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Problems with NatWest and needing new bank account

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Problems with NatWest and needing new bank account

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I will keep this as short and sweet as possible. 

My issue with NatWest is if I try to pay someone, for example I had a dustbin washer who charged me £1.50 for washing out my general waste bin in the summer, I tried to pay him £1.50 by  adding him as a payee and paying him that way as it was easier than trying to catch him if I was out with the dog etc. What this resulted in was BOTH my accounts being frozen, and in order to resolve it, I had to contact the fraud department. This is NOT the only time, it has happened virtually every time I try to pay someone this way, and ALWAYS results in me having to talk to the fraud department, who are not very helpful and speak to me like I am a criminal! I have NEVER used my bank account for ANYTHING illegal what so ever and I am very scam aware and safe online, I use anti virus, firewalls and the lot, I know what I am doing online, specially with stuff involving money. I don't pay anyone via transfer if I do not know them face to face and have a good rapport with them.  

I was also randomly sent a new debit card last year, long before mine was due to expire, along with a letter stating they had 'detected suspicious activity' on the account, but could not say what it was!. I have made numerous attempts to find out why, but got nowhere. It was really annoying as I have some TV subs etc online which had to be changed, along with everything linked to that card. What a hassle!. I don't want another card this year because I just set everything up with this one, but there is no telling when NatWest will send another one. 

Feels like I am a criminal under some kind of scrutiny! 

I am on ESA, UC and DLA, I have Autism, and for most of the time, I manage my finances ok, but this causes me SO much anxiety it's unreal. Specially when they freeze my accounts with no warning and I go on the online system looking to transfer my rent for example, only to have it vanish!. The only way to resolve it? You guessed it, a call to the fraud department. I used to do it so I kept my money in my savings, then transfer what is needed for bills when they are due, this really worked well for me, but I had to stop due to them randomly freezing my accounts. If I am not aware the accounts have been frozen till I try to use them, my direct debits don't go out and I get irritating calls and emails from various places asking where their direct debit is. Makes me feel awful because I always pay my bills in full and on time each month, I don't like being behind. 

What have I done wrong?. I really feel like I have irked NatWest somehow, but I don't know how!. I am just a regular person, using a regular bank account for regular things. What has gone awry I do not know. I can't stress enough I have never used my accounts for anything other than everyday stuff. Is someone trying to tamper with my bank account? I did have an ex who I would not put anything past?. I really don't know, I just keep scratching my head each time it happens. 

My biggest fear is they will just suddenly close the accounts, with no warning.

I am also looking for a bank which has an online facility which tells you money in and money out, as this will really help me out with budgeting. I am not too bad now, but this would help a lot lol. My Auntie says Halifax does this?.

If anyone can suggest a decent bank for a regular current account, and a savings account, I will give it some serious thought because the hassle of that far beats the hassle of having to speak to the NatWest fraud department every time I try and pay someone (usually members of my own family!) for something!. 

Replies

  • Billy_B_NorthBilly_B_North Forumite
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    What have NatWest said when you call them to enquire?

    Banks have a balancing act to manage between not getting in the way of legitimate transactions and not allowing people to be the victim if fraud, and sometimes they get it wrong.

    This isn’t them accusing you of being a criminal, it’s them trying to protect you (and themselves) from criminals using your account.
  • Bumblebee86Bumblebee86 Forumite
    5 posts
    Sixth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    They won't say!. They would not say why last time, and they would not say why they sent out a new card either. If someone has tried to access my bank account, I need to know about it!. I shall be so cross next time they send another card, because they always do, it's usually once every six months or so, a new card will come, and the letter with it will say 'we've detected suspicious activity on your account' but when I call them, they won't say what it was!. 

    I am afraid to use either account for anything other than paying with my card. My mum is with Lloyds, she has been the victim of a scam once, and this didn't happen to her. She still uses her bank to send birthday money to family etc with no issue. 

    I totally understand them trying to protect people, but I cannot use most of the features of either account. 

    I will be changing banks, it's just finding the right one for me x
  • xlnc99xlnc99 Forumite
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    LLoyds
    Halifax
    Bank Of Scotland

    I suggest using one of these three bank aaccounts (all part of the same group). I have these three plus santander, barclays, virgin, nationwide, tsb, monzo, starling, hsbc, natwest.

    LLOYDS, Halifax and BOS are by far the best banks ive ever been with. Everything online so easy and clear and they are really good with their customer service in general. Plus they give you notifications every time money is in and out of your account and whenever you spend money on your card and direct debits go out etc.

    Santander are next on my list but they dont yet give any notifications. 

    Barclays are next but i dont rate them that highly.

    The rest are not great
  • edited 8 April at 10:08AM
    jay1804jay1804 Forumite
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    edited 8 April at 10:08AM
    If your looking for somewhere Online/mobile  I would suggest Monzo or Starling their apps are very easy to use. I haven't faced any problems making transfers.

    I think Natwest is one of the worth for faster payments and new payees, I think they are trying to improve with the recent features they have added.
  • Penelopa.PitstopPenelopa.Pitstop Forumite
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    Lloyds app has notification that show you when you get money in your account and also some info about future outgoing payments and direct debit.

    Definitely open new bank account and just stop using Natwest, when you transfer all your payments to new one.

  • born_againborn_again Forumite
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    They won't say!. They would not say why last time, and they would not say why they sent out a new card either. If someone has tried to access my bank account, I need to know about it!. I shall be so cross next time they send another card, because they always do, it's usually once every six months or so, a new card will come, and the letter with it will say 'we've detected suspicious activity on your account' but when I call them, they won't say what it was!. 

    I am afraid to use either account for anything other than paying with my card. My mum is with Lloyds, she has been the victim of a scam once, and this didn't happen to her. She still uses her bank to send birthday money to family etc with no issue. 

    I totally understand them trying to protect people, but I cannot use most of the features of either account. 

    I will be changing banks, it's just finding the right one for me x
    No someone has tried to use your card. A very common issue...

    I'm surprised that they do not try to contact you to check the payments. So are your phone/mobile no's up to date?

    Also they do not have to tell you what the transactions are. 
    I take it that you are not using the card as a replacement for fraud, means the old card is stopped, so you would get a decline trying to use it.
    Life in the slow lane
  • ArmoricaArmorica Forumite
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    Monzo and Starling are very easy to use.

    There must be something that looks odd to Natwest - but hard to tell without more detail. Things like frequent small amounts going in and out of your account quickly can be one thing.
  • Alex9384Alex9384 Forumite
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    I agree with others. Try Monzo and Starling, both are great.

    NatWest systems are old and rubbish. Definitely much worse than Halifax / Lloyds.
  • md258md258 Forumite
    114 posts
    100 Posts
    It sounds like the first thing you should do is open a new current account with a new provider. Keep some money in there and it should help with the anxiety of accounts being frozen.

    Secondly switch away from Natwest. You don't trust them and find them hard to deal with so why keep it?
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