Inaccessible Virgin bank account

gemgemsb
gemgemsb Forumite Posts: 10
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I have 3 headstart bank accounts with Virgin for each of my children. 


Virgin have just written to me informing me that they are closing my nearest branch and banking can be done via the post office.

Except you need a debit card to use the post office and this is an in branch only account. They won’t give me any way of actually accessing these accounts except in branch. My new nearest branch is an 150 mile round trip!


I know I could close the accounts but I don’t want to as the rate is really good - I think it’s 1% above base. I suspect that they don’t want these accounts on their books anymore as they pulled them as soon as the base rate started increasing.


I’m going to write an complain but does anyone know if there are any rules surrounding accounts having to be made reasonably accessible to its holders?  

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  • ForumUser7
    ForumUser7 Forumite Posts: 1,968
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    gemgemsb said:

    I have 3 headstart bank accounts with Virgin for each of my children. 


    Virgin have just written to me informing me that they are closing my nearest branch and banking can be done via the post office.

    Except you need a debit card to use the post office and this is an in branch only account. They won’t give me any way of actually accessing these accounts except in branch. My new nearest branch is an 150 mile round trip!


    I know I could close the accounts but I don’t want to as the rate is really good - I think it’s 1% above base. I suspect that they don’t want these accounts on their books anymore as they pulled them as soon as the base rate started increasing.


    I’m going to write an complain but does anyone know if there are any rules surrounding accounts having to be made reasonably accessible to its holders?  

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  • gemgemsb
    gemgemsb Forumite Posts: 10
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    Thank you I this is helpful. Unlike the customer service person I spoke to that told me that they won’t be changing access and if I didn’t like it I could open a different bank account 
  • daeargwr
    daeargwr Forumite Posts: 24
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    Has anyone had an update from Virgin on if they are making changes to how these Headstart accounts can be managed once the branches close?  I saw those twitter messages from July saying there were looking into it but I've had nothing from them despite chasing a number of times 
  • FredTrump
    FredTrump Forumite Posts: 156
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    Aren't these legacy Clydesdale/Yorkshire children's accounts? Did you ask them to issue cards?  

    Both brands issued Mastercard debit cards on many of their savings accounts - which work at LINK/Mastercard ATMs and Post Office counters. 
  • SevenOfNine
    SevenOfNine Forumite Posts: 2,327
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    We have Virgin Headstarts for our 2 grandsons. They rang to say if I wanted to pay in I could do so by bank transfer (I don't want to, those a/cs were the only ones that would allow an initial, & only, deposit of the required size).

    If withdrawal was required I could ring & they'd send a withdrawal form. I didn't bother asking how w/d would take place, cheque in boys names or bank trans to a/c in their name, because there are no plans to touch it for another year.
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
  • daeargwr
    daeargwr Forumite Posts: 24
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    FredTrump said:
    Aren't these legacy Clydesdale/Yorkshire children's accounts? Did you ask them to issue cards?  

    Both brands issued Mastercard debit cards on many of their savings accounts - which work at LINK/Mastercard ATMs and Post Office counters. 
    They don't issue cards for these accounts - would have been easier if they did as could bank via the post office then
  • xylophone
    xylophone Forumite Posts: 42,602
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    Wasn't there (at least originally) a thirty day notice period for withdrawals?

    I would imagine that as originally envisaged, these accounts were intended for long term savings for a late teens goal rather than " in an out" everyday saver.
  • daeargwr
    daeargwr Forumite Posts: 24
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    xylophone said:
    Wasn't there (at least originally) a thirty day notice period for withdrawals?

    I would imagine that as originally envisaged, these accounts were intended for long term savings for a late teens goal rather than " in an out" everyday saver.
    There still is.  The issue here is those withdrawal requests or any request to close the account have to be done in branch.  Given they are closing so many of them my nearest one is going to be in Birmingham a 2.5hr journey each way....

    So I've ben trying to find out if they are going to change that requirement to allow telephone or postal access for example so you could close the account remotely rather than in person.  Doesn't feel like much to ask!
  • daeargwr
    daeargwr Forumite Posts: 24
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    We have Virgin Headstarts for our 2 grandsons. They rang to say if I wanted to pay in I could do so by bank transfer (I don't want to, those a/cs were the only ones that would allow an initial, & only, deposit of the required size).

    If withdrawal was required I could ring & they'd send a withdrawal form. I didn't bother asking how w/d would take place, cheque in boys names or bank trans to a/c in their name, because there are no plans to touch it for another year.
    Interesting you been given that advice.  I'd raised a complaint about the lack of communications on this and finally got a response letter today. It says "There are no plans in place to allow Headstart accounts to be managed online, over the phone, or by post"

    Think I'll just have to bite the bullet and move the money to another bank/building society before the branches close and take the hit on having a lower rate of interest
  • SevenOfNine
    SevenOfNine Forumite Posts: 2,327
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    edited 15 September at 4:20PM
    I sent a DM via twitter & was told to call 0345 608 1604. Did that but operative had absolutely no clue, "it's a branch serviced account so we don't have any info". Though he did "think" that withdrawal "might be by cheque or bank transfer as that's how it's done with other accounts". "Think & might" isn't promising terminology!

    I agree with xylophone, Headstart was meant to be long term, hence the 30 day notice, & that was exactly our intention. My plan was to leave it until oldest grandson is 16 next June, request w/d to an adult on-line a/c for him & let parent guide 'child' towards transferring out from Virgin Money into a fixed term a/c wherever interest is best.

    It's not easy to simply move £40k out now, not many organisations will accept that for a child. Best we could find is £10k with Barclays. Kept an old Nationwide kid a/c open that takes max of £50k but interest is poor. My concern is that I'm sure I read somewhere that if we want to serve notice, w/d after 30 days & close the a/c we (as trustees) must attend a branch with the child - simply not possible, they live 3 hours away & also have no local branch.

    None of this seems particularly well thought out by Virgin.
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
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