Passbook accounts (not in London)

edited 21 July at 2:13AM in Savings & Investments
8 replies 303 views
OctagonOctagon Forumite
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edited 21 July at 2:13AM in Savings & Investments
I was just wondering if anyone had any knowledge of an account that fulfils the following:

- Small/local building society passbook savings account;

- Account not accessible online (or online has to be set up by phoning up and then waiting an age for a letter with access codes to arrive);

- As above, but will still accept transfers in from online banking from other bank (doesn’t matter if it isn’t set up for faster payments in - old school 3 day process will do);

- Start saving from a quid (or up to £100 tops needed to open account);

- Withdrawals only by turning up in person with passbook (or some very old fashioned long lead time process - eg. sending in a paper form and them sending a cheque back);

- No branches in London (and at least a 90 min train ride from London to get to a branch);

- No requirement to live locally to open the account (I hear that some very small building societies require this);

- Extra points for no Saturday opening at branches!

You can probably imagine where I’m going with this...

I’m very good at (most days) opening the Monzo app and sending a random small amount that I think I can spare that day (50p / £2, etc.) to a savings account. (I get a little happy rush from it - ‘yea! I did a good savings thing!’)

What I am not at all good at is not then going and spending this money! (There have been many, many attempts at some form of will power... I’m a total idiot in this regard, obvs. 🙄)

Such a completely inaccessible account will mean I only do the Monzo to savings part of this sorry tale, and therefore, eventually, may manage to get a pot of vaguely meaningful savings together!

(I know most/all remaining passbook accounts pay pitiful interest. I’m not bothered about that - one can’t earn interest on savings that don’t exist either!)

Any clues/recommendations would be most welcome! Many thanks in advance!

[One other thing - I don’t really want an account that actually limits withdrawals or requires notice to withdraw. If I absolutely needed the money in an exceptionally difficult spot, i’d still like to be able to get on a train to go collect it.]


  • lr1277lr1277 Forumite
    898 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    Are you willing to travel to open the account? Or do you want to open by post?
    I have seen some accounts that have minimum balance of say £100 or £1000.As you had many requirements, I looked for accounts you had to open in branch or by post.
    Some of these societies require you to open in branch and others will let you open in branch or by post:
    Scottish BS
    Principality BS
    Harpenden BS - probably too close to London for you.
    Cambridge BS

    For the following I did not look at their website so I don’t know their conditions:
    Nottingham BS
    Manchester BS
    Leeds BS ( used to be Leeds & Holbeck BS)
    Newcastle BS

    You could google a list of building societies and take it from there.
  • colstencolsten Forumite
    17.3K Posts
    10,000 Posts Seventh Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    You try and find a local Credit Union.

    Though in the end, you will need to balance your desire to spend with your desire to save.
  • edited 22 July at 7:29AM
    OctagonOctagon Forumite
    14 Posts
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    edited 22 July at 7:29AM
    Thank you very much for the ideas!

    Nottingham BS Branch only saver fits almost all my criteria, but annoyingly for me they have a branch in St Albans, which is just a little bit too convenient for this to work.

    I will have a look at Family BS (Epsom might be too convenient too, unfortunately though) and a closer look at Cambridge BS next. 

    I’d quite like a passbook, so I can send it off for updating once a year and have a ‘grand reveal’ of how I’m getting on. Will help to make this exciting/fun (which will help with keeping up with it long term).

    There is a Furness BS account that fits all the criteria I think. Some of the smaller BS’ websites aren’t clear on if individual electronic payments in (not only standing orders) are possible. I will phone around once I have a short list. 

    Some accounts also look fine, but then in the fine print mention that they offer faster payments out if you send a form - far too quick a turn around for my purposes.

    It really doesn’t matter about the travel costs. I’d only do the trip on account opening (if required), and then once in every 5 years, or so (at most), for money for a very specific/important reason. The point is that I won’t largely actually be getting on that train!

    If I find a couple of absolutely ideally inconvenient and old fashioned accounts, I’ll report back. 😅

  • edited 22 July at 7:22AM
    OctagonOctagon Forumite
    14 Posts
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    edited 22 July at 7:22AM
    Will this actually create work for real people (beyond shoving my passbook into a printer once a year, and popping it in the post back)?

    Wouldn’t my random payments just be recorded electronically/automatically somehow?

    Of course, I don’t want to be a nightmare for some poor staff member (I know that little BS’ will prob be more ‘analogue’ in their processes, but surely not that ‘analogue’?)
  • OctagonOctagon Forumite
    14 Posts
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    Darn it - I knew I had spotted a problem before with Cambridge. Faster payments out on receipt of form. I’d have the money faster than I’d get over the spending impulse…

    There will be the right account somewhere!
  • TroytempestTroytempest Forumite
    4 Posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    I have a passbook with both the Buckingham B/S and the Vernon B/S.
  • edited 22 July at 9:52AM
    pbartlettpbartlett Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 22 July at 9:52AM
  • edited 22 July at 8:31PM
    ChadsmanChadsman Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 22 July at 8:31PM
    If your postcode begins with RG, OX, SP, GU, SO, SN, PO, HP or SL you can open an account with Newbury BS who offer a 'Welcome to Newbury' savings account currently paying 0.75% p.a.

    After you have been a member for a year you can open an 'Existing Members Account' currently paying 1% p.a..
    God save the Queen!
    I'll save Elizabeth Fry, Charles Darwin, Adam Smith, Matthew Boulton and James Watt.
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