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Clydesdale Bank

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20 Reviews
  • Rubbish on-line 'service' - it is almost impossible to even register for
  • Miscalculations
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    20 Reviews
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      14.03.2011 12:46

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      I run a small society account. I have no had any statements for two years. I phoned the bank, but each time the communications centre tells me the Byres Road branch is engaged and will call me back - but they don't. Today is typical. I phoned at 09.27, promised call back, no call back.Phoned again at 11.30, promised call back, no call back.In January, desperate, travelled to Glasgow to get the statements directly from branch. Was told that I had not received them because there was no activity in the account, which is untrue. Was promised statements within two weeks. It is March, no statements. The Clydesdale Bank seems to pride itself on lack of customer service. I give it -1 star rating, but that is not available. Ignore the single star below.

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      23.09.2010 11:02

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      stay away unless they give you a great mortgage deal

      We've found clydesdale extremely poor. The mistakes started as soon as we first took out the mortgage and they tried to con us with the small print, luckily i spotted this and got it changed.

      When we recently moved the mortgage to a new house, we discovered that we'd been under paying interest for the last 12 months, and hence were over a £1000 in arrears. Have recently heard on a news article this is far from uncommon with them.

      We had to write 3 times to the london branch to try and change address for the offsett account even though their mortgage department had just lent us money on the new house so of course had the address. In the end they changed it over the phone even though they insisted we couldn't do that when we intially tried.

      Recently thought i'd lost my cards, so phoned up to cancel them. Surprise surprise my HSBC credit card arrived in the post a couple of days later. Clydesdale was completely different, they were supposed to send me a form (as they asked me ridiculous security questions over the phone that i couldn't asnwer) but it has still not turned up 2 weeks later. Even when it does i have zero faith that sending it off to my "local" london branch will have any effect.

      Their website is rubbish, its frequently down for maintenance and for several of my utility bills the sort codes wont register, even though HSBC always can.

      I've never been with a bank that makes so many mistakes and errors. But they are very cheap on their mortgages, 0.35% above base rate for life of mortgage, so until i can afford to pay off mortgage ill have to stick with them.

      Unless you can get a similarly good deal with them STAY AWAY!!

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      20.09.2010 19:47

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      I recently received a new debit card, and called the number provided on the card to 'authenticate' it. While on the phone, the female tried to sell me 'card protection insurance' at almost £80 per year. I told her that I'd think about it and call her back the next day - which I did, to say I definately didn't want it. Once month later my next statement showed that the £80 had been taken from my account! Now, 2 months and many trips to the bank later, the manager finally told me today that "they" refuse to refund the money! It appears that when you call to authorise your card, you actually call some third party - who not only have all your details but authority to take money from your account, and Clydesdale bank don't accept responibility! If this is not illegal, it should be!

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      29.08.2010 13:48

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      Well im about to blow the lid on them and do a tv documentary after how ive been treated. It may not stand up in court with the information i have, but I am willing to do a lie detector test which will come out as the truth an leave some very red faces! People will be astonished and I have been told that I could cause another Northern Rock problem as investors as well as borrowers have had problems - oh dee dums my heart bleeds not! They had an option to be reasonable and their time is running out just like my patience.

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      03.05.2010 22:55
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      If youre a student dont bother

      I was with the clydesdale bank (they dont deserve a capital letter) for 12 years and had a small overdraft with them when I became a student in my late 20's.
      Was staying with a friend up north for a couple of weeks, returned home to a few letters telling me I had an unauthorised overdraft - by 13p (the first letter). I realise this is a lot of money to the banks, after all the money they have lost the British taxpayer they must think I had a cheek asking them to withdraw their £90+ charges, after all thats peanuts to a student while the 13p out of their bonuses would probably cripple them.

      Staff completely unhelpful, as was the manager.

      I am no longer a student and I now earn a reasonable salary, have a car loan, life assurance and mortgage, all with the Nationwide, who I have an account with now, and Im more than happy with them.

      Sorry clydesdale, I wouldnt recommend you for anything.

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        02.05.2010 13:22
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        some good points , some bad

        I use this bank with a basic card cash account which offers no overdraft facility mainly because , at the present moment being a post grad student funds are a bit tight , I will comment on my on-line experience and the experience of using the branch in Paisley

        I opened this account as some where to get my student loans pittance paid into when I was an undergraduate and didn't want any over drafts or to get into debt , the account opening was quite straight forward , and is available to almost any one , which allows those with low or poor credit ratings to get a bank account , with a multi function maestro card , with the minimum of hassle , this account also offers on line banking which I use very often and am impressed with the fact you can ( at last) now transfer money between various external bank accounts and send payments to other accounts on the same day.

        The online banking requires registration and is done separately from opening any kind of bank account , and after registering takes about a week to get all your details through , the bank card arrived some 3 days after opening the bank account at the branch , which I thought was quite quick , the pin number followed two days later , I should make clear this account is not able to be opened on line and you are required to make an appointment with the branch to open it

        Unlike other banks , basic accounts you can use your debit card at any hole in the wall cash machine , I have a Lloyds basic card , and the debit card for this account only allows you to withdraw money from their machines which is quite limiting , the other benefit of the Clydesdale account is that the maestro card can be used abroad , of course always tell your bank when your abroad so you can use your card or you may find some embarrassment ( but thats a different review !)

        I find that setting up Direct debits and making payments is far easier on line than using the phone banking service or going into the branch where they always try to sell you some thing , however when I lost my card the phone banking service was very quick in sending out a new card within 2 days

        The only negative comment I have is that when I tried to set up a savings account , I called the phone banking service to be told I would be called back , Im still waiting on the return call , and because of that set up the savings account with another bank

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          13.08.2009 16:39

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          Not For Me

          The Clydesdale Bank.

          We have been banking with this bank for a number of years and over the past 12 months it has degenerated into a two bit cowboy outfit.

          The branch I use mostly and others I have had the displeasure of using usually have one or two tellers so it takes quite a while to get to the front of the queue.

          On speaking to the teller "Sales person" things are fine if you want to make a withdrawal or put in some money but If there are any issues they dont seem to be able to help so you need to put on an appointment for 2012 or 2 weeks as I was told, a long time if they owe you cash in a five week month.

          Recently they seem to be unable to process direct debits and when I phone the companies involved they say its due to an unusual numbering system that the bank have adopted, tell the bank this and they look at you like you have two heads.

          I wonder if I should start charging them say £20 for an error and say £35 if they make a mess of a direct debit, they are quite good at this sort of thing.

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          25.01.2008 23:12

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          Not worth the savings - I should have stuck with C&G.

          We were recommended a Clydesdale mortgage by our financial advisor - and on paper it looked like a great deal. But they have been an absolute nightmare to deal with. It took weeks and weeks to get the mortgage approved - with questions ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous following the valuation on our new home. Then, when they'd finally completed their admin (and delayed our move by weeks) and they'd lent us the money to move, they started sending all correspondence to our old address.

          I then tried to set up a savings account so that we could take advantage of the offset nature of our mortgage. I got sent some scrappy application forms by email with print so small that it was barely legible when printed. Weeks after sending them back, I received a paying in book, which again, despite having corrected the mistakes on their previous correspondence, was sent to our old address. Luckily, all of our mail is being redirected. That was it, just a paying in book - no letter, no explanation of the services available - nothing.

          Tonight I tried to register for internet banking. Eventually, after queuing, the phone was answered with a 'hello' - nothing else, just 'hello'.

          I explained what I wanted to do and was told that I couldn't register my savings account, if that's what it is, so that I could transfer my savings to it from my internet savings account elsewhere, because there were no transactions on my account.

          We're on our reduced mortgage rate for 2 years but as there are no tie-ins, I'll be checking Clydesdale's competitors every day and moving my mortgage as soon as I can find as good a deal elsewhere. My advice, stay clear. My first impressions have been of a bank that is stuck in the past - I imagine they are still using quills - and totally unable to cope with the demands of modern customers.

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          28.06.2006 22:24
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          Great service, unless you get it amazingly cheaper elsewhere, it is worth paying the extra.

          Many people make a big hoo hah about changing banks these days. Personally, I don't bother. You see, Clydesdale doesnt offer me gimmicks or 0% on transfers but we sting you elsewhere. Instead they offer you a steady service, everything carries a low charge (but nothing is passed) and I am not unfairly penalised for doing something wrong. I also get excellent service and things explained to me in English (not Indian!). Interested? Read on...


          HISTORY LESSON:

          I know we all like history, so let's get right into the nitty gritty of the history behind the rise of Clydesdale Bank.

          Clydesdale Bank was founded in 1838 with a head office in Glasgow and a single branch in Edinburgh. Since this original format, they have grown to become one of the biggest banks in Scotland. They even issue their own notes!

          Indeed, Clydesdale was one of the pioneers of the cheque guarantee card, personal loans and mobile branches.

          As the bank's early profits were generated from Scottish traders in the 19th century, they grew to know what business was like and that customers needed to be treated well. The implementation of the above options was designed to help these traders to expand their business. As they grew, so did the accounts and therefore, so did the bank.

          Having set its roots in Scotland with over 180 branches, Clydesdale has also now moved into London and the North of England. To ensure service and accessability for its modern day travelling customers, they also have ATM machines throughout the UK that allow customers to change details on their account as well as simply withdraw cash.

          The bank has also committed to investment in real branches along with extensive online and telephone services. A big plus to those who are tired of seeing their local branch close.

          Since 1987, the bank has been a member of the National Australia Bank, an international financial services group which at Sept 05 had assets of more than £180 billion.

          Despite these links, they remain very much a Scottish bank and get involved in Scottish life as a good Scottish company would. Local issues are supported and local customer expectations are met through asking their customers what they want, and then trying to provide it on a local scale (if it is not nationally viable).

          Clydesdale Bank PLC subscribes to the Banking code and for those who wish to know, it is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.


          SO WHAT DO THEY OFFER?:

          Well, I have only got experience of the company as a personal banker. This is what most of you will be interested in at a guess. In this respect, their range is wide and varied.


          MORTGAGES:

          For those who are looking for a mortgage, Clydesdale cleaned up at the recent Charcol mortgage awards and proudly display numerous mortgage awards throughout each of their branches. Although not all of them come to mind, they all give me a sense of well being.

          However, I would take this point to note that none of the awards are for the lowest interest charged. Indeed, they all revolve around service, which seems to be the banks main reputation builder. With this in mind, you might want to check and make sure that you are still getting an OK deal.

          I know a friend of mine who has a mortgage with them for £45,000. She is in the 9th year of her deal and swears she will never change. Although they are charging her a small amount more interest, they are also less strict on charges and such when things don't quite go right. She also got them to let her skip an entire payment at Xmas without any penalties. For the level of service they offer, it is probably worth the extra point of a percent they may charge you over 25 years.


          INSURANCE:

          Again, this is not something that I have delved into too much although I can advise that a friend of my has house insurance with them (contents). They have only ever had to make one claim and that was following a break in. The people who worked with them were great, although someone senior apparently decided they had broken into the house themselves!

          Fortunately, one call to the helpline and the person who came to the house for the assessment made a call and sorted it out. They got the money. Although not perfect, they made a mistake and quickly corrected it. Everyone makes mistakes so this has to be a plus.

          The major downside to their insurance seems to be their premiums. While they try to stay competitive with a lot of banks, anyone with a slight nouse for searching would easily find a cheaper premium for the same quote elsewhere online. With this in mind, this is the one section I would advise you avoid. While I can advise you to spend a little more for the service, there is a limit to how much more!


          CURRENT ACCOUNTS:

          Wanting a basic account? Their new Cashmaster account comes with no overdraft, no loaning facility and no fees. However, in a new twist, you will now get a cash only card that can also be used online like a debit card and is going to be widely accepted (we are told).

          If you want something more substantial, you will be glad to know that Visa Electron is not supported (woohoo). However, you can get both a Visa Card and a Mastercard at competitive rates. However, their offers for free balance transfers etc... don't add up to much so if you have the time and energy to keep changing your account every 6 months, this probably isn't the bank for you.

          As stated in the mortgages section, the bank are also happy to remove charges if you offer a reasonable explanation and don't do it all the time. I think they realise that everyone makes the odd mistake or hits the odd spot of trouble. They would rather see you come out the other side than make your life worse with another charge. I think it's the only bank I have heard of that do!


          ONLINE BANKING:

          You can now bank online with Clydesdale Bank. To do so you need to first contact them and get them to send you the relevant gumpf through the post. This took about 5 days as the password and ID's are sent seperately. Upon arrival I signed in without a problem and then hit a snag on the site. I phoned their helpline and they had me sorted in less than 3 minutes. Good going eh?

          I can now view my account balance, set up standing orders, view pending debits/credits, apply for new accounts/services, request a change of details and transfer money from one account to the other. Basically, I can do all that you can at other banks.

          You will be interested to note that they also offer a branch finder (as they make such a dance about committing to branches) and some background info on the company and its services.

          The only downside to the service is that unlike other banks, you cannot enter your card number and a password to access the online banking site. Instead, they allocate you a customer ID. This is a long drawn out number and is almost impossible to remember. However, you only get one ID, regardless of how many types of accounts you have, so I guess it isn't all bad. Also stops a card thief transferring all my money out online (although I keep my password safe in my brain so this shouldn't happen anyway)!

          Still, after a few weeks of regular use, it does start to sink in and you can throw that bit of paper in the bin. Should you forget it, you can do the same thing by phone anyway, so it's not the end of the world.

          The site is also easy to navigate and makes sense. Log in and you get to choose which of your accounts to look at. Once in it you get the various options in a straight forward menu (nothing hidden). Even a first time novice will take less than 5 minutes to find their way around, just ask my gran!


          BANKING BY PHONE:

          Here is some good news, the telephone banking facility is 24 HOURS! Yes, it doesn't close. You can always speak to a human. This seems novel as most banks claim to have their lines open 24 hours, but this is often only for their automated services such as checking your balance.

          The other good thing is that all you need is a number that they allocate you and your pass number. You type it in on the keypad after dialling and they get you straight to your account details. Great stuff. Security gets tighter if you want to change anything or make payments etc, but for basic things like checking your balance, this is great, easier than the Abbey system which has too many option menu's for my liking.

          They also speak English, not Indian. I have not checked where there call centre is located, but if it is in India then they must have some Ex-pats working over there! I have regularly phoned to check something (especially before I signed up for online banking) and I have never had a problem.

          Indeed, the helpline is probably the biggest plus about this bank. The staff listen to what you have to say and take it all in first time, regardless of the thick Scottish accent or the harshest Brummie tones. When talking they quickly ascertain what you are looking to sort/do/find out and then they give you the relevant options you can take. No nonsense either. They don't fluff it out with a lot of jargon or anything, they just say that 'if you do this you will get a charge' or 'if you do this you avoid a charge' or 'this would work if you want to ship money abroad' etc... If they don't know the answer, they also phone you back. None of this 'hold the line please (dull music 10 mins later, playing the same tune)'. Brilliant stuff.


          BUSINESS ACCOUNTS:

          OK, I cheated a bit here, and still came up with very little. As I don't own or run a business, this is not an area in which I can claim to be an expert. However, I can say that they do offer business accounts and they are apparently very good. As this is the way they first built up their own business, they still rely on it pretty heavily and have a great deal of expertese. Indeed, I have often seen people walking into the branch holding briefcases to match their suit and tie, and seen them walk out happy, so something must be good right?

          If this interests you, I advise you to visit www.cbonline.co.uk and click on the business accounts link. I have not compared them with other banks in this area and have no real knowledge of it, sorry.


          MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:

          I joined Clydesdale Bank around 6 years ago with something called a 'cashmaster' card. This was about the most basic account you can find and is the most basic the bank currently offers. In essence, you can put money in, take money out, have no overdraft or lending facilities and your card can only be used to get cash out. Hence the name of the card.

          However, I can honestly say that the staff in all my local branches have always been polite and helpful. As I prefer to deal with cash, the account suits my needs. They allow you to withdraw over the counter (unlike similar accounts with Abbey for instance) and they are flexible and give you honest answers when you need to speak to them about direct debits etc.

          I have recently signed up for their online banking and have to say that I am impressed. With the hectic lifestyle most of us lead, they gave me a hard to remember customer number that cannot be changed (that's right, no card numbers I'm afraid) and I selected my own password.

          Online I can shift money about between accounts, check statements, balances, set up standing orders and such. Basically, I can follow the basic functions you would do in a branch. Indeed, anything I need to do urgently can be done online.

          Should I need to contact them by phone for advice, they have always been polite and helpful and given me honest answers. I know it must be a call centre, but I don't have any qualms with that. They speak to me in English, give me the answers I need and sort things out for me there and then.

          An example of this excellent service is when a blind charity decided they wanted to take more than they were authorised to. Their debit said £2 a month, they tried to take £12 a week. I noticed it online 2 days after the debit and called my bank. Despite only having a basic account, they reversed the direct debit, cancelled all future debits from the charity and advised me on appropriate courses of action from there. This was all within 4 minutes on the phone (this include the options menu, which is actually a lot shorter than many would expect).

          So overall, I would highly recommend the service I have if its the one for you. Given that I am surely one of the least profitable customers for them, I am sure that the help and advice they offer will easily surpass many competitors if you hold a big account or credit cards etc. The main thing is that the staff always bend over backwards for you. If it can be done, they will find a way to do it and won't make you jump loops to get there. I guess they probably have the same rules as most other banks, but this aspect makes them well worth joining, even if their rates don't compare favourably in some cases.

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            30.04.2003 18:23
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            As a customer of the Clydesdale bank I feel that things are definitely getting worse, however, I feel that it is not simply down to the staff on the front counter - they can only do so much. If they are not provided with the tools and support in place to do the job properly. Half the time it seems that the staff are fighting the system trying to get payments through, resolve queries, and still try to have enough staff on the counter to cover a queue. It seems to me that although the Clydesdale is part of the National Australia Group - it isn't doing much to support it's little subsidiary, in fact it seems to be doing everything to undermine it by, constantly having cost-cutting measures in place and cutting staff. I feel that the staff really do give so much, when they really least feel like it under the burden of National Australia Group. So next time you're in your branch, think beyond what you see at the front counter.

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              30.04.2003 06:19

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              Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Advantages: fab staff - always friendly & willing to help! They always go the extra mile to make sure that your happy with everything, great customer service, best products on the high street market - Disadvantages: none at all!! I think the reviews on here are just a small percentage of the customers! Clydesdale definately are the best bank to bank for!! You are only complaining because you have had 1 bad expereience!! I think more folk should be, ...getting the advantages accross about how good the service etc at the Clydesdale is!! Come on guys, lets get the ratings up!! 10 out of 10 for customer service!!!

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              12.02.2003 19:33
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              I was charged £62.50 when I sent £100 to a poor family in India. Through ActionAid, I used to sponsor Monj, a poor Indian boy in the Calcutta area. Now Monj is grown up and is working with an organisation that helps the poor. Recently Monj got married and I sent him £100. Clydesdale Bank informed me that the cost of this transaction was £62.50. I asked Clydesdale Bank to send the £100 on 8th May 2002, by telegraphic transfer. On 25th July 2002 I received an e-mail from Monj to say that the money had arrived in his HSBC bank account. Clydesdale Bank wrote to me in February 2003 to explain that the charges for the telegraphic transfer were £37.50 (which I assume goes to the Clydesdale) and £25 (which I assume goes to HSBC). When I try to phone my branch of the Clydesdale Bank, I am put through to a call centre in Glasgow. It can take a further fifteen minutes before I can speak to anyone at my local bank. When I call in at the bank, I often find that there is only one girl serving customers and the queue is almost out the door. This is not of course as bad as dealing with Scottish Gas, but it's not very good. The staff at my local branch are good people, but are they being over-worked? Not so long ago, Finance union UNIFI asked Yorkshire/Clydesdale Bank to guarantee that UK bank staff jobs were safe in the face of a restructure of the parent National Australia Group. Reports of 5,000 job cuts worldwide across the group and a major restructuring plan were leaked to market analysts in Australia after losses of US$3.6 billion in NAG's Homeside subsidiary in America. UNIFI official Jim Caldwell said: "Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks have already been subject to very aggressive cost-cutting by the Group." "With a recruitment embargo in place, no relief staff available and mounting evidence of high stress levels among staff, assurances should be given from Yorkshire/Clydesdale to
              put staff's mind at ease. " UNIFI is concerned at the potential decline in the level of service offered to customers in the event of further cutbacks being announced. Very recently, the Clydesdale Bank lost its second top executive in four months when Steve Targett resigned as chief executive of European financial services at parent group National Australia Bank. Mr Targett, had taken over responsibility for the Clydesdale when Graham Savage retired as chief executive of the Glasgow-based bank in October, after only nine months in the post. A spokesman for NAB denied the group was becoming a "revolving door" for executives. Mr Targett will join Lloyds TSB on March 10, and his post will be filled temporarily by NAB executive Ross Pinney. NAB chief executive Frank Cicutto said: "Mr Pinney will continue our strategies to improve customer service, remain competitive and grow the business." Mr Cicutto, the chief executive of National Australia Bank, which owns the Clydesdale Bank, once described Scotland as an inferior country. What about HSBC? In a certain Asian city where I was living, I opened a dollar bank account and asked that the monthly interest be transferred to the bank account of Panca, a handicapped child from a poor family. Panca's account was not in dollars and not with HSBC. The monthly interest which Panca received was almost zero after HSBC had deducted their massive bank charges. HSBC has a reputation for being helpful to the rich elite. Spain's El Mundo newspaper reported recently that the HSBC banking group was allegedly to be fined euro2m (£1.25m) by Spanish authorities for running a series of opaque bank accounts for wealthy businessmen and professional football players. The fines were reportedly due to be made under money laundering rules and are understood to involve 138 accounts containing £40m. El Mundo rep
              orted that only 12 of the 138 account holders, who appeared to be operating through an HSBC subsidiary in Switzerland called the British Bank of the Middle East, had been identified by the money laundering committee.

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                09.12.2002 05:13
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                • "Rubbish on-line 'service' - it is almost impossible to even register for"

                This is a truly appalling bank and I hope your site puts off any potential customers. Our telephone banking service was inoperable today and the final explanation was that it had been cancelled 2 weeks previously as they thought it had been fraudulently accessed - a fact we were never informed about (it wasn't the case needless to say, but if it had been someone could have withdrawn all our money and we wouldn't have been told about it). They make endless errors and never compensate you for them (however much it has cost you). Never use this bank - unless you have money to burn and an enormous amount of time to waste tyring to sort out the mistakes!

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                  10.07.2002 21:19
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                  • Miscalculations

                  Clydesdale bank in £128 is half of £360 shock! After agreeing to clear five cheques,the day before my salary went in, the bank bounced them and charged me £128 plus a £32 penalty. Then bounced them again even though my salary had gone in the next day and charged penalties totalling £360. When I complained, they offered to refund 'half' the charges.. and worked this out to be £128. When I complained to Customer Relations, they told me they had no discretion on charges, and I should speak to the branch.. who told me they had no discretion and to speak to customer relations. I escalated the complaint to the ombudsman, but whilst the account is in dispute, they expect me to pay the full charges. I withdrew my custom, and continued to bank with the Lloyds-TSB who have been amazingly positive, considerate and reasonable in contrast. My recommendation? Don't even start to bank with them. There's a reason why they are the weakest bank in Scotland.. and this is it. Oh and as regards timescales on resolving disputes, this started in May 2001, and is still unresolved.

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                    02.05.2002 02:50

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                    No complaints here - Advantages: Locations, Friendly staff, Excellent service - Disadvantages: none

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