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Are you a mutual lover? poll discussion/results

Poll ran between 16 - 23 Oct. Are you a mutual lover? Results

Building Societies are mutual organisations run for the benefit of their members not shareholders. Yet invariably, look at the best buy tables for many financial products and it’s the banks who top them.

Does mutuality matter to you? Which is the closest to your view?

A. Mutually supportive. I stick to building societies - they’re better for the long haul. 40% (950 votes)
B. Mutual Neutral. I don’t care - it's all about the best product rates. 54% (1274 votes)
C. Mutually destructive. Give me a bank - at least you know where you stand. 6% (141 votes)

Voting has now ended, but you can still click reply to discuss below. Thanks to everybody that had their say. :)


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Replies

  • I support the mutuals, but mainly due to the Nationwide, they always used to be in the best buy tables until the banks learned it could be good for business, high rates to catch us then drop them when we are unaware. Even with Bank headline best buy table rates nationwide still does a much better deal than most.
    Without the Nationwide fight we would all now be paying to use Link cash machines. They have also been consistant with their credit card for use abroad.
    I find if I haven't time to chase the best buys they offer a good steady average and I have never felt ripped off. They offered reasonable interest on their current account long before any of the others and still do. Generally I feel they deal honestly with their customers where as the banks nearly always seem to have a trick in the small print.
  • I joined Nationwide after hearing their good press but have now gone back to using my old regular bank due to such poor online service from Nationwide. They rarely answer emails and I cannot get to the high st building society regularly, so I rely on a good internet banking service. I was promised this by Nationwide but they failed to deliver. Will stick to what I know for now!
  • I agree with the first poster, and disagree with the second. I like the idea of mutuality in principle, and since we switched to Nationwide we've been very pleased. NW always seem to provide good savings rates (our main concern), even if they are not at the very top of the table. They also seem to pass on rate increases reasonably quickly. I've only seen one thing that I found a little bit disturbing (although it didn't affect me personally): I once read a year or so ago, when the furore about bank charges was at its height, that NW had written to a customer who had tried to claim bank charges that NW was going to close his account "because your relationship with NW has broken down". I thought this was against the banking code, but I don't know if this was a one-off, or a general policy at the time.

    Regarding the second poster, we use the internet banking function of NW all the time, and it works very well: it's easy to use and very reliable (we routinely use it on mac / safari and windows / firefox without any problems). In all the times we have tried to use it (every 2 or 3 days on average over about 4 years) I can think of only 2 or 3 occasions when the web site has been unobtainable, and then the problem only lasted 3 or 4 hours. We've only had problems with the account a couple of times (nothing to do with the internet banking), and then we've been able to sort it out over the phone quickly (sounds like they use a UK-based call-centre as well). The only reason we ever need to visit a branch is to deposit a cheque, and we could do that by post if we wished.
  • We "bank" with Nationwide too, and have a consistently excellent service both in the branch and online. We always take a mortgage with a building society, you may get a slightly lower rate with a bank, but we've always had the belief that banks are just out to get what they can! At least with a building society, we can pretend that the little people are getting something out of it! (although when you read Nationwide's financial accounts, and see what the Board pay themselves, you do wonder!)

    We've just persuaded my parents to change from a Barclays current account to Nationwide, after 30 years with Barclays, they can't believe the level of service they've started to get, how easily the transfer was handled and how much polite interaction they had!

    On principle, I wouldn't even consider a bank for any service that could be provided by a mutual society. I'm thankful not all of them succumbed to Thatcher's ethos of greed, and we can work together to support our financial needs, rather than lining some fat cats pocket and making the poor/rich divide bigger.
  • I support the mutuals too. Without the need to satisfy shareholders Nationwide can put its customers first and operate effectively without making the huge profits that the banks do. I believe that the mutuals are helping to ensure that bank rates do not escalate. Although their rates are not often at the top of the best buy rate tables they do feature regularly on the most consistently performing account league tables (as is demonstrated in their latest funny TV advert with Mark Benton as a bumbling bank manager attracting customers with high interest rates and then reducing the rates shortly afterwards).
  • StuHolmesStuHolmes Forumite
    142 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Really puzzled by the second posters comments on Nationwides online service. Have been with Nationwide for 17 yrs and used the online banking for the last 7/8. I think it is fantastic, much better than some. Used HSBC's a couple of years ago and found it truly appalling.
  • Unfortunately my experience of Nationwide has been a lot different to everyone elses!
    I'm glad you are all happy with Nationwide but for me, they weren't at all helpful. Just one of those things I guess!
  • Poll ran between 16 - 23 Oct. Are you a mutual lover? Results

    Building Societies are mutual organisations run for the benefit of their members not shareholders. Yet invariably, look at the best buy tables for many financial products and it’s the banks who top them.

    Does mutuality matter to you? Which is the closest to your view?

    A. Mutually supportive. I stick to building societies - they’re better for the long haul. 40% (950 votes)
    B. Mutual Neutral. I don’t care - it's all about the best product rates. 54% (1274 votes)
    C. Mutually destructive. Give me a bank - at least you know where you stand. 6% (141 votes)

    Voting has now ended, but you can still click reply to discuss below. Thanks to everybody that had their say. :)


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  • while nationwides product are never the best in the market they always seam to be relatively high up in the tables.

    i find their online service pretty good, whenever ive sent them a message through the online system they generally sort out what i`m asking and reply within 1-2 days.

    i dont know what the telephone service is like as i`ve never had to call them.

    I have a hsbc account too. while the main hsbc near me is open on saturdays (but only for use of the self service machines) ....nationwide is open and fully staffed till 3pm.

    A. Mutually supportive
  • A work collegue reccomended Nationwide to me about 10 or so years ago and I've never looked back, 'free' withdrawls overseas, pretty good savings rates and what I have always found to be a fantastic online service. I have found the website to be superbly simple while covering everything i need though admittedly I don't use it to communicate directly with them on issues - the phone lines have been pretty good and the staff very helpful too. Also in person they have been amazingly friendly, helpful and understanding. Full marks all round...

    Now for a truly awful web banking experience try IF.com. Rubbish design, counter-intuitive build, useless faq section, unhelpful replies to queries - in fact everything that is bad about a website. As soon as my introductiry mortgage deal with IF is over I'm out of there. Bloody awful.
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