What should your bank be doing for you?

A recent survey showed that there is more chance of most of us changing our partner than our Bank Account and I still regularly talk to people who use the same branch of the same bank where they opened their first student account decades ago!


If you are happy with the service you have been receiving from your bank I’m not suggesting that you need to be constantly on the lookout for a new account but if, on the other hand, you have felt let down by any of the services that your bank provides then maybe it’s time to ‘take you overdraft elsewhere’ as they say.


If you feel that the time has come to look for a new home for your money, or your debt, then here are some questions that you might want to ask of your potential new bankers:


What rates of interest will you pay me for my savings?


What rate of interest will you charge me if I borrow?


How comprehensive is your internet banking service?


How many branches do you have close to where I live and work, and what are their opening hours?


What are your overdraft rates, and can I have an interest free overdraft buffer?


What will you charge me if I go overdrawn without asking you?


If I phone you will I be able to speak to a real person rather than a machine?


What are you charges for running my account?


Do you provide any extras such as travel insurance or accidental death cover? And do these things cost extra?


If you like the answers then maybe it is time to switch. The process should be straightforward these days – once your new bank has carried out the necessary credit and ID checks that they need then it should be ready to take over all of the administration of the transfer for you, asking your old bank for details of all payments into and out of your account. All your direct debits and standing orders should be transferred automatically and you should be good to go in no time.

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