Newest Review: ... of security for Lloyds I think it is fairly secure with a digital number, a password and then three characters from a memorable name. I... more
Not the best out there, but they'll do
Member Name: Ellen82
Advantages: At the moment it's just the easiest option for me
Disadvantages: Rates aren't very competitive, nothing really that makes them stand out
Now I also have to admit I'm not exactly the most knowledgeable person in the world when it comes to all things financial and as at that time I wasn't exactly spoilt for choice, I just took the first opportunity that presented itself when I opened my current account with Lloyds.
The current account itself suits my needs at the moment. Direct debits and standing orders go out fine and at the requested time. I currently have an overdraft facility which has been used on many occasions and has never caused any problems. Only on one occasion was £20 taken out because I exceeded the overdraft, but since it only happened once I let it slide as customers are informed of the penalties when this occurs.
As I'm originally from Belgium, I've done quite a few international transfers and these have all gone through without a hitch. It usually takes about 5 working days to complete, which I think is standard for most banks.
About a year ago I was offered a Lloyds TSB Duo Airmiles credit card, which I accepted as it would be my first credit card in England. The card service itself it has been fine, but unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances - and I admit bad financial planning on my part - I racked up quite a bit on there and for quite a few months I was paying off the interest alone, rather than anything of the credit I had amassed. The Airmiles Duo offers %15.9 APR, which could be a lot worse but especially when you've taken cash out on it rather than made purchases, the interest can add up quickly. So a few months ago I paid off what I owed with my savings and closed the account, which happened straightaway and only required one phonecall.
At that point I shopped around for a better rate and applied for a new card at Barclays, but was subsequently rejected and they offered me one for %24+ instead. Naturally I didn't take them up on that offer and now I have a Lloyds Advance credit card, which has a typical rate of %11.9 APR - purchases only of course - and this will do me for the time being. I'm definitely going to be more careful about my credit card spending anyway. But it's really too early for me to give any feedback on that.
In terms of customer service, again, I can't really say anything too bad. But then I'm used to dealing with the likes of Orange and BT which are far far worse than anything you could ever imagine. And also I've not had any experience with other banks, so can't really compare. There's often a bit of a wait but not really too long and the people I've talked to have been generally helpful. Too much of the sales spiel sometimes, but that's to be expected, I guess.
On the few occasions I've visited actual branches, my experience has been relatively neutral. I can't say the staff have gone out of their way for me or been overly friendly - they mostly have an 'I don't really care' air about them - but I've been able to do the bits and bobs that needed doing, which suits me fine.
So in conclusion, unlike some of the other reviewers I've not had any major disaster scenarios happen with them over the last few years so I can't say I'm dissatisfied with them. And as I can't really compare with any other banks - as I've not had dealings with them - I'm fine to leave things as they are, also considering it would be an enormous hassle to change current accounts as I have so many direct debits and standing orders coming out of it. I did recently open a savings account with A&L as they offered a far better rate than Lloyds so I do agree with the fact that Lloyds is not the place to be for the most competitive rates but barring any major disasters like the ones described in other reviews, I find them not too bad as far as banks go. So fingers crossed my dealings with Lloyds will remain hassle-free for a long time to come. So far they have been.
Summary: You could do a lot worse but no doubt you could also do a lot better!