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    • glaux
    • By glaux 11th Aug 16, 12:28 AM
    • 7Posts
    • 4Thanks
    State Bank of India experience
    • #1
    • 11th Aug 16, 12:28 AM
    State Bank of India experience 11th Aug 16 at 12:28 AM
    Glad to see State Bank of India is no longer listed on this website as one of the top buys for easy access savings. Two months ago, following this site's recommendation, I decided to put a considerable sum of money I had inherited into a newly opened SBI UK account: best rate of interest, no charges, fully protected - what could go wrong, I thought...
    Having got over the hurdle of convincing my RBS bank manager that moving all that money into this bank she had never heard of was safe (she insisted on calling their London branch first), I logged into my new SBI account and was delighted to see the money safely in there.
    I did have some concerns about the decidedly "homemade" feel of their online banking interface and written correspondence, but that was nothing compared to what was yet to come. I was in for the scare of my life when, four weeks later, I found myself locked out of the account for no reason whatsoever. The login and password (which I had made a careful note of) were simply not being accepted.
    "No problem - I thought - relax, the money must still be there, Martin Lewis recommended this bank. I'll just check my balance from an ATM machine with the (dodgy looking) debit card they sent me, which worked fine four weeks ago".
    I use the card at a Post Office cash machine and I get this message: "There is a fault with your card, it is now being returned to you". That's when the blood drains from my body and I assume the worst: I have been scammed, the money is gone. Stupid, you might think, but I bet most people in my position would have felt the same.
    This having taken place after 6pm on Friday, there is absolutely nothing I can do, as their phone helpline is Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm... Now I'm not expecting 24 hour service like RBS, but how about Saturday morning maybe?
    I send an email as well just in case they pick them up during the weekend - but that enquiry to this day has not received a reply.
    So I have a nightmare of a sleepless weekend wondering if we should put on hold the house extension we've planned, since we can no longer afford it...
    Monday I finally manage to speak to someone from SBI - to my relief, a nice British lady (no offence to foreing workers but I do find it harder to understand them over the phone sometimes) who has no idea why I have been locked out of the account. She re-activates it (but why was it de-activated in the first place???) and asks me to try logging in later. She also has no idea why the debit card isn't working, but she'll get back to me (which she never does). Finally, she checks my balance and to my utter relief confirms that the money is still there.
    Later I log in fine, money is indeed there - thank god.
    I phone SBI again to find out about the card, since they never got back to me. I am told "we do have problems with our debit cards in Post Office ATMs. Also Link cashpoints, don't use them either"...
    Anyway, by that point I'd already decided I'd had enough excitement for one week. Within three days I moved all my money back to my RBS 0.1% interest savings account. I'll lose money every month, but I'll save tons in stress levels. Sorry SBI, I am not suggesting you are crooks or anything, you are just a bit rubbish.
    Fair enough if people are just putting a couple of grand in there, anything more I'd say don't touch them with a barge pole.
    And to Martin Lewis - recommending a bank should not be just about interest rates and charges. It's also about user experience and quality of service. How about introducing a rating system for the banks you recommend, one voted for by the readers? A simple 5 star system would do. I doubt SBI would have got far above 2 stars, in which case I'd have steered clear.
Page 1
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 11th Aug 16, 6:42 AM
    • 10,816 Posts
    • 7,139 Thanks
    • #2
    • 11th Aug 16, 6:42 AM
    • #2
    • 11th Aug 16, 6:42 AM
    I can understand your concerns given the experience but you do seem to like to move from one extreme to the other.

    It's very difficult for anyone to generate objective service levels because they are subjective, people's experiences will be different and requirements will vary.

    I certainly wouldn't look for the cheapest or financially most lucrative at any cost but why move back to rbs, a bank that is fairly notorious for poor customer service and has had several episodes of it failures removing access over the last few years.

    Large sums shouldn't really be held in cash for any extreme period of time and there are better homes than 0.1% in rbs. You can still get 1% at ns&i if you are worried about security and not have to worry about the fscs limit.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 11th Aug 16, 10:28 AM
    • 25,576 Posts
    • 15,104 Thanks
    • #3
    • 11th Aug 16, 10:28 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Aug 16, 10:28 AM

    Monthly interest paid gross into your RBS.....
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 11th Aug 16, 10:44 AM
    • 7,434 Posts
    • 8,002 Thanks
    • #4
    • 11th Aug 16, 10:44 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Aug 16, 10:44 AM
    And to Martin Lewis - recommending a bank should not be just about interest rates and charges. It's also about user experience and quality of service. How about introducing a rating system for the banks you recommend, one voted for by the readers? A simple 5 star system would do. I doubt SBI would have got far above 2 stars, in which case I'd have steered clear.
    Originally posted by glaux
    To be fair, the text at the foot of every page on here specifically mentions
    This info does not constitute financial advice, always do your own research on top to ensure it's right for your specific circumstances and remember we focus on rates not service.
    So, when you say "Martin Lewis recommended this bank", what you probably read was 'this bank offers one of the best interest rates'....

    Having said that, the site does also conduct regular polls of perceived customer service levels by bank, the most recent one (on current accounts) was promoted in last week's email:

    In terms of doing your own research, you're not the first and won't be the last to post warnings about this particular bank and their shortcomings but only after dealing with them. Too late now obviously, but if you'd searched the forum for threads about this bank then you'd see that there is plenty of negative feedback from other posters, which would be useful to read before engaging with SBI!
    • kingrulzuk
    • By kingrulzuk 11th Aug 16, 2:49 PM
    • 1,258 Posts
    • 568 Thanks
    • #5
    • 11th Aug 16, 2:49 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Aug 16, 2:49 PM
    I have had a SBI account for many years now as its public sector bank in India and the deposit rates out there start from 7% so its a good way of saving money.
    What happens if you push this button?
    • SammenForLivet2
    • By SammenForLivet2 11th Aug 16, 8:34 PM
    • 570 Posts
    • 570 Thanks
    • #6
    • 11th Aug 16, 8:34 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Aug 16, 8:34 PM
    I've had no problems with either Bank of Baroda or SBI, however, I do find patience a virtue.

    Would you have felt more secure if SBI had provided you a passbook instead of Debit Card, with your deposit amount written in?
    Thank you all for helping me make my day by saving money!
    Although I work for a big six energy supplier, any views, opinions or ideas are my own, and don't represent the views of my employer.
    • glaux
    • By glaux 12th Aug 16, 1:25 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    • #7
    • 12th Aug 16, 1:25 AM
    Thanks for the comments
    • #7
    • 12th Aug 16, 1:25 AM
    Yeah, I take all the points above, and in hindsight I probably didn't do enough homework before moving such a large sum. I have now looked at some of the forum posts about SBI and it looks like I've actually had better service than many other customers.
    But then I always take these types of posts with a pinch of salt: people usually only bother writing about a bank / phone operator / utility provider when they feel they have received appalling service and want to rant about it - kind of like I did here... That doesn't mean everyone has bad experiences, and I'm not surprised to see that a couple of SBI customers have posted here to defend the bank. I'm sure if I'd been able to log in normally that time, and my card hadn't stopped working, my money would still be with them and I'd be feeling pretty smug about the excellent rate of interest being paid monthly into the account.
    I also agree that moving everything back to RBS was perhaps unnecessary, basically it was a bit of a panic reaction - I just wanted to see those funds safely back with a bank I've dealt with for years and trust 100%. That's not to say RBS are great by any means, god knows I've had my share of frustration with their customer service.
    Now I can think about where to move that money next, but I'll take my time with it and do more extensive research. You live and learn...
    • glaux
    • By glaux 23rd Aug 16, 4:35 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    • #8
    • 23rd Aug 16, 4:35 PM
    Quick update
    • #8
    • 23rd Aug 16, 4:35 PM
    Well, after all that, today I got an email from SBI stating that the interest rate on their Instant Access account is going to drop from 2.5% to just 1%! Ok, I always knew that would be a possibility, but for it to happen just three months after I signed up with them...
    Now I'm even happier to have moved my money when I did. If I hadn't done it then, I would have to do it now anyway.
    I'd be interested in finding out how long they actually kept the 2.5% rate active. It seems like they employed very sneaky tactics just to get new customers signed up. I'm sure they all do it to some degree, but this drop is a rather major one, instantly turning their rate from one of the best ones around, to one of the worst.
    What an utter waste of my time this whole exercise has been.
    At least I've learned something from the experience:
    1. Do you research.
    2. Go with one of the major providers, it will cost more but save you a lot of hassle and stress.
    3. Don't expect to actually make any decent amount of money from an instant access account, the good rates are just there to lure you in. So unless you are prepared to keep switching accounts every three months (and let's face it, who's got the time for that) either go for a riskier account, like a tracker bond, or forget the whole thing. No doubt some people will disagree, but that's what I am personally taking away from this.
    • tommymo
    • By tommymo 7th Jan 17, 3:35 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    • #9
    • 7th Jan 17, 3:35 PM
    SBI online disaster
    • #9
    • 7th Jan 17, 3:35 PM
    Trying to get money out. Password was out of date, took minimum of 7 days to post new passwords. Arrived yesterday but were difficult to read. Needed a phone call to establish the format and thus reduce options on both passwords.
    Finally logged in and asked to change these passwords, both at the same time on the same screen. This took ages, new passwords decline over and over again with no indication of what part was wrong. Another call established that some characters using shift were not recognised.
    Logged in again, another call was needed to set up a new payee, the bank account that was used to pay the money in. All worked and I transferred the maximum allowed. Phew.
    Today tried to log in, PASSWORD NOT RECOGNISED.

    Here we go again. This bank's IT is not fit for purpose. Steer clear.
    • EdGasket
    • By EdGasket 7th Jan 17, 4:38 PM
    • 3,456 Posts
    • 1,446 Thanks
    Perhaps they make a good curry though. Popodams anyone?
    • planteria
    • By planteria 8th Jan 17, 10:43 AM
    • 5,000 Posts
    • 1,110 Thanks
    SBI only paying 0.75%IA now, and BOB seems to increase your rate if you leave it with them (seemingly without commitment) paying up to 1.3%IA after 5 years.
    both have branches not far from us, but the rates just aren't appealing enough.
    • sandwell mike
    • By sandwell mike 11th Jan 18, 4:59 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    sandwell mike
    Issues with State Bank of India ISA, almost two years ago I followed Money Saving Expert best buys
    The first issue was money transfer went missing? State Bank of India have a very strict use of internet , they require you to use a virtual keyboard that is a problem, you are required to log into your account every 90 days to change password and make additional payments into the current account (which I don!!!8217;t use or need) which runs alongside the ISA.
    I did not log into the account because of internet issues, therefore State Bank of India froze the account. To unfreeze the account I needed to obtain certified copies of passport, utility bills and driving licence, this cost a total of 20.00 plus postage, this was all sent to them before Christmas 2017. To date I have had no response. I have telephoned them again but it!!!8217;s a nightmare to get through to speak to someone who can understand what my problem is.
    Looking forward to the ISA maturing in March. Any person considering placing any amount of money with Bank of India should think twice, in my opinion
    • OldMusicGuy
    • By OldMusicGuy 12th Jan 18, 10:10 AM
    • 397 Posts
    • 780 Thanks
    I also have an ISA with them and have had ongoing problems with the website and my account which have taken time and patience to resolve. I certainly wouldn't use them again unless their interest rates were way ahead of the pack.
    • movilogo
    • By movilogo 12th Jan 18, 1:42 PM
    • 2,337 Posts
    • 1,570 Thanks
    SBI website feels designed in 1990s!
    Happiness is buying an item and then not checking its price after a month to discover it was reduced further.
    • krakaboom
    • By krakaboom 22nd Jan 18, 12:38 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    I've always had problems logging into their website. It's a long-term ISA, so I don't check it regularly, but every time I do, I'm locked out for some reason. I've just had to go through some kind of identification service now to generate another PIN. The most worrying thing is that I've been sent statements for my current account (which has 6p in it) but nothing at all for my ISA, which has considerably more. When I asked the phone advisor about the balance on my ISA, they told me they didn't have access to that, and they would need to get someone to ring me back. And while making the request, they hung up on me.

    The moment it matures I'm transferring out, and I'll be going with a more professional bank from now on, even if it's at the expense of a headline rate.
    • palh
    • By palh 28th Mar 18, 1:57 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Poor service
    I to have had difficulty with my account.
    I transfered a ISA into a SBI account having seen the attractive rate on the MSE site.
    The account matured and I have tried to make a transfer.
    The ISA account appears to be in two parts Primary and Secondary (deposit). The Secondary takes the interest accrued from the primary.
    Two seperate account numbers.
    Having been assured by the SBI branch that for the transfer I only needed to give the Primary account number to my new ISA provider for transfer of all the account.
    I now find only the Primary account has been transfered as an ISA and the Deposit remains with SBI.

    My only way of telephone contact with the branch is through a call back system as they do not answer the phone.

    My advice is do not use this bank even if they offer top rates otherwise as I and others have found you will regret it.
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