Newest Review: ... the laptop rang up to clarify the offer before performing the transaction, whichever it was. I was informed that it was interest free... more
THE ABBEY HABIT
Member Name: JB01
Advantages: Value for money, choice, flixiblity.
Disadvantages: Should you keep all your eggs in 1 basket.
Since the development of online technology and the Internet in the 1990ís The Abbey website and services have expanded considerably. The website has a user friendly interface with advice on many branches of finance including Abbey business, Abbey international, Abbey share dealing, the internet bank Cahoot, Abbey funds centre, Jobs at Abbey, Inscape, Scottish Provident/Mutual (each with an individual website).
There is a branch locator which is simple and easy to use & contact facilities.
Access to your online banking account. A HELP MENU to help with decisions on savings, borrowing, use of internet tools. PRODUCT GUIDE offering advise on CASH - accounts, loans, credit cards. HOME - mortgages. PROTECT - Insurance. FUTURE - Investments & pensions, CTF. OTHER OPTIONS including interest rates. And a menu for other Abbey related sites as outlined above.
With this you can quickly access information on products across a range of services e.g interest rates. Similarly via a menu you can access information & make requests on services e.g order a cheque book, change of address, movement of funds.
HIGH STREET BRANCHES
The website offers a diagnostic tool to find your local branch, there are many around the UK near retail outlets with access to ATM when not open (normally 24/7). It is possible to deposit/withdraw funds(this can be a bit tricky and needs some practice), and obtain statements at these facilities as well. You can book appointments for advise on all sorts of Abbey products and facilities, sometimes you can be seen within a few minutes, other times you are required to book an appointment.
I use an Abbey account for my primary banking, they take care of my standing orders and direct debits and pay a small monthly interest rate with an overdraft facility. I have a debit card with VISA and LINK facilities, cheque guarantee. This now includes chip and pin facilities. Each month I am sent a statement with comprehensive details of deposits and withdrawals. Balances can be obtained via the telephone 24/7 with some limitation and via the internet. Postal, telephone and internet facilities allow you to move your money to different accounts over time to allow you to maximise your remuneration. The ease of use and choice of mode of interaction makes for relaxing banking from home and on the move. I also have an ISA account, Abbey have a great deal of choice on offer, unfortunately I have a shortage of funds so lack the ability to talk from more experience.
More recently (since 2001) the Abbey have introduced value for money BUSINESS ACCOUNTS. I just missed out on a lifetime of free banking, I have free business banking within a well defined limits (ie number of cheque deposits and withdrawals).
The package came with a large plastic wallet for my cards, cheque and deposit books, prepaid envelopes (postal banking) monthly statements and further advice.
They offer 2 major accounts 1. The business account with a small monthly interest payment, direct debit and standing order facilities. 2. A Reserve account which pays substantially more interest on deposits and allows you to filter this into your business account. Both accounts offer monthly statements. Deposits can be made via branches or via the postal system (free of charge). Cheques are customized. You are also issued with operator cards that allow deposits and withdrawals via ATM, these facilities are available to other users under your guidance. The whole system can be operated via the internet probably less expensively (in time if not financially) and telephone 24/7.
The free cheques banking is quite useful with my business because people are often reassured when they can pay by cheque and my hourly charge is fairly low at £25. Mainstream business bank accounts often charge 50p per cheque. The free postal facility means I can pop several cheques in the post and save on time and inconvenience by avoiding queues at the counter.
THE ABBEY BUSINESS WEBSITE
The site has a simple to use interface with access to useful advice on :
Contact details, overdrafts, mortgages, insurance, free advice and tips, business news, onsite applications and user logon. Initially I found internet banking useful for my start up business, it allowed me to check on money flows daily and move funds quickly. This helped to reduce costs due to overdraft or lost interest on the account.
All in all the abbey offer an easy to use, comprehensive and integrated banking service for the every day user. It now has an international flavour due the recent European acquisition. One problem I have with this is that all my banking takes place with one vendor. I would feel more secure by spreading my banking over 1 or 2 facilitators, unfortunately due to fund shortages I do not have the funds for more than 1 bank. The advantage of course is the reduction in costs of dealing with transfers between facilities. Abbey have many high street outlets which makes for a great deal of convenience. Most ATMís accept their cards with low or no charge. Enquiries can be dealt with quickly using either telephone, internet or at the high street counter. Interest rates are normally competitive, both for overdraft and deposit. The website makes for easy access and more informed decisions. They have a section on internet security.
Summary: Flexibility, choice, security, value for money.