bank account with. Had numerous probs with Halifax though it has not been the branch’s fault, its been their offices. My Bank Manager was pulling his hair out the last time I had a prob as he was telling the person at the other end of the phone how to resolve the prob and they kept saying it was not possible – when he knew it was!

  36. @Kevin Steele

    Pretty bad experience you had with RBS. Worst bank I ever dealt with was Ulster Bank, who happen to be part of the RBS group. Local branch had no interest in me wanting a student account, every feature required several months of fulltime payslips – I only had payslips from PT weekend/evening and summer jobs (even things like a debit card (to buy study books) and chequebooks (to pay rent)). Soon gave them the heave-ho and got a proper bank with a tailored student account.

    Lloyds TSB were alright until I got into a bit of a tight spot financially, then their nicey-nice approach suddenly got all aggressive. “For the journey”? So long as that journey is a nice smooth upper-middle class journey that has no rough patches along the way!

    I bought a cheap second hand car just over a year ago.
    The dealer seller didn’t take debit card (he was very old school) so I had to nip to the bank the next day to withdraw several hundred quid. The guy at the Santander branch nearly scolded me for wanting my money!
    “You know you should REALLY phone up to give us warning that you want to withdraw cash!”
    It’s my money! And it wasn’t like I was lifting several thousand pounds cash out at once, it was just several hundred to top up the deposit I’d already put down on a cheap car!

  37. The other thing that seems to have happened since the banking crisis is an inability to borrow smallish amounts of money, the lower limit seems to be about £7’000 now.

    I’ve bought cars in the past for about a Grand’ish, and borrowed a thousand or so and payed it off across say a year. Actually i bought my second car that way, my first car a shabby £100 metro was ok when i worked locally, but then i got a job further away and suddenly needed something in better nick. So i borrowed £1500 i think it was from my bank and went out and bought a newer Rover Metro 1.4GS. I was only 20 and didn’t have much in the way of savings and no time to save up. A loan was the only option, i paid it all off without issue across the course of a year.

    Now you can’t borrow money like that from banks, you have to go to the dubious high interest loan people that advertise on the TV.

    Doesn’t do anything for the economy, and i can’t see the reason for it. I mean so long as they only lend the money to someone who has the means to pay it back i can’t see a problem, and they make money!

  38. I think the most interesting thing to come out of this is that everyone has had crap experiences with their banks. Peter, IIRC the issue with a building society was something to do with receiving electronic payments, which as I’m freelance and slightly more chaotic than Dirk Gently (though he’s got cooler wheels) is a showstopper. I wanted to move to the local “Earl Shilton” building society as it’s a real one and everything.

    I dislike Nationwide for their role in the PR game of “house prices”, joint second place with Hailfax, and both well behind the front runner of Robert “Shut up, FFS” Peston.

    Almost universally amongst my friends, Co-op seems to be the one to run with, so I’m pondering a move there – if they get more high-street branches.

    I’m HBoS currently and mostly happy with them, what with their included travel insurance paying for my leg to be reassembled, the PPI refund and indeed, the whack of charges retrieved when I took ’em to court 😉

  39. @46 Dennis. I shall rename you Hal as you appear to know something about everything! I can get electronic transfers in just fine to my Nationwide current account – I just wish I had more transfers coming in !!!

    I won’t bore you with my experiences of Smile (part of Co-op) but I ended up telling them to stick it too! Matbe the branch based Co-op are better.

    PS, NatWest Black card is damn good – you pay £250 fee a year but the benefits, if you use them, are brilliant.

  40. @42
    You’ll Find the Halifax (and Bank of Scotland) have suffered ever since Lloyds took the over and foisted their outdated and antiquated banking systems onto it.

    They got their hands on the country’s largest mortgage customer base and that’s all that mattered to them.

    Sure customers will complain when we remove services, add more paperwork (like bringing back filling out a withdrawal slip for the counter) and close near on 250 local agency branches, but most of customers wont change.
    And that’s what the banks count on, customer lethargy.

  41. Extremely frustrating!! Especially when a new car is being held up!!

    I’m somewhat old fashioned in my banking. Haven’t yet touched internet banking and have no real intention of doing so unless I’m forced into it by the removal of branches etc.

  42. What about exchanging cooking recipes here…

    It was your choice of bank. Choose one where you have a person you can talk to (no online bank), don’t only stare on the fees and dividends. It’s your money, – why giving all you have to someone you do not trust?

    If you had informed yourself before you could have avoided this trouble. Don’t blame anyone else than yourself.
    And finally: Why didn’t you make an express transfer if it is an important deal?

  43. Yorkshire Building Society has an account which is close to a bank account – allows direct debits, standing orders, cash card, etc. Smaller building societies like the Market Harborough, Leek and Loughborough are brilliant – traditional service from real human beings.

    When I bought my first Rover 400 estate the dealer persuaded me to pay by bank debit card rather than cash. Come the day, and a long train ride to collect it, the transaction was refused so I had to go home and try again the following Saturday – my bank had a £3k transaction limit but the car was £3100 and the dealer could not spot the reason for the refusal. Should have stuck to my guns and paid cash in the first place.

  44. “Dennis: Credit cards tend to be covering that level of debt now.”

    Maybe so, but not a lot of use if you want to buy a second hand car from a private seller.

  45. It is interesting to hear of other peoples’ experiences with banks, having been in the industry for 30 years.

    Nothing here is new. 000’s of customers have stories like all of you. One thing I do find curious, however, is the number of comments harking back to the days of ‘traditional’ banking done by real human beings.

    Now, as much as we hate our banks for whatever personal reasons we have, do you REALLY want to go back to the following circa 1976;

    – No ATMs
    – Banks opening at 9.30 and closing at 3.30
    – No Switch/Point of Sale facility
    – Maximum guaranteed amount of £50 for a cheque
    – Having to wait while they phone your home Branch so you can take out money, as they had no computer facility to check balances other than on the home branch microfiche.
    – No way to check your balance except by appearing in person as they would not give balances over the phone – within their advertised opening hours. Result – cheques bounced or unauthorised borrowing charges incurred.

    The ‘All Our Yesterdays’ nostalgia is fine and good until we find we are without the modern conveniences online banking gives us.

    Yes they can be frustrating at times, but as has been demonstrated in this thread it is something ALL the banks are guilty of, not just a select few bad eggs.

  46. I have recently had a few problems with my bank and a credit card company.
    I have found that saying that I want to close the account normally solves the problem. Suddenly they stop faffing around and sort it out.

  47. Santander are shite as well .
    I want a ne cheque book . I used to be able to order it online with no problem . Now I have to enter an SMS text code which I usually recieve hours after I wanted it and is no longer valid .
    I sent them a complaint pointing out that it would be nicer if they would divert some of the dosh they give to Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton and spend it on their customer service .
    I suspect before 2008 Santander kept their noses clean and were able to acquire ailing banks on the cheap .

  48. It isn’t correct to say Barclays didn’t need bailing out – they investigated (and rejected) the possibility of using Government money; they then ran off to the Middle East (they had also used the BoE “lender of last resort” money eailer in the banking crisis to prop themselves up). They have also benefitted from the industry as a whole being propped up by governments and through QE.
    Unfortunately banks are parasitic organisations that make money purely by moving it around; the great folly by governments past and previous was basing our economy around financial services.

  49. @49 They were no better before the buy out. Anyway Lloyds were forced to take on HBOS by the then government to stop it going under. Lloyds were finacially a successful and viable company and now they are 40% owned by the taxpayer.

  50. @57 Ian Nichols

    A lot of former Abbey customers say things deteriorated after the Santander push. I know the guy who was top dog of Abbey and he quit due to their ‘management style’.

    Bizarrely they have been allowed to buy all the RBS branches in E&W & Nat West in Scotland, despite the fact that the problems with tha banks (according to that fool Vince Cable) are due to their size!

  51. Could you imagine the concept of a bank on Dragons Den?

    “I set up a business where you give me your money.”

    “And what do I get, as a consumer, in return?”

    “Well you can lift out a bit of your money at a time. But not all of it, because that would require special arrangements.”

    “And how do we, as investors, expect to get a return?”

    “Well we gamble the consumer’s money on investments.”

    “And what if the investments go sour?”

    “That’s the beauty of it! The taxpaying consumers will provide a safety net! And we will continue getting paid bonuses!”

    “Am oot”

  52. @54 Paul T

    Paul, you have summed up the banking sector perfectly by listing the technical advances made as an excuse for overlooking the disgracful decisions and terrible customer service now offered by the actual staff.

    All the bank’s problems stem from what was displayed in your contribution, a smug self satisfaction that blinds bankers to the reality of how they behave.

    I used to work for a high street bank and got out as a point of honour.

  53. @54, i think our lives were simpler then,our dads could fix thier cortina,the grub we ate was healthier,people had respect oh and people used to rob banks.Now the banks rob us left,right and centre and its a huge pity that more banks didnt go under,let alone the bastards running them not go to prison for gambling our wealth,now for the rest of mine and childrens lives we have to pay for the corrupt scum playing god and gambling our money.Go back to banking when you knew your bank manager by name?any day of the week.

  54. But #64 Paul T has a point, because our lives have become so mechanised and automated and convenient we are less tolerant now of anything that complicates our lives where we used to accept it as a given; before you talk about the “good ole days” could you live in a world with:

    * only four (or three) terrestrial TV channels?
    * no video recorders
    * twin tub washing machines
    * when a 2-litre car struggled to develop more than 90bhp?
    * no internet
    * no mobile phones
    * shops that shut all day on a Sunday
    * petrol stations that shut at 6pm
    * no BOGOF deals on beer at Tescos

    …the list is endless!

  55. On the subject of the last one there, we up here in Scotland have already lost the BOGOF deals on booze thanks to Mr. Salmond, sadly our friends south of the border are going to be subjected to the same nanny state-ism by Mr. Cameron…

  56. @ Kevin 65.
    I could happily live in a world with all those points – the only thing I would miss (and miss badly) is our beloved AROline!

  57. A world where:
    * Petrol is cheap, you can afford to run at least a 2 litre petrol car
    * 3 channels so you don’t spend all of your time channel hopping, programming was quality (and not lowest common denominator), TV wasn’t as dictated by the advertisers
    * Respect in society was present. Youths respected and feared their elders, and if caught up to no good, a clip round the ear and a word with their parents would suffice.
    * No police state / government monitoring of all traffic (both physical and network)
    * AROnline survives as a BBS / club magazine

  58. @ Peter Harris

    As you will no doubt know, then, the days are gone where you had to go on various training courses and do very basic tasks as the ‘junior’ before you got near the front counter to deal with real people. Now, they are thrown onto the front line after a week or two weeks’ induction training and if they show the slightest aptitude for sales they are fast-tracked into an advisor’s role.

    A lot of the front-line staff have little or no life experience yet they are expected to drive the recovery of the banks and make them their money. Someone said earlier about being pestered for reviews and attempts to sell them products. Certainly a real scenario, however this is the reality of ALL retail businesses these days, banks are no different. It does not, however, excuse poor service and unfortunately the current generation of new employees demonstrate a lot of the faults in their upbringing, and have very few manners or respect for elders

    @ francis brett

    Knowing your bank manager by name? Nowadays by the time you’ve memorised it they will have been moved on and someone else will be in their place. I think it is fair to say that the bank manager position does not have the same meaning or garner the same respect within the community as it did even not that long ago. Most of them are now in the role in their early 20’s, unheard of even in the 1980’s or 90’s

  59. @65 anyone can live without that stuff.its called bullshit.
    no ones life will stop without it,no one needs it.Now we are all lazy and obese and our children are twats because they are so socially inept due to iphones,bbm,bebo and a whole host of other bollocks,i am 41 years old and “good ole days”as you refer are far better than today.
    And @68 couldnt put it better myself!oh and this reply would take a week to reach you!

  60. Ask anyone if they miss Tyrannosaurus Rex……

    Unfortunately unless we all adopt an Amish lifestyle then I’m afraid that we are stuck with the technology. Some advances are irreversible. Commerce would come to a halt without mobiles, internet etc and we would struggle to live our lives without it now.

    Wemight think the good old days were better, but add in the problems of strikes, power cuts and the like and it is easy to see we sometimes look at the past with rose tinted glasses.

    Speak for your own children, laziness & physical condition, not mine.

  61. @72 my children are great thank you very much,Instead of getting defensive,just ponder commerce and free market economy for a moment,were is our industry?sold down the river by the banks-who do you think are behind takeovers most of the time?kraft didnt dip thier hand in thier bin and say lets buy cadburys did they? and low and behold they shut a plant?only yesterday on BBC world service there was a slot on the state of the british car industry,and guess what the speke plant(TR7) was the cornerstone of the story,and very learned experts blamed the management!im not saying lets go back to the dark ages what im saying is we have sleep walked into disaster because of reliance on technology, not our shitty ipods and dickhead game consoles but the banking system super computers that try and predict markets-look were it got us,as they say garbage in garbage out,bye bye lehman bros etc etc it may sound a load of nonsense while we put our pots on shelves and draw the curtains on it and hope it goes away,it wont,thankfully, the car industry here is fit as a butchers dog,ellesmere port is one of the most effecient car plants in europe will it survive? 50/50 because of over capacity and no one buying cars in enough volume,next gen mini built here?of course.The crux is,british car co,foriegn management.What if BL was run by honda?

  62. This seems to have developed, wrongly, into a technology v service & morals discussion. Can’t we have it all? The buffoons in banking cannot imagine it yet alone achieve it.

  63. @ 73

    Francis, every time I try a reasoned discussion for some reason you seem to launch in with some unnecessary rant. I only responded to some rather barbed comments that were obviously pointed in my direction. When I respond to them you say I get defensive?

    You need to have a good look in the mirror, son, and think before you start attacking people for taking a position that you more or less provoked in the first place.

    I shall, in future, just ignore your comments as I do not see the point in wasting time giving them any credibility as you just always seem to want a fight.

    I would suggest you read some of the other members’ contrinutions to get some idea of how these things work.

  64. @76 i agree im quite robust but thats the way i am,secondly,i never aimed any barbed comments at you and your children it was kids in general,all im saying is things were easier in days gone by,ok? if ive got on your nerves a bit im very sorry,plus i was on my fourth bottle of rioja (and very nice they were)i also agree im unreasonable,its a trait ive had all my life but i dont consider it an handicap-if i feel strongly about something i obviously put my slant to it,never roll over and have belief in my convictions.Once again,please accept my sincerest apologies if in any way i have offended you or got on your tits,im not always like this i can have cogent dialogue on here just like the next man.But not about MG insignias!

  65. Well,im such a knob sometimes we forget! it was the satsuma castanet V16 turbo-not just a car,but a babe magnet!

  66. Yeah, Ombudsman them, that will teach the f**k-heads to do a decent job for a change, I believe they’re “fined” £500 for any receivable/reasonable complaints… Yours’s definitely a good one, shaft them!!! RBS was terrible, waiting the end of banking day to pay-in my wages, wait for it, coming from my company’s account in the SAME BRANCH!!!”We declined to pay your mortgage, saving you FEES (THAT bankers’ magic word..) on the 4 other items “we” paid for you”. I would have been less than £20 in the red had they pay the mortgage as well, less than £25 they charged me for unpaid item!!! As a “goodwill” gesture, I got the fee back. My goodwill gesture was move to Lloyds, as well as my partners affairs, not a problem for nearly a year. It’s true, working in a bank, even as a teller, was an achievement years ago. Look at them now, they can’t even add or subtract…I hate bank(er)s as they are now, charges left, right and centre… 0,1% AER!!! on my classic acc, less than 2% on ISA!!! Well my ISA got me nice 2007 S-Type XS TD last month, sod 2% AER…I’ll save more on fuel costs (than the pittance they give) compared to the 3L Sport which is for sale, if anyone’s after a cheap S-Type Manual…Oh, the MK3 S-Type has a less “dumpy” arse, BTW. But that’s for another thread, car related, I guess…

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