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Switching banks

Completely fed up with the useless Santander. They've caused me massive headaches over the past few days and I'm done with them and want to switch current accounts.

I'm thinking Halifax or Barclays and Halifax are offering £125 to switch which looks nice!

Are there any pros/cons to the various ones or are they all much of a muchness.



  • I changed from Santander to Halifax in Nov, £100 for changing then £5 a month for a little treat. Smooth and easy. No regrets.
  • edited February 2016
    Been looking at first direct recently. I've been with Lloyds for yonks and know I should probably change but can't pluck up the courage to take the plunge.
  • edited February 2016
    Have a look at First Direct. You also get £125 switching fee and their customer service is rated the highest of all banks. Call centres based in UK and I've always had good dealings with them. I switched over a year ago, switch was no problems at all.
    Technically they're an online bank but they're part of HSBC so you can use their branches if needed.
    Plus they have a 6% interest monthly regular saver account if you need something like that.
    Only downside is there is no interest paid on the money in the current acc but if you have some money you wish to earn interest lying in a current acc then you can just open another account on top which suits that need.
  • Metrobank - different gravy.
  • First Direct
  • sam3110 said:

    I work for Barclays so I'm biased

    First Direct or HSBC</blockquote

    I used to work for Barclays and I am also biased.

    fIrst Direct

  • Great time for this thread as i have a meeting with Santander next Monday to change to them from Lloyds as Lloyds have really messed us about recently and cost me money via poor advice.Now im wondering if Santander isnt the right choice?!
  • edited February 2016
    Santander is great for the 3% on up to £20,000 on your current account, plus a few cash backs on bills. Can get up to £45-50 a month off of them.

    Hoping they don't cause me any issues like they have done for Addickted. What did they do?
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  • Santander might have changed but moved away because they still acted like a Building Society but as if your money was theirs.
  • First Direct. Been with them for 20 years now, brilliant cannot fault them in any way.
  • Use first direct for my personal banking as the customer service is exceptional. You get through to a person in the UK almost immediately and they can sort pretty much everything out that you might need.

    Use Santander for joint account for bills and savings for the cashback and interest respectively. Find their online system fairly straightforward.
  • First Direct sounds good - only hear good things about them.
  • edited February 2016
    Halifax doesn't actually really exist. It's just a trading name of Bank of Scotland and hasn't got a separate authorisation. In turn, BoS is merely a brand of Lloyds Banking Group.

    I know it doesn't impact many people but if you have some funds you need to consider whether, in the event of a bank failure, you will be able to benefit in full from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. It caps your maximum payout by calculating all your financial relationships across the whole group. The max cover is currently £75k. So, eggs and baskets applies.

    For as long as I can remember, I've always used a variety of banks. But they tend not to be High Street versions because I think you get better service from the less well known entities. (Although Mrs cafcfan has an account at Barclays).
    One of my bankers has recently announced that it is quitting retail banking, so I've looked for another to replace it. But having got a number of accounts on the go I don't have to scrabble around urgently looking for an alternative if one institution irredeemably upset me!

    I opted for Cater Allen which is a subsidiary of Santander, so far they have been pretty good. Advantages are decent(ish) interest and a deferred debit card. So you can buy stuff but it doesn't get debited from your account until the end of the month. Another, if you so wish is getting a $ and Euro debit card to operate off separate accounts so you don't get slaughtered by charges when travelling.

    But in the main my advice would be Just treat banks the same way you would any other retailer, say petrol stations. Use whichever you fancy or is convenient. Move if they piss you off or change T&Cs.
  • Metrobank - different gravy.

    Why, what do they do that's better?
  • edited February 2016
    Stig said:

    Metrobank - different gravy.

    Why, what do they do that's better?
    Put sugar in it
  • Coutts, obviously.
    Or Sports direct.
  • Coutts, obviously.

    Well, personally, I'd steer well clear of something owned by RBS!

    If, you're going down that route there's really only one option: C Hoare & Co. Family owned since 1674 and the class act in the sector.
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  • Stig said:

    Metrobank - different gravy.

    Why, what do they do that's better?
    Well, they open pretty much every day of the year till about 8pm and you can go in and talk face-to-face to someone who can solve your issue, or give advice. The individual branch managers have some delegated authority (like the old fashioned bank managers used to have) and take an interest in serving your needs - overdraft/mortgage/short term borrowing kind of stuff.

    For businesses they are happy to accept deposited coins (machine does it), and will hold an additional account in Euros if required (to save too much exchange activity)

    Lower charges and borrowing rates, great online tools, print your debit card in the branch while you wait, have a pic of you on their screen in the branch for extra security.

    just seem to be trying harder than the high street dinosaurs.
  • Coutts, obviously.
    Or Sports direct.

    Coutts is RBS and is a shadow of it's former glory - a bit like CAFC.
  • I hear Wonga pay good interest rates.
  • Would not touch Barclays again with a bargepole, caused untold amount of stress , sleepless nights , time and money sorting out when my account was hacked, phoning their call centre in Mumbai was Rubbish, and I never could get through to the person who kept sending me letters.

    They kept putting money in my account and then taking it out, I couldn't believe how badly run their customer support was, in branch the staff are lovely, but woe betide when something goes wrong., if your're going to choose a new bank make sure their call centre is in the uk and that they have high street presence.
  • I'd second Metro Bank.

    I opened up a bank account in the Bromley branch about 2 years ago, as I was spending a lot of time in Sweden for work - and there was no account fees for usage in the EU. I went in at around 7 o'clock on a Thursday night and they were holding a local business opening day - so I got bottle of beer whilst I waited. Filled in the paperwork and walked out with my debit card there and then, no hassle or fuss and all done within half an hour. Was exactly the same when I opened up a joint account back in August.

    Check out their opening times as they're open everyday, and full hours too - none of this closing at 1pm nonsense. If you lose your card you can get a replacement in branch immediately; that's saved me twice.

    The internet banking is pretty good and they also do a mobile app, and the service in branch is second to none. Genuinely good staff.

    Alas, there have been a few issues with the card when out shopping. I think it's wear and tear mainly though.
  • MetroBank are the Primark of Banks

    Barclays, NatWest, Santander, Lloyds and HSBC are like M&S, Next, House of Fraser, John Lewis and Debenhams

    RBS/W&G, TSB and Nationwide are like BHS, Matalan and New Look

    First Direct are like H&M
    All depends on if you want a bank with a "presence" and history, or if you are willing to take away the high street branch aspect of it. For what its worth, Santanders 123 current account is good, HSBC's interest rates linked to the Advance account are great, Halifax have a top notch HTB ISA right now, Barclays have a lot of digital platforms including a market leading app and online banking system, and NatWest have nice branches and (from what I have heard) a good customer experience.

    Metro Bank is the most convenient bank for the hours, and First Directs phone system is second to none, I'd steer clear of RBS as they dick about (quoted my girlfriend 5 working days to transfer money from savings account to her account with HSBC for instance) but yeah its whatever floats your boat
  • cafcfan said:

    Coutts, obviously.

    Well, personally, I'd steer well clear of something owned by RBS!

    If, you're going down that route there's really only one option: C Hoare & Co. Family owned since 1674 and the class act in the sector.
    Just one thing to beware of here, especially if you borrow...base rate does not always mean the Bank of England base rate. C Hoare & Co have their own base, which is 3%! A slight and potentially costly difference - Cater Allen, and most high street banks do use the 0.5% base rate.

    Personally, I work for (on the Corporate side) and bank with Barclays and have done for over 30 years. I haven't had any problems, but rarely have to deal with a branch and do everything online, bar opening a Euro account last year, which they did for me on the day.

    All really depends on what you need (deposits or borrowing, or both with a Woolwich off-set mortgage for example) and how much ability and access you have online. The money supermarket link is a decent one to review and find what you're looking for. Good luck.
  • I'm with co-op, the ethical bank. That is until their CEO when on a crazed drugs binge, bought a failing building society and had to be bailed out by a hedge fund.

    Therefore, the most Charlton bank around.

    Their service is decent tbf.
  • Work for HSBC and can vouch for First Direct being excellent.
  • Used to work for Nationwide, their customer service ethos was excellent and I have left my account there even though I now work for a bank. Free travel insurance a nice bonus.

    That said, Clydesdale and First Direct both paying nice sums to take accounts on and I have never heard a single person talk badly of First Direct.
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