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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Banks

I tried to think up a witty play on "LloydsTSB" but failed miserably, hence the rather dull post title. I'm sorry. :-(

I am declaring my own little war on LloydsTSB (well not really, but I'm walking). They are bullies. I have long known this but their most recent bank charges total £125, which I wouldn't mind so much if it weren't for the fact that these charges result from my being overdrawn due to charges imposed by them in the first place. You make 1 mistake! I'm also aware of the existence of a student counselling and liaison service that they partially sponsor but will not waive debts owed to them by students, even when approached by the service that they themselves fund. What's the point of paying for such a thing if you aren't going to recognise its existence? Or is their sponsorship simply a low-cost means of creating a sympathetic image for themselves?

Anyway, I'm reclaiming my charges for the past 6 years, with interest. It will probably take a few months but it ought to be well worth the effort and the wait.

In the meanwhile, I have moved to Alliance & Leicester. I look at the terms of their basic current account and I wonder why I have been living in the darkness of LloydsTSB lo these past 9 years. It may sound strange to most readers that somebody should rejoice in being given a debit card that isn't Electron, or a cheque book, or the ability to withdraw more than £200 on any given day, but there it is. These are the things I didn't have with LloydsTSB but that it seems from conversations with friends that most people take for granted.

Oh well. Whinge over.

As you were.

12 comments:

Ian said...

£125: yikes.

Good news. I moved banks ten or so years ago: one of the best decisions made. They're not perfect, but they are miles ahead.

Michael Astley said...

Thank you. At least I'm not alone in thinking that £125 is a bit steep.

Isn't it funny how we get accustomed to something to the point where we even if it isn't working for us we don't consider changing? This is good in some respects, especially with the individualism that seems rife at the moment. Still, when you're being treated like something unsavoury, there comes a time where enough is enough.

Still, human beings are creatures of habit. I still use the brand of toothpaste that was always used in our house when I was a child. I'm sure others work as well but Aquafresh is what I've always known and it has never occurred to me to change. Fortunately, I have no problems with my toothpaste. I get round to using it once a fortnight or so and it seems to do the trick. :-D (I am joking, before anybody takes me too seriously).

As it happens, my debit card arrived in this morning's post along with a leaflet explaining what I can do with it. It turns out I can get twice as much cachback as I could with my old bank.

They really are stingy.

Michael Astley said...

It would help, wouldn't it, if I could spell cashback? ;-)

Elizabeth said...

Banks ?
Oh, tell me about them !

A bank which begins with B told me I couldn`t take some of my own money out over the counter at my own local branch where I have had an account for 25 years because I didn`t have a driving licence ( I don`t drive) and my husband pays all the utility and council tax bills from his account so they are all in his name.The bank said I had insufficient proof of my identity with the other things I offered them, even though this included a passport and a marriage certificate to document the change of surname from the passport.
I kid you not !

So I set up a new account at my husband`s bank, with exactly the same proof of ID that I originally offered the B bank, and they were perfectly happy to let me have an account.
What is more, they actually greet me by name when I go in my branch.

Mark said...

A certain other bank beginning with B did the same to me; I got them to refund £400 of charges, so go for it, Michael! Good luck.

A&L are fab, imho. Plus, I really like being able to work the account at the post office.

Michael Astley said...

I'm not accustomed to operating a bank account at a Post Office but I learnt today that it does not work the same way as having a bank branch. :-(

I paid not a small amount of money into my account this morning at the local Post Office. According to the introductory booklet from A&L, such a deposit should clear into the account on the same day. Come 5 o'clock, it still wasn't showing in my account, so I telephoned them to find out roughly how long it usually takes, to be told that it only clears on the same day if you use the debit card but if you use a deposit slip (as I did), then it can take up to two working days. (That doesn't happen if you do this at one of their branches). I've double-checked and the introductory booklet does not actually say this. "Same day" it says, with no further qualification.

So I'm left now with no access to this money until Wednesday, which I wouldn't mind so much if it weren't for the fact that I wrote a cheque on Friday with today's date. Oh well. It's a minor inconvenience.

Michael Astley said...

Alliance & Leicester: The money should be in your account by now. All I can suggest is that you take the receipt to the Post Office and query it with them.
Post Office: They were all sent off in our special envelope on Monday night so it should be in your account by now. Maybe they have a back-log.

I'm less than impressed at the moment.

Rose Maniple said...

Re: the title of your post. In his wonderful autobiography, Stephen Fry writes of a house at his school (the one that <3 Harry Judd also went to ;) named West Bank, which was "spoonerised to 'Best Wank'".

Margi said...

£125?!?! I was going to change from RBS to Lloyds because I want a Visa debit card. I hate credit cards and refuse to have one but Maestro/Switch is a bit limiting. I will think again now :-(

Mark said...

Hrmmm... cash should always clear the same day. But cheques; they take the usual clearing rate set by APACS.

Michael Astley said...

It turns out that it clears within seconds if done with a debit card and that it used to take two working days when done by deposit slip wehn that was the standard means of making a deposit, but now that the Post Office system has been automated, they don't dedicate the same number of staff to handling slip deposits that they used to and so it takes longer. All of that would have been fine had they actually told me this. Oh well, all is well now.

I'm just a little annoyed by the test case brought to the courts to test the legality of bank charges. All claims are suspended until such time as a ruling is made. Grrr.

Beulah said...

Keep up the good work.