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Why do you bank with your bank?
edited 19 January at 11:31PM in Budgeting & bank accounts
63 replies 3.8K views
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With Apps, the internet and phone banking its all so easy now. I have visited a branch once in 18 years- last August to pay a £2.5k cheque as I can only do up to £1k in the app, I had used the Post Office paying in service but they lost the cheque (heard the same from others too) so wont ever use them again.
My account is free as i'm a member of staff so I get a few benefits too such as AA cover, European travel insurance and a free magazine once a month.
Product wise I have a savings account too paying over 5% but no other services, even with a staff discount I can insure my home and car elsewhere for less and I use Barclaycard credit card as I get cash back but i'm not a heavy user. I borrowed some money last year to buy double glazing and using a tool on this site got the best rate with ratesetter.
I like the app and the online functions and I take advantage of open banking too so I can see my Barclaycard on the Lloyds site and also my accounts in Money dashboard. Phonebank wise I think i've called them 4 times in 18 years- twice to replace lost cards, once to see if the above mentioned lost cheque had arrived from the post office and once to auth a transfer to buy some crypto.
I also have accounts with Revolut, Monzo and Starling for when i'm travelling as they are cheaper to use- mainly use Starling now.
I'm biased but dead happy with Lloyds- a lot of great people working in the background for you, would I bother changing for £200- no, not worth the hassle or risk if something was to go wrong- I wouldn't sky dive or swim with sharks for the same reasons.
LLoyds - 3 accounts (wages and bills in/out of one, I transfer money into another for monthly grocery/fuel money and the third I park my sinking funds in and move them in/out as required)
Santander - 1 zero credit card which I understand you can't get anymore but is good for using abroad in terms of charges (I first had an 'Action Saver' account with Abbey National some years/decades ago)
Natwest - 1 Mortgage (Good rate, obtained through a broker in 2018, I like their service - lovely to talk to on the phone, overpayments easy, app nice to use)
But for these I've recently started getting somewhere with having some savings so also have:
Cynergy - 1 Easy Access (I use it as a carpark for some funds), 1 one year fixed bond (I like the interest rate)
Principality BS - 1 Regular Saver (Christmas Saver) (I like the interest rate)
HSBC is just a case of plonk £250 in the current account on 11th of each month and let the standing order do its work. Ignore the account the rest of the time.
TSB is just a case of wait till they give me a fiver, then shove £25 in each of their accounts and do 30 x £1 debit card deposits into a savings account from each account.
Halifax is just a case of bounce £1.5k through my 3 Halifax reward accounts, then do a £500 debit card payment to myself from each and collect the £15 on 12th of the month.
I haven't any real favourites out of the list. I have banks which I dislike for one reason or another, such as TSB as their technical systems are atrocious, particularly when they create new profiles for each current account you open so I've ended up with 4 different internet banking logins, which haven't fully merged.
Nationwide won't let you change your statement frequency resulting in me getting a statement for the flex regular saver each month when just an annual one would have done. Also their statements don't give references, which is a pain if you've got dozens of bank accounts. Though other than that it's very user friendly.
There are positives and negatives to all banks I've found and each is better for different purposes. Natwest and RBS have a good app but Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland have better internet banking. HSBC has the quickest online banking to get into whilst metro bank is the quickest account to open and allows you to get your debit card printed and collected in branch so is useful in case of postal strikes. Santander is great for the student account etc.
If I had to name a favourite bank I couldn't answer that question. I have some banks I like more than others but no favourite.
You could just open a second current account with one of your existing banks and switch that to get the incentive. If you really dislike that bank you can always switch out again once they've given you the switching incentive but I see little harm in trying a few other banks out.
It always amazes me how people manage with only a few accounts. I think I'd go round the twist if I had less than a dozen current accounts plus a load of savings accounts.
I personally quite enjoy playing the financial tart though to be fair however I appreciate it's not for everyone.
My home town has lost the Nit West, Barclays, Santander branches and now the post office is going (it does exactly what I want). We need yet more charity shops, take-aways and Turkish barbers after all. It must be the only town centre in Britain without a pub or bar. Plenty of new flats (there's a surprise) without the added infrastructure to support the ever-expanding population!. Anyway enough of me moaning (that never happens!). 20/30 please and 107 AFDs in a row (AFD - Alcohol Free Days for the beginner!).
Ex got into financial difficulty and bad debt and as we still had a joint loan (I was paying, fully up to date) was told I was no longer welcome as a customer. Therefore based on the accounts available at the time, my newly increased income and needing to find something quickly I switched to Barclays for my main account.
Have looked a few times to switch but never found anyone offering anything more interesting... HSBC admitted they made a mistake about what they could offer (US accounts), First Direct were appalling service, Handlesbanken didnt offer anything for their fees.
Whilst Barclays are the main bank have plenty of other accounts... Starling for international cash needs, Chase for a savings above the higher rates but limited values with barclays etc.
I budget independently from accounts so I don't use pots.
No institution provides every feature I want, but I hold accounts with the majority of retail banking institutions so I use whichever is convenient based on need.
Accounts I would avoid for 'main' banking:
- NatWest: coin/cash deposits, and my local branch is a 2-minute walk away
- Chase: scheduled payments/standing orders on non-working days from a high-interest account
- Kroo/Monzo/Starling (and non-bank Revolut): payment convenience, e.g. physically Nearby, bill split, web links
- Metro Bank: Sunday branch service (not that I've had to use it, but it's there just in case)
I am currently with Barclays, because I wanted to try them out for a year. However they refuse to give me an overdraft currently so that annoys me. They also limit their overdrafts to £1000. They suggest getting a Premier account to get more, but want to charge £20 a month or not, I don't really understand the requirements, because I don't earn 75k a year but they keep suggesting the account to me, yet say no to any kind of overdraft. And there is no financial reason for this as I am in good standing. I may go back to RBS who I left because they closed all the branches, but banked with previously to Barclays.
Prior to that I banked with HSBC (I opened at my local brach and actually met the bank manager when opening my account do to a fluke in my online application) I may go back to HSBC as with the RBS account, I still have it open with them. I left HSBC because they closed the local branch, however I now have a mortgage with them so perhaps it's prior better to have it all under one roof, but they took away my overdraft obviously as I was not using the account.
Prior to that I banked with Lloyds, who I left because they had a very bizarre attitude on the phone in relation to my account, it just put my back up. Ironically their branch is still open for the time being. I briefly had an account with TSB also. But again I just didn't like the bank and the feel it gave me. Similar with Halifax, I had a secondary account with them.
And before that it was my very first account at Abbey National, I left that bank because they had really terrible staff who were rude and unprofessional. Out of all of them, I must say was probably HSBC was the best. Both HSBC and RBS refunded when there was fraud on my cards of some £2000. So RBS would have to take second place. Santander were the worst! And Halifax almost as bad.
Despite what some people have suggested on here, all these accounts had no baring whatsoever on getting a mortgage. Providing all your accounts are in good standing.
*ps I know what an overdraft is and how to use one thank you.
Saving money for well over half a century