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A Good Bank To Change To From Halifax??

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by S3 Paul, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. S3 Paul
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    S3 Paul Well-Known Member Regional Rep

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    [Nov 17, 2010]
    Ive been with the Halifax for as long as i can remember and of late i feel im the butt of a few jokes from them...
    I in over 5 years of having a standard cash card account , Current account and savings account
    All of which have had money in upto £5000 at times
    Ive had a total of £1 intrest,
    The local branchs are all closing.
    Cash machines are all disapearing
    The costs on my over draft are alot more than most people i know ( some times i go over drawn by maybe £100 for a few days but inside my agreed limit ) its a pound a day regardless of the amount.

    Recently i was asked to transfer some cash to a mates bank... He stupidly sent me the wrong account number but right sort code ...
    I was told to start with as the name account number and sort code will not all match the money will be put in a holding account then returned to my account after about 4 days... this didnt happen so i rang them again... After a number of vague security questions they decided that im not me so wouldnt tell me anything and said a mark had been put on my account so i have to go to my branch with...
    Passport,
    Drivers licience
    AND birth cert,
    :banghead:
    #1
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  3. 1wheelonly
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    1wheelonly cabriolet VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 17, 2010]
    sperm bank !!! is your best bet mate, the others are all wan##rs anyway !!
    #2
  4. yendall24
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    yendall24 Member

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    [Nov 17, 2010]
    santander . £100.00 welcome bonus and over 4% interest on amounts upto £2500.00
    #3
  5. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 17, 2010]
    I've got no evidence of interest rates or anything, but I've been with First Direct for years and have found them very helpful. I especially like that every call to them is answered fairly quickly by a real person in a UK call centre.
    #4
  6. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 17, 2010]
    If you have a mortgage then transfer the lot to the One Account, the ultimate flexible account. Why have savings earning nothing, when they could be reducing your mortgage payments, it's just an enormous overdraft but with mortgage rate interest.
    #5
  7. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    [Nov 17, 2010]
    Personally if I was I'm the market for swapping I'd be going with HSBC. I've been with Barclays for 15 years, 8 of which I used to work for them. They are ok, the Premier account has some good perks which are worth paying for only if you use them. To be honest, banks are a necessary evil and not much difference in them in the long run.

    I actually work for Halifax, or HBoS, or Lloyds now and one thing I will say is that I certainly wouldn't bank with Halifax, they're not a real bank!
    #6
  8. One Spoke
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    One Spoke Member

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    [Nov 17, 2010]
    I would recommend First Direct for banking. Can't fault their service. Think they also give you a £100 to transfer. They normally give you a standard free £250 overdraft as well. 24 hr British call centre and the online banking is excellent. They also have an offset mortgage if you have enough savings to make this worthwhile?
    Not sure their savings accounts are very competitive, but banking is a pleasure with them. Plus they're part of HSBC (the largest bank) so should be pretty safe.
    Oh, and their debit and credit cards are plain black which I think is cool!
    #7
  9. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    [Nov 17, 2010]
    How exactly do you measure that?? No of employees, turnover, Market cap, exposure to the Greek fX Market?
    #8
  10. One Spoke
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    One Spoke Member

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    [Nov 17, 2010]
    Are they not? I thought hsbc was the largest uk bank? They didn't need any taxpayer bailout so assumed they were more financially sound than most? As you work in banking you may know different but I have to rely on the news - whether that's right or wrong!

    Please don't tell me my bank isn't safe!!!!!
    #9
  11. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    [Nov 17, 2010]
    What account have you got with Halifax, if you have more than £1k going in a month, why dont you got for the Reward account, i think you get a transfer bonus, if you change account and you also get £5 a month, which is better interest than alot of other places, simple...no catches either.

    There is another one that costs £12.50 a month and you get all the extras with that, but the normal reward one doesnt cost anything.

    Ive always been with them and not had any probs to be honest, they have always been really good to me.
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    Ads License to drive

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    [Nov 18, 2010]
    First Direct ftw.
    As mentioned above.. offset mortgage, ring them and an actual english human being answers the phone straight away, £100 reward when joining, good updates/communication when applications are being processed (mortgage, credit card, etc).
    Can't fault them so far.

    I particularly like that each month they send you an advice showing how much of that month's mortgage payment is interest and how much is capital.
    None of the other banks I have been with have offered this.
    Also, you are free to overpay by any amount without penalty, even on their fixed rate mortgages. And you can also drawdown back to the original mortgage amount without having to apply for it or even call them. You just do it via your online banking account, and the funds are available immediately, and again, no penalty.

    Can you tell I like their mortgage?
    #11
  13. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    [Nov 18, 2010]
    HSBC are probably a pretty safe bank to be with, they didn' require assistance from the Govt, mainly attributed to their business model of having fingers in many geographic pies. You could call them the biggest measured by turnover, but then you could call RBS the biggest measured by assets, or you could call JP Morgan Chase the biggest based on market cap (excluding the Chinese banks). All of which are credible measures of assesing the strength of a corporate, although never to be used in isolation alone.

    Its always difficult to say which is the best bank though. Some prefer english based customer services, First Direct for instance. Others prefer Halifax for their rewards, but then their online banking is a shocking system. I like Barclays for different reasons. It's all down to what works best for you.

    If I was to offer advise though, it's that putting all of your eggs in one basket is not always the best thing to do, you may be rewarded in the short term for it, but it could go pop, and shopping around for say a bank that provides a better mortgage, a better rate on your credit card and best savings rates could all be different banks and will reward better than some offset deals with one bank. Flipside though, can be more hassle. Swings and roundabouts.
    #12
  14. One Spoke
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    One Spoke Member

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  15. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!! VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 19, 2010]
    Unless you are placing tens of thousands with the banks i won't worry about strength as such, just pick a household name.....if you had 50k spare then you'd be crazy to place it in a bank anyway looking at interest rates and inflation :)

    I have been with Natwest for over 20 years now and would recommend to anyone for a current account...having worked as an financial adviser for both HSBC and Natwest I would say there isn't much between either, both have robust electronic banking which is my main requirement - Natwest is a tad easier to log into as the login number isn't anywhere near as long, but as anything you remember that over time.

    Halifax IMO are skanks, every deal they seem to have have either hidden costs or very little benefit....this whole 'we give you extra', if you sit down and work it out they are giving you pence, it's really just playing to people who dont sit down and work it all out.... numerous deals i have seen from them are shocking and i am suprised they have managed to pass the FSA's advertising panel.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
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  16. alijames
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    alijames Active Member

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    [Nov 19, 2010]
    Been with Smile for last 10 years. Can do everything I need to online, at the post office, or at the Cooperative Bank, which conveniently has a branch in Oxford :) Dead easy, UK call centre when required, and repid email response to problems/questions.

    Cheers,
    #15
  17. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    [Nov 19, 2010]
    Did you hear about Northern Rock by any chance...? Whilst the Govt protection scheme does guarantee that your deposits are safe up to £50k that doesn't mean they'll suddenly send you a cheque for the cash the next day, it would likely take months to sort through a mess like that, i'd rather know my money was with a safe institution and avoid the hassle of having to fight to get my money back. Also note that not all banks in the FSCS are backed by UK Govt, some like ING for instance are backed by their national govt, now would you want your savings to be propped up by the Irish Govt at this present time?

    And it's also worth bearing in mind that should a bank go bust and say you have a credit card with 5k on, and savings of 5k, they can actually net the lot off and you'll get nothing and the decision is theirs, thats a fact.

    It's also not just about deposits. You speak to anybody that had a mortgage with NR for instance, following their nationlisation their rule book was suddenly torn up and the attitudes to existing customers changed overnight. Their number one aim is to make it as difficult as possible for the exsisting customers to do anything with regards to re-mortgaging, changing partners on joint accounts. All they were interested in was encouraging customers to settle their mortgage and move elsewhere, not surprising given the state of their balance sheet, but not a great position to be in if you're a customer.

    I think it does matter the strength of the bank, it saves a lot of hassle and heart ache if things go down the pan, which it's been proven they can with NR, B&B, the Icelandics, Lehmans, etc etc. We're not out of the woods just yet.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
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  18. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!! VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 19, 2010]
    i agree and i disagree mate ;)

    Define a financially strong bank then tell me how you came to that conclusion..... even the rating agencies to this day keep changing their stance on how they calculate such figures, then theres all the pending European laws that are due regards solvency etc etc. It really is a minefield and there is no conclusive answer especially following the collapse of such big highly recognised corporations within the past two years, most were not predicted at all by anyone. That's why i said, unless you happen to have 50k spare then dont worry as long as you choose a good household bank.

    The FSCS payments should a bank go under won't come from the bank, instead they come direct from the FSCS themselves which means that will eventually come out of all our pockets, hence why the government were lobbying against iceland to pay their share when their banks went off the cliff - so we weren't paying entirely for their mess/risk taking with deposits.

    The only thing i would add is that my opinion of a certain spanish bank (whilst talking about household names) is not a good one in that i still dont beleive that spain know fully the extent of their bad debts due to poor record keeping amongst other things. That bank is expanding fast but the service levels are supposed to be absolutely shocking, even from a corporate side which is what i tend to hear more of now.

    There is no definitive way - head would say HSBC as they were the only bank not needing support, but then its irrelevant for a bog standard current account - good example was Royal bank of Scotland, there was no way that the UK could afford to let that bank fall, it was widely recognised that Lehmans was allowed to collapse to show that the US government could infact remove support so that banks didn't get too complacent.

    mind bogglingly boring s**t :)
    #17
  19. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    [Nov 19, 2010]
    I'm not sure what bit you disagree with exactly?

    But anyway, I think you're missing the point. It doesn't matter if you have £50k or £5k of savings, credit cards, loans or mortgages. If a bank goes pop, you're in for a rough ride, thats a fact.

    SO my point is, I'm not going to teach people how to be credit analysts and how to work out the credit risk of each of the UK's financial institutions before opening a current account with them. My point was, it pays to think about what type of institution is behind the good deal, and are they a strong bank.

    Most people I suspect would probably come up with HSBC too if they thought about it for a couple of minutes, so you've just proven my point.
    #18
  20. TDIQ
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    TDIQ 8L > 8P > 8V

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    [Nov 19, 2010]
    [​IMG]
    I am calling from your baaaaaaank. I need your bank account number...

    Not used Halifax, wouldn't anyway primarily because they must spend so much on those stupid adverts with a bunch of morons who work for them signing Vanilla Ice. Yet they needed a bailout...
    #19
  21. S3 Paul
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    S3 Paul Well-Known Member Regional Rep

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    [Nov 19, 2010]
    Still telling me i cant sort the money...
    So basicaly ive got to hang in with them until either im sure the money has been lost or they sort it. every branch tells a diffrent story
    #20
  22. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    [Nov 19, 2010]
    Well to be fair the bank were only acting on your instructions in the first place, if the money is being held on another bank's suspense account it could take a while to ge it back. It's frustrating but it's only the fault of your mate to be honest.

    However to try and resolve things, I would file a complaint with the RECEIVING bank, even though you are not a customer they have to act on it within strict guidelines, ensure you copy your bank in to the correspondance too.

    Do some research into the FSA complaints guidelines, if you have specifically registered this as a complaint then they must act within certain timescales and keep you informed by telephone and in writing. If it's not resolved then there is an escalation procedure which they must adhere to. Trust me, if you make it know to your bank or any other for that matter that you are aware of this procedure then they will act, or they risk serious wrist slapping these days.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
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  23. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!! VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 19, 2010]
    I was disagreeing with your reference to finding a 'safe' institution - define a safe bank please? i agree with your stance regards finding a solid place for your money though, just think its flawed given the info available.

    The point i was making was that there is no point in going with a bank that you think is safe because of this that and the other. A great deal has happened to bank balance sheets since everything kicked off which is evidenced to you in new mortgage deals and **** interest rates - therefore the average high street individual need not worry that much about them going bust in my opinion. The risks have not vanished but you could argue that with government backing that RBS is probably a safer bet than HSBC.

    So my message to the OP is to pick a decent household name as previously said, because none of you are analysts, thankfully for you :)
    #22
  24. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    [Nov 19, 2010]
    Look, I'm trying to help the OP, whereas you're clearly on the path for an argument as usual. But if you're going to be so bloody argumentative about it, then here are my answers.

    1. "define a safe bank please?" I have already answered this question, have a good read of the full thread and you'll see my answer, it's not a straight forward one-answer response, think about it as i'm not writing it out again.

    2. "The point i was making was that there is no point in going with a bank that you think is safe because of this that and the other" That is a truly remarkably un-helpful response to the OP, well done.

    3. "A great deal has happened to bank balance sheets since everything kicked off which is evidenced to you in new mortgage deals and **** interest rates" Now this is my favourite comedy line of all, a banks balance sheet has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with mortgage rates and interest rates that it offers customers, please go and do your homework. I now realise that you have no clue at all about what you're rambling on about. So I would politely suggest you be careful when making claims about what others are helpfully trying to do when the OP asks.

    4. "because none of you are analysts" - Says who?
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
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  25. Gops
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    Gops 6th gear @7000rpm

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    [Nov 20, 2010]
    I went from haifax to barclays, still kept one account though. Had a reward account, then all of a sudden these £1 a day charge to get thier bonuses back! If you stay in your overdraft for over 12 days, what i did was go fpr the ultimate reward for £12 a month with fee free up to £300. This saves me a bit a month!
    #24
  26. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!! VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 21, 2010]
    It was not my intention to argue (as always)..i merely wished to point out that what 'looks' like a good bank isn't necessarily - hence my advice which wasn't tieing down HSBC who you are so obviously in bed with.

    If we're going at it like this then i'l answer yours in order.....

    1. "define a safe bank please?" I have already answered this question, have a good read of the full thread and you'll see my answer, it's not a straight forward one-answer response, think about it as i'm not writing it out again.
    Fair point, i hadn't taken the time to read your previous messages after you responded to mine - my bad
    2. "The point i was making was that there is no point in going with a bank that you think is safe because of this that and the other" That is a truly remarkably un-helpful response to the OP, well done. Point here being that there isn't an exact science in selecting the most 'secure' bank therefore keeping it simple for the OP who really wouldn't wish to be bothered by all your statistics given that he is clearly after a basic current account with occasional savings needs - your looking far too much into this for what the OP wants, probably to show the strength of your knowledge

    3. "A great deal has happened to bank balance sheets since everything kicked off which is evidenced to you in new mortgage deals and **** interest rates" Now this is my favourite comedy line of all, a banks balance sheet has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with mortgage rates and interest rates that it offers customers, please go and do your homework. I now realise that you have no clue at all about what you're rambling on about. So I would politely suggest you be careful when making claims about what others are helpfully trying to do when the OP asks. .........so you are saying there is no correlation between mortgages/savings and the balance sheets? I have to hear this....crack on.....

    4. "because none of you are analysts" - Says who? An assumption....are you an analyst?

    You have over complicated this thread when all that was needed was a bit of advice based upon peoples experiences. And thank you for the suggestion that i should go and 'do my homework'...banks don't interest me any further than my shares or current account/savings (banks earn me no money), hence why my suggestion to the OP is to not worry about strength and all the wonderful other information you so clearly have at hand, for Mr Joe Public it isn't RELEVANT - in this instance it isn't RELEVANT - in most instances it isn't RELEVANT - for a lot of the reasons i have gone into above.

    I await your reply as you clearly enjoy having the last word - much like myself

    Tim
    #25
  27. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    [Nov 21, 2010]
    Tim,

    I'm not going to humour your petty arguments anymore mate.

    My points may not be relevant to your beliefs, but to others they may be. I offered some advice based on my professional understanding and experience of the banking industry in which I have had the pleasure of working for many many years, to assist the OP in his quest. It's up to him to choose to use it or not.

    I have absolutely no affiliation with HSBC in any capacity as it happens, but yet again you'd have known that if you READ the thread properly.

    Enjoy your homework!
    #26
  28. scotty_audi
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    scotty_audi Member

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    [Nov 21, 2010]
    TSB

    good bank texts you when

    your accounts been used over seas

    your balance is over your agreed limit that you set

    tells you when your balance is under your agreed limit that you set

    you text a number and they text you back with your last ten transactions and your balance of your account

    texts you if you go over drawing so you can get money in your bank before 3pm to avoid bank charges etc

    i like them :)
    #27
  29. scotty_audi
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    scotty_audi Member

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    [Nov 21, 2010]
    and you dont get the pound a day charge for being in your overdraft its free :) well you get like 46p insterst at the and of the month
    #28
  30. Dazmo
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    Dazmo Active Member

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    [Nov 21, 2010]

    They are all crooks and theives mate.

    I am with HSBC and have been for 12 years, i do all my banking online and the only time i go into a branch is to pay cash or a cheque in, i do everything else myself online, much easier.

    I find HSBC piss poor for lending, eventhough my credit report is exceptional. They wouldnt give me a loan, or a decent credit card so i went elsewhere and got one without a single problem, strange when you consider this is your own bank.

    I get called in every year or so for a financial review and i always test them to see what rates they can offer me, suffice to say there rates cannot compare with other banks, companies and i just laugh at there silly rates and take my business elsewhere.

    I only really use them online and never really had a problem with transfers, payments, direct debits.
    #29
  31. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!! VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 22, 2010]
    strangely enough my intention was not to argue..... and i don't believe i have, we clearly have alternate views on this, my reply came about initially because your posts were very leading to the OP for the wrong reasons - IMO of course

    No offence buddy, this is a forum in which we express our opinions - it's part of why we come here ;)
    #30
  32. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    [Nov 22, 2010]
    Tim you animal!!!

    You should be caged up and they should throw away the key, you troublemaker!! :moa:
    #31
  33. Turkster
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    Turkster Bro.Paul 2.5TDI Quattro Sport

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    [Nov 22, 2010]
    well if all goes to plan on 7th december, you wont need to use a bank, in france they are planning to punish the banks by taking out all there cash!

    ERIC CANTONA "KILL THE BANKS" (A MUST SEE)!



    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
    #32
  34. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    [Nov 22, 2010]
    I recently switched my banking from lloydstsb to natwest recently because they offer free business banking for 2 years and cannot fault them at all. I think most high street banks have their pros and cons and all level themselves out, so I just judge them by customer service, which has been outstanding so far.
    #33
  35. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!! VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 23, 2010]
    exactly, you dont actual give your bank the merit if they dont cause you any problems generally, the old psychological mindset of only noticing failures.

    I'll vouch for Natwest, but as said above HSBC are just as good - i actually prefer HSBC's bi-products to Natwest's if i were to use them.

    The only ones i would stay clear of due to personal experience is Halifax and TSB, but that's just me....people above have had good experiences associated with these - and so we draw no conclusion :)
    #34
  36. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    [Nov 23, 2010]
    Nationwide have always been good for me , but tbh I don`t use them for much wage goes in , money is transfered about and all bills are direct debit so it just looks after itself :)
    #35

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