Tag Archives: banking

Santander please sort out your customer service

Santander, what’s going on? I have a poor experience every time I interact with you to discuss my business bank account.

This weekend I have a number of expenses where I need to pay cash. It comes to more than the £250 limit on ATM withdrawals. I have never needed to get more than that as cash before so a week ago I called the bank and asked how I can withdraw a larger amount.

They told me it’s no problem. Call us again one day before you need the money and we will authorise the local branch to give you the money. Great.

I called the call centre today. First they transferred me to the local branch, who did not have a clue what I was talking about. Then the local branch just cut me off the line – clearly not sure what to do so they just ditched me.

I called back. Then the call centre told me that business customers cannot get money from a branch – branches are for personal customers only.

Next, the branch asked me to detail what is the money for…? Since when did I need to get permission to spend my own money?

Eventually Santander refused to let me access my funds. I’ve had to setup a CHAPS transfer to another bank account. The only saving grace is that they did not charge a fee for the transfer.

Santander – what is the story? Can’t you have a consistent line? If you had given me the correct information in the first place I could have just transferred some money to my personal current account… but now you made me wait until a day before I need it.

Abbey HQ

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Tesco Bank. Your time has come…

The government is now throwing more money at the UK banking system.

As a nation, we really had no choice, but to bail out the banks. Hank Paulson allowed Lehman Brothers to collapse in the US thinking that the market would correct itself if a weak bank is allowed to fail. Instead, he tipped the whole banking system into further decline.

The government is seeking more competition in UK retail banking. They want to offload the public sector ownership of the banks they saved back to new market entrants. And it’s essential this happens. Listen to the press and the public on the radio phone-ins.

Nobody trusts the existing banks anymore. They are viewed as corrupt and with leaders like Fred Goodwin sailing into the sunset with millions in pension money, who can blame them?

We can go one of two ways.

State-owned banking is one choice. The government has already made it clear that they don’t like this option and they want to offload their present assets to the private sector – and this would happen even faster if (when) the Tory government is elected next spring.

So, our only really option is the new market entrants coming in and cleaning up the banks – like James Stewart in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’… walk this way Bank of Tesco.