Newest Review: ... all money out. CLARITY CREDIT CARD - I don't like owing money at all and really only took this credit card out as we wanted to have a ... more
Halifax- Quite a good bank, no problems so far.
Member Name: marshall1993
Advantages: wide range of bank accounts, polite staff
Disadvantages: Slow service in branch, small branches.
*History of Halifax*
I'll keep this short and sweet in terms of background. The bank was founded in 1853 and it gets it's name from a Town called Halifax. As you would probably expect, Halifax HQ is in this town. The Royal Bank of Scotland uses Halifax as a brand for the Branches that are dotted around the Country
Eventually, it merged with the Royal Bank of Scotland and became HBOS (you know, the one with the weird cross logo) Since then Lloydas TSB have becomne involved in the whole company, so, in short, a lot of merging has gone on with this bank over the years.
*How it all began for me*
I have had a savings account with them, which uses a passbook for many years. Since I was 6 years old I have been banking with them, among one other bank.
My savings account didn't receive very good rates of interest after having the account for many years, so one day, whilst in branch, the lady who was serving me suggested I change my account to a card account for better access than having to queue up to access money, which quite frankly I wasn't getting a good rate on.
I was in a rush at the time, and so I agreed and she booked me an appointment with one of their staff. I wasn't really sure what I wanted, or if I even wanted to change my account, I liked my passbook! I could monitor every penny that went in and out.
The day came and, this is what formed my opinion more strongly than ever about Halifax.
My appointment was at a certain time, however, I was left waiting for around half an hour for the woman to come and meet me. This wasn't a good start to the rest of my relationship with Halifax.
After a while the Lady arrived, greeted me and shook my hand. We proceeded to the office. The Lady in question, was really friendly polite, and I was put at ease instantly.
As I mentioned before, I didn't know what I wanted to achieve from this "interview" as it was called, and this is what I told her. This didn't seem to be a problem, she asked me about the Savings account I had, and if I wanted to continue to do so, as she again mentioned how poor the rate of interest I was getting was. She was really informative about the benefits and rates of different bank accounts, and gave me input on what I needed from my bank.
I didn't need gadgets and widgets as I call them, such as insurance, phone contracts etc. from my account. I prefer to keep them separate.
This experience really improved my opinion of the Halifax bank, at first I felt like she was a bit pushy, however, I realised that she needed to get information and needed a better understanding of what I wanted from my account. Let's face it; I don't like to make financial decisions AT ALL haha! She made a few suggestions and if what each account offered would suit me, and she let me think and ask questions about each one.
Unlike some banks, or meetings, it can feel as if you are one of many they are trying to trawl through and have no time for you. This was not the case with the lady in question; it seemed like she had all of the time in the world to help me out and didn't rush me to make any decisions I didn't want to make.
So, what did I get from it all?
Well, I wanted to continue saving, with a "better" rate of interest (value of my money being eroded at a slower rate shall we say) so she set me up with an ISA. Mission accomplished, this was the main issue with my account before the day.
She sorted everything out for me, and printed out all the documentation etc. She also gave me leaflets about the account and all the bits and bobs I could refer to if i had some questions. Brilliant, everything was in hand.
Not only this, but she realised that I (am hoping!) to go to University this year, and she said it would be a good idea to set up a current account with money in it as a cushion, as with my passbook account, if I am stuck for cash, and the bank is closed I'm, for want of a better word, "screwed". I didn't think it was needed at the time, but I agreed, although I already have a current account with another bank. I decided I could put the card aside for Uni, in case of serious emergencies.
Both of my accounts are registered with Halifax online banking. According to the site they are changing things around and are improving it and, I suppose shining I up a bit.
Both of my accounts are visible and I can click on them to see what my balance is and what has gone in and out and what for. Each transaction is clearly itemised. You can also view mini statements for each account.
This is a good website, which is easy to navigate. From when my old account was registered, the website has improved quite a bit. It used to be a bit old and dated when the information was displayed, however now, it looks sleek modern, and well displayed.
I get paper statements for my current account, and much like how it is displayed online, it is easy to understand, with the transactions itemised, and the method of payment/ withdrawal, whether it be, direct debit, cash withdrawal, or an online payment. It shows the date of the transaction and the amount of money moved.
I never really had much to do with Halifax until the past few months. All I knew was that when in branch, the staff were very slow, and this is one thing to bear in mind if you have to go in branch a lot. However, I do think they have a great set of staff on the whole, and the customer service I have experienced with them has been really great.
Although Halifax (part of HBOS and with Lloyds TSB) is a nationwide Bank, it always feels like I am walking into a smaller bank, almost like an "independent" shop. The same people work there, and seem to stay there for a long time, and over time you get to know them, and they are always friendly, and always have time to help you (this may be part of the reason why the queues are a tad long).
I award 4 stars for Halifax in general. The slow service in branch loses it a star, but aside form that, they are, in my opinion a good bank to choose, Statements are clear, online banking is simple, and they try to find accounts that suit your needs.
Summary: Overall a good bank. Found accounts to suit my needs.
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