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  • FIRST POST
    NowVillager
    How reliable is Kent Reliance BS - looking for existing customer to reassure me!
    • #1
    • 3rd Aug 12, 2:50 PM
    How reliable is Kent Reliance BS - looking for existing customer to reassure me! 3rd Aug 12 at 2:50 PM
    Has anyone had experience of KRBS? I'm looking for reassurance as I'm a bit disconcerted by the experience so far. I should make clear up front that it is not my intention to undermine or criticise KRBS in any way, and if anyone can confirm there's nothing to worry about I'll be happy.

    I recently applied for an online easy access account after seeing it advertised on this site in Top Savings Accounts.

    I prefer building societies to banks for various reasons, including overall simplicity, mutual status and support from real people in my own country (I believe companies should employ people in the same markets as their customers). When I called with a couple of questions, I realised that in fact I was speaking to an offshore service centre in India. I've no complaints about the people I spoke to, who were perfectly polite, but it was a bit unexpected for a local building society. Nonetheless, I went ahead and applied.

    I have since learned that although in the UK it's not linked to any other brands as far as UK savings protection is concerned, it's part of a bank partly owned by a private equity firm looking for a foothold in this market - so not really the building society / mutual status I understood either. Presumably they're intending to demutualise/float it in the next 2-3 years once they've built up the customer base and markets are more stable?

    Secondly, although it's in theory an online account, it transpires that in practical terms you can't do much online apart from view balances - everything else you have to do in writing, so processes are slower and more manual than you might expect for an online account.

    Thirdly, after the initial application I received an email instructing me to transfer my deposit to a central account number, ie BEFORE they open an account in my name and confirm the details to me. I haven't experienced this before and it felt risky. To date I have only received instructions/details by email and in the circumstances I'm not comfortable relying on that kind of communication as I'm not sure how much security it gives me if there should be problems down the line.

    Finally, as the process and systems were starting to feel a bit shaky by comparison with other providers I decided to halt the application, ie before any money was transferred. I had received several emails prompting me to make a deposit, saying that if I didn't do it in x days they would close the application, and also saying to reply to the email to let them know if I didn't want to proceed. So I replied to their email and got another asking me to confirm some personal details, also by email, before they could do that. That worried me as most banks don't ask for personal information by email and it seems like poor information security on their part (not to mention being inconsistent with the previous instructions).

    I'm considering speaking to their complaints team to highlight some of this as I don't know how else to clear it up.

    Before I do, can anyone reassure me that actually this is all OK and they're safe and reliable?

    Many thanks.
Page 2
  • innovate
    Probably. Depends on the terms of your account.

    I am a bit baffled that you deposited 10K into somewhere without having familiarised yourself with the T&Cs first. Seems you are lucky you met KRBS rather than some scamsters.
    • DotMatrix
    • By DotMatrix 4th Feb 14, 8:01 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    DotMatrix
    Probably. Depends on the terms of your account.

    I am a bit baffled that you deposited 10K into somewhere without having familiarised yourself with the T&Cs first. Seems you are lucky you met KRBS rather than some scamsters.
    Originally posted by innovate
    Reading instructions isn't my strong point I'm afraid.
    • Wilkins
    • By Wilkins 4th Feb 14, 8:34 PM
    • 442 Posts
    • 335 Thanks
    Wilkins
    Their FAQ does say that they are intending to expand the online functionality. However, I have seen no change over six months and under the balance figure it says:

    "Some text goes here if we want to add additional info "

    Not very professional! Looks like a student project which ran out of time.
  • cobaw
    Is Kent Reliance safe ?
    I invested 4K in a 2yr Bond, July 2014. I registered for Online Banking but have had a deal of trouble with their Customer Service. Uneasy about this, I found these threads on Kent Alliance and this has not reassured me at all.
    • kidmugsy
    • By kidmugsy 7th Aug 14, 1:50 PM
    • 10,580 Posts
    • 7,241 Thanks
    kidmugsy
    Our dealings with them have all been fine, but it's the tales of bad experiences that really matter.
    • colsten
    • By colsten 7th Aug 14, 3:14 PM
    • 9,011 Posts
    • 7,759 Thanks
    colsten
    I have held various accounts with them over the years, mainly their regular savers which are excellent. Their online setup is a bit wanting but the branch and phone service is very good in my experience.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 7th Aug 14, 3:26 PM
    • 25,377 Posts
    • 14,973 Thanks
    xylophone
    I've had (and still have) an account with them - on line not so hot, but happy with the products.
    • beaniebengal
    • By beaniebengal 23rd Aug 14, 4:40 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    beaniebengal
    I would not recommend them, based on my experience of opening an account with them they seem to be very disorganised. I applied online for an account over 3 weeks ago, and so began a back and forth of emails and letters and phonecalls to India. First they said they could not verify my identity by online checks - that has never happened before, and when I challenged it they said they had made another check and it was fine. Then they were not happy with the proof of address I sent them, because of a 1 character difference between two utility bills, but then later they said they were satisfied and I would not need to send any more paperwork. They then opened the account, and sent me one-time-only details to pay in the initial amount, which I did the same day, but I received a chasing email several days later, which made me wonder where my money had gone. They had promised they would send me details of the account so I could pay more money in, but this didn't arrive. I chased by email and didn't get any reply. Then today I got another letter asking for more paperwork to verify my address. I rang India again, but I could not find out why we were suddenly back at the beginning of the process. At that point I realised I had completely lost confidence in them, so I asked them to close the account and send the money back.
    • FB13
    • By FB13 23rd Aug 14, 5:47 PM
    • 124 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    FB13
    All true. I'd pointed out at the time of the vote that the likely outcome would be that there would be no mutual ownership once the private equity kicked in. Was told by Chief Exec that I was scaremongering but that is what has happened - actual % of KRBS owned by members is well below that owned by JC Flowers and may even be as low as 10% now with JC Flowers (Private equity) owning the other 90%.

    A mutual? Maybe in name but not in reality.
    Originally posted by jimjames
    If you read their latest accounts, the percentage owned by the "members" is now down to 0.31%. JC Flowers owns the other 99.7%
    • Speculator
    • By Speculator 9th Oct 14, 10:17 AM
    • 1,770 Posts
    • 1,374 Thanks
    Speculator
    My ISA matured on 1/10 and I returned the maturity instruction 2 weeks before maturity. I wanted to close the ISA and transfer the funds to my current a/c. Checked on 3/10 and funds still not received so called the Indian call centre.

    She said they did not receive my instruction and it has been transferred to an easy ISA. On Friday, I sent off two separate letters 1st Class to close my account by BACs transfer. Checked today and still nothing.

    Just lucky the amount is only 160 and not 16K!
    Last edited by Speculator; 09-10-2014 at 10:20 AM. Reason: spelling
    • FLAPJACK
    • By FLAPJACK 13th Aug 15, 11:27 PM
    • 509 Posts
    • 376 Thanks
    FLAPJACK
    Wish I had seen this thread earlier!


    Today I went online and opened a 1 year fixed rate bond with KRBS, like other posters I was rather concerned that there seemed a lack of online security...I only had to make up a password.


    Then as mentioned I was asked if I wanted to deposit a sum...this is before I had been given an account number. On the confirmation email it says that if I don't deposit a sum within the next 7 days then the account will be closed. Because of this I called them to ask how can I see my account with them without any login details (in order to see the sum deposited in the account) I was told that this information will be posted within 5 days and that I can call to see if the money has arrived before then!


    I felt uneasy about this and even more so now after reading other peoples views on KRBS system.


    I realise that I only have to sit out the 7 days and the account will be closed.
    What worries me now it that I used my bank account details as my nominated account for the interest to be paid into on maturity. Can KRBS take money from my account? I know it's a silly question but would like to see if I am being paranoid about this.


    Thanks
    • colsten
    • By colsten 14th Aug 15, 9:01 AM
    • 9,011 Posts
    • 7,759 Thanks
    colsten
    I reckon KRBS are perfectly ok and safe, if a bit quaint in the way they process some things. I am into my 4th Regular Saver with them now.
    • achilles1
    • By achilles1 19th Sep 15, 11:59 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    achilles1
    I had to close my savings account with them after a few days of opening it because they have a call centre in India and I do not trust those.
    • pawncob
    • By pawncob 6th Dec 16, 4:37 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    pawncob
    Things haven't changed. They're still the worst bank in the UK. My 1 year bond matured in November 2016 and I requested that the funds be paid to my nominated account. Apparently this account failed the electronic verification process(?) (It's Nationwide!) , but they didn't follow that up. They then placed the funds in a further 1 year bond and told me that I had 14 days to notify them if this wasn't what I wanted. Six days into December, and still no funds. Emails only get an acknowledgement, and the chap on the phone, having confirmed the details of the nominated account, then insisted that I send him a bank statement to prove the account existed. (Why would anyone deliberately send details of a non existent account?). After half an hour on the phone I got hold of the Manager, who sorted it out and arranged for the funds to be transferred. The strange thing is EXACTLY the same thing happened last year when a previous bond matured. Do they put maturing funds into another bond in the hope that the customer will leave them there? STAY AWAY FROM THIS OUTFIT IF YOU VALUE YOUR SANITY.
    • Hexidor
    • By Hexidor 23rd Dec 17, 10:14 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Hexidor
    Opened an account with KRBS and thought that I'd transferred the required 1000 from my bank. Tried to go online but password wasn't accepted. Spoke to call centre (India) who said my account wasn't funded. A check with my bank confirmed this.

    Call centre said they would have to investigate and call back, which they did. There was a fault with KRBS' system. Was given a new customer ID and later on received an email including my full name giving details of the account I needed to fund within 7 days. It also said that I would receive a letter within 5 days allowing me to access my account online (still waiting).

    In view of other poster's comments about depositing money into an account using details given in an email, I think that KRBS should allow customers to make an initial deposit of say, 10, to be topped up when they have online proof that their money has reached the account safely.

    I'll update here if I have any more problems.
    • badger09
    • By badger09 24th Dec 17, 12:51 PM
    • 5,945 Posts
    • 5,284 Thanks
    badger09
    Merry Christmas innovate. Hope its a good one.

    • SeeMe
    • By SeeMe 27th Apr 18, 2:22 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    SeeMe

    Call centre said they would have to investigate and call back, which they did. There was a fault with KRBS' system. Was given a new customer ID and later on received an email including my full name giving details of the account I needed to fund within 7 days. It also said that I would receive a letter within 5 days allowing me to access my account online (still waiting).

    In view of other poster's comments about depositing money into an account using details given in an email, I think that KRBS should allow customers to make an initial deposit of say, 10, to be topped up when they have online proof that their money has reached the account safely.

    I'll update here if I have any more problems.
    Originally posted by Hexidor
    Have you found improvements or regretting your deposit with them?
    • ColdIron
    • By ColdIron 27th Apr 18, 2:49 PM
    • 4,161 Posts
    • 5,247 Thanks
    ColdIron
    Poster hasn't logged in since December 24th, I wouldn't hold my breath
    • Bongo-HiFi
    • By Bongo-HiFi 14th May 18, 3:46 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Bongo-HiFi
    I just opened an account last Wednesday 9th May and its OK so far.
    I completed the online application on the 9th and received an email with a reference number followed the same day with another email with my new account details and giving up to 7 days to make the initial deposit. The email said I would receive a user ID in the post within 5 days but arrived on Friday 11th.
    I made an initial deposit from my bank electronically on the 9th and received a text the following morning 10th confirming it had been received, so I then made a further transfer from my bank for a larger sum.
    I received my User ID on Friday 11th, great! I logged on set up a a password and secret word, I could see the initial deposit but hey where was the other sum? So I rang the indian call centre where the guy gave me a load of unintelligible waffle about BACs, Clearing houses and something to do with Nat West Blah Blah before eventually telling me that transfers can take up to 3 working days. How come, when my initial deposit can be in my account the following day, does it now need to take 3 working days for my further deposit? He put me on hold "While he has a look out the back" Honest I'm not making it up! He comes back and says he cant see my money anywhere. After an anxious exchange he then changes his explanation to reassuring me that it will be in my account by the close of the day, it wasn't!
    This morning Monday 14th, I get a text confirming that my deposit has been received and upon logging on can see to be fair that it appears to have been back credited to the 11th.
    So reasonably OK so far.
    The website is basic, but that makes it easy to navigate, with basic functions such as viewing the account, transactions, making transfers/withdrawals, sending messages etc which is about all that I need.
    A word of caution regarding timescales for withdrawals (and perhaps deposits too). When clicking on to make a transfer, the page has a table of transaction times ranging from "same day" for before 13.15 up to 3 working days or more which is inexplicably dependant upon the transaction amount, the higher the amount the longer the time, why?

    The website also points out that it goes into "read only mode" in other words you can only look at it between the hours of 11pm and 4am and has regular times when the website is closed for "routine maintenance" the times currently displayed are mostly for long periods of time over weekends.

    Interestingly the small print in the T&C's mentions the varying timescales for processing withdrawals without actually giving any good reason for them. It does also say that they can adjust these timescales to make them "more favourable to you" so I have messaged them for an explanation of why the timescales when most 21st century banks can transfer funds at a click, and why it should need to take longer for larger sums? I have asked that they adjust these timescales "more favourably to me" ie on the same day irrespective of time and amount. I await a reply (we aim to reply within 3 working days)

    Otherwise, so far Kent Reliance may be ok if you can accept the somewhat old fashioned (not necessarily a bad thing) and idiosyncratic way of operating.
    • Bongo-HiFi
    • By Bongo-HiFi 21st May 18, 12:25 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Bongo-HiFi
    Reply from KR;

    Thank you for contacting us regarding your Kent Reliance account.

    Further to your query we would like to inform you that deposits through electronic transfers will take 1-2 working days to reflect on our records as we do not have our own clearing house and we use NatWest bank as our clearing house.

    Withdrawals can take up to 4 working days depending on the time and the amount of the withdrawal as we do not have our own clearing house.

    Please Note: You can request for a withdrawal over the phone before 1:15PM on a working day and the funds can be made available in your bank account end of business the same working day irrespective of the amount through CHAPS transfer with a fee of 10.

    For further assistance you can either send a secure message or call us on our customer services number 03451203223.

    And they have now dropped the 1.3% rate to 1.25%
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