Well this isn’t boat related but it may save someone a few pounds, so let me mention my banking experience today.

First Natwest, with whom I have held a business account for 10 years who have just told me.  “Sorry we can’t send that because we do not have your address on file.”  What?  After 10 years?  Well just put it back on file and send me what I needed. “No you need to come into your branch (Brighton) to sign a form.”  “No I don’t. I am not changing anything but simply asking you to sort out a problem of your own making.” Etc. Etc.

“You can speak to your business manager”, they suggested, who’s voicemail was 4 days out of date and directed me back to the same 0845 number I had already used.  I dialed it again and got through to someone who managed to sort it all out without a fuss.  The address was on file all the time!

Fully fired up in anti banking mode I then took on Abbey, or should I say Santander, who had just delivered me a statement for my ISA account showing only 50 pounds interest for the whole of last year.  “Could you please let me know what interest rate I will earn on this account during the current tax year?” 

“Yes – that’s an ISA Issue 1 account  so it will be 0.3 per cent.”

“Is there any way to increase this?”

“Yes.  I can change it to an ISA Issue 6 account so you will be given 0.5 per cent plus a 2.0 percent bonus for 12 months. Would you like me to do that now?  OK that takes effect tomorrow.”

So for the sake of one quick phonecall my account will at least pay something approaching an acceptable rate – but this really does demonstrate that the banks are taking full advantage of anyone who doesn’t update their accounts yearly.  I’m sure Santander are not alone in this so do take a look at your current savings and ensure that you are playing along with this new invention of  “Issue numbers” and not letting them take advantage of you!  Take nothing for granted and make a call now!

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