I opened an account with NatWest when I became a student 5 years ago. I was looking for a great deal on a student account. I had always held a current account with Halifax but they couldn't offer me anything for opening a student account when I was looking. NatWest offered me the choice between a 5 year rail card for free or a webcam to chat to parents at home. The offers really were fitting of what a student would want. I chose the rail card so I could travel to and from Uni and home. I was able to use the rail card 2 years ago I left Uni, until I was 25 when it expired. My student account came with an agreed overdraft with 0% interest.
Since graduating, they have a three year step programme in order to help graduates pay off their overdraft which was really helpful. It meant that rather than having to pay it all off at once, I could slowly pay it off without incurring interest.
I now have a savings account, credit card & current account with NatWest. I have been able to open my additional accounts easily either in branch or online. Their website is very easy to use & there are many ways to contact a member of staff. I use their chat service to contact staff members, because I love having written down communication. They will always provide the best help and offer to stay on the line til you have completed the application.
I use the mobile app to keep a track of my accounts with ease. I can see a statement, available balance & overdraft status meaning that I rarely go over my overdraft because I am always aware of outgoing payments.
I have never been a victim of fraud (touches wood) nor have I ever had an issue with Natwest so I can't comment on how well Natwest deal with complaints.
NatWest are always the first to communicate when they have a product that they think is best for you, not just offer you everything. They try to tailor their product suggestions to the person, which makes you feel supported in your banking.
I have recommended NatWest to other people before who did open an account with NatWest. People do tend to stick with one particular bank and I think I have that feeling with NatWest. I have had other banks in the past, but I am happy to stay with NatWest.
I am not biased to admit that NatWest is the best bank in the UK when it comes to do safe online banking. I always enjoy doing online banking at its user-friendly and customised web pages. I opened my first ever bank account in the UK in December 2005 with NatWest. It was a student account and my joy was endless when I received my NatWest solo debit card a few days letter by post after opening the account in a branch office of the bank located in Central London. I was happy to be able to withdraw money with my debit card whenever I chose to, pay for goods and etc. However, soon I realised that it was not much convenient having a solo debit card. But I have to admit that this card has saved me hundreds of pounds too as it would not be accepted by certain sites online and at many high street stores.
NatWest has charged me on a few occasions for going overdrawn and it always turned down my requests to not apply fines. Yet, I have always felt at ease banking with NatWest. The bank strictly follows its rules and policies which I believe is a good thing. They do not offer overdraft facility and credit cards easily as most other top banks in the UK and credit card providers do. I have never had any problem with my money with this bank. I have bank accounts with all major UK banks and I have got Visa and Maestro debit cards with overdraft and check guarantee facilities. I have got credit cards from reputed banks. Yet banking with NatWest has always been a pleasure except a few disappointing experience. A customer service adviser once upgraded my current account without telling me that it would incur charges every month. I had to pay some £9 or so per month for a few months before I downgraded my account.
I have used my NatWest solo debit card successfully abroad many times and it was fast and quick to withdraw money. I think NatWest is not a great lender that is why I have not got any credit card from the bank. I am lucky though for not being able to get any credit facilities from them, after all it would not be my money eventually.
I opened my first bank account with Natwest when I was 11. It was called the solo account back then and I got my own debit card which made me feel very grown up. I opened it with £30 and my parents chose the account because it has no fees, no overdraft and no cheque book. It is now called the step account I believe.
10 years on and I haven't moved from Natwest. I have since upgraded my account to a student account and opened a further savings account to keep some money saved by for when I graduate. I see no need to leave Natwest and here's why:
The website is excellent - very easy to use and I've never experienced any problems. They give you plenty of warning if there's going to be site maintenance. Security is tight without being annoying. They work with Rapport software to ensure safety. Their mobile app is also really really good - you can connect anywhere to see your balance and make transfers to existing payees.
The card-reader is a gadget you use on the website to set up transfers and payees. It means you can only set up a new transfer or payee if you are in possession of your debit card. This means if, somehow, somebody hacks into your online banking, there's not a whole lot they can do except move money between your own Natwest accounts!
There are branches everywhere - some banks are not found all over the country and I like that whatever city I'm in, there's likely to be a branch.
I have rung them up before (with, what it turns out, was a ridiculously stupid question) and they answered quicker than I have found with other big companies. There was a British person on the other end who answered my question quickly and efficiently. Great phone service!
In-store the staff are really friendly - always happy to help, especially with the electronic coin machines I mentioned above. The queues don't seem to be unacceptably long; there's always enough staff around.
Their Natwest secure (as much as I hate it!) is great for online purchases. Every time I make a purchase with my debit card online it opens up a screen in which I must enter 3 characters from a password I have chosen specifically for this purpose. It means it is less likely that fraudulent purchases can be made with my card. The only trouble is that I always create a really complicated password to keep it secure, and never remember it when I need to make a purchase.
Recently there was a big problem with Natwest. Money was not showing up in people's accounts and transactions not being displayed. This was a technical error that was fully resolved - nobody was actually missing money, it was just taking time to show up. I received loads of e-mails and texts informing me of the progress they were making and steps they were taking to help customers. They extended their opening hours so that customers could come in for help with their problems. It was a big problem, but they dealt with it very well and were incredibly apologetic so it hasn't tainted my perceptions of them. If anything, this mistake will make them more careful in the future to avoid it!
A very small problem I encountered was when I went travelling around Australia. I've heard of people using their cards abroad and their cards being cancelled on suspicion of fraudulent behaviour (leaving the travellers with no money). I went into my local branch to tell them I will be in Australia from this date to this date and that any behaviour is normal. They told me I couldn't do that, and that if my card was used there, it was likely to be blocked and I would have to unblock it. I thought I'd be able to prevent this from happening, but apparently not. I decided to invest in a traveller's card instead which worked a lot better and I ended up not using my Natwest card at all.
In general, I am confident in Natwest's performance. They have served me very well and make life easy. I must admit to being almost completely ignorant to interest rates, but at the moment all the banks are quite low. All the information about interest rates are available on the website.
After ordering parts from a reputable retailer on line I entered my card details to pay for my goods.
However when entering my card details I mistyped the authentication number (twice), "verification failed check details etc" came up on the screen both times, no problem I thought, and did it correctly on the third attempt.
The following day I checked my account and discovered that the payment had been removed from my account THREE times, enquiries at my local branch revealed that "the money isn't missing it's just in a holding account, and you will get it back in about a week, it's normal".
At that point I asked the (to me) obvious questions, 1, how could money be transferred from my account to a holding account (or anywhere else) when the WRONG security authentication had been used ? and 2, why had the payment for the same transaction been taken three times?.
Surely a flaw in the banks security and payment software I suggest, "No there is nothing wrong with our system its Your Fault"! is the irate reply of the manager who became even more irate when asked if this was
deliberately designed to put people into unauthorised overdrafts for the financial benefit of the bank.
Personally I see no reason why funds should be moved anywhere till all the security checks have been completed, and they most certainly shouldn't when the security checks have not been passed.
I am also off the opinion that if this is "normal procedure" that the bank should make customers aware of this, especially as many people mistakenly place the blame with the retailers often damaging their reputation as honest dealers
Ok, so Natwest has been mine and my Husband's bank for almost 5 years now. When we first opened an account they were all over us like a rash because we had sold our house and and had a large amount of money to deposit in an account!
The money was mainly for renovating our next house and 5 years later, surprise surprise, they don't really have the same time for us anymore!
I suppose they would compare to some other high street banks such as Barclays, Lloyds TSB, etc. The account we have at the moment is an advantage gold account which is a fee based account, I think it's currently at £13.50 per month. It comes with it's own benefits for this extra money- most of which we don;t need/use apart from travel insurance and mobile phone insurance. Althgouh considering we haven't been on holiday since we opened the account the travel insurance is kind of worthless!
I don;t think anything really sets it apart from other banks, one thing I will say positively though is that the online banking facility Natwest have is very helpful and easy to navigate.
If I had to choose again a bank to open an account with I;d have to say Natwest wouldn't be my first choice.
Been with NatWest for 33 years. Some two years ago things began to go downhill. Firstly they changed my account number, which is the customer's date of birth and three extra digits.My husband found out that I was locked out of my account because NatWest for no reason that they could give us had change my date of birth for that of my husband's.Next My husband's account with NatWest which was was linked to another provider was deleted by NatWest .Then some weeks ago I decided to move my ISA from
Halifax to NatWest but NatWest decided that this was not a tranfer of ISAs from past years but took it that I was attemting to open an ISA for the current tax year for 8 times more that the allowed ISA limit so they opened an ISA for the current tax year with £5640 and transfered the difference into my non interest bearing current account! What a bank.Last Friday afternoon I found that correct amounts of money were in the correct accounts but come Saturday morning they had changed the amounts back again .If you want hassle,problems,rudness and other negatives join NatWest.Goodwin certainly left a legacy - sloppyiess.Gave
a star because I was not allowed to give them less.
It took an ungodly amount of time for me to open a business account with Natwest.When the account was finally open, they had neglected to put through the telephone and online banking paperwork.I have spent MONTHS trying to set up this business account. Incorporating a company by comparison was a piece of cake.
I have applied for a credit card to transfer a balance. I'm now one month in after Nat West asking for additonal ID to be sent over from the branch and it being rejected twice for things like the stamp is to faint/it's not on headed Nat West paper. This is being faxed directly from one of their banks. How on earth could it be a fake. Tried to check with them today to see if the latest one was OK and was told it's being processed and you may not even be accepted and that I will just have to wait. One member of staff on the phone even suggested that I should be grateful the staff have helped me at all. I have been advised it could take another 3 weeks if anything happens at all. Seriously I know people who have sold their house quicker. Nearly 2 months for a credit card transfer! I don't have the words to express my dismay.
I've been banking with NatWest for 5 years as a joint customer and I can honestly say they are the best bank I've had.
First of all their customer service team have all been really helpful and they are quick to credit my account with funds when they've made a mistake. The few times I've had any difficulties that were their fault or the customer service staff haven't been excellent I have complained and within 24 hours I've received credits ranging from £20 to £50!! Result!
Their telephone and mobile banking (app) is great and quick and simple to set up and use.
The online banking is nice and easy to use and I feel like my details are really secure despite it being so easy to do everything.
The best thing for me is their Advantage Gold account. We pay £12.95 per month (£155 per annum) for the upgraded account and it is a real money saver. We have one simple fee leaving our account every month and we get loads of benefits that would cost so much more. The best ones for us are the Green Flag breakdown... not as good as the AA or RAC but they are reliable nonetheless and as we have a pretty reliable car (touch wood) we have hardly ever used a breakdown service despite spending hundreds of pounds for years on them. We get this for pittance when you consider that we also get travel insurance for us both that we used to pay £35 a year for. We also get mobile phone insurance for both of our phones which we used to pay £20 a month for. Already we are quids in and the insurance cover is actually higher than we used to pay more for!! We get loads of discounts in loads of places and slightly better rates on our savings although to be fair most banks offer pittance for savings so they aren't that great. We also get extended warranties on our appliances courtesy of NatWest.
I've used a number of banks... HSBC being the worst and the most thieving and NatWest being the best and most honest.
My experience with Nat West has not been great. My husband and I separated. We had both been living in Spain and had a Nat West account in joint names. We closed that account and each opened separate ones when I moved back to the UK. I funded it with £1000 from the joint account. That was all the cash I had at that time. They told me my debit card would arrive in a week to ten days. It was a Saturday so they couldn't order it immediately but assured me they would order it first thing on the Monday. I phoned on the Monday to check this had been done and was told yes it had been ordered. A week later I went to see if it had arrived, it hadn't. Another week passed and then they realised they had forgotten to order it after all. I was not very happy about that.
Worse was yet to come though. I changed my address shortly after opening the account. It appears that the signature on the form I had signed didn't match the one they had on file. So they wrote to me. They couldn't write to me at my address in Spain as they knew I was living in the UK. They obviously couldn't write to the address on the form in case it was fraud. So they wrote to my estranged husband's new girlfriend's address. That was uncomfortable.
I made an appointment to see somebody as I was unhappy with the service I had received. The appointment was for 12.30 on a Saturday. The person I had arranged to see wasn't available. She was with another customer. I explained to the customer service representative why I was unhappy. She said somebody would be able to see me at 13.15. I said I would come back then. Apparently that wasn't possible as they close the bank doors at 13.00 and can't reopen them. I did ask what happened to all the people still in there. Were they stuck until Monday morning?
I would have liked to close the account then but only having been in the UK for a few weeks opening one with another bank would have been difficult. So I gave them another chance.
The final straw occurred when I went abroad on holiday to Mexico. I informed them the dates I would be away and the towns I would be visiting. The first transaction I made was fine then after that the card didn't work. Fortunately I was able to use my Spanish card. When I got back to the UK I found a letter from Nat West regarding a potentially fraudulent transaction. I called the number on the letter only to be asked a serious of fatuous questions about the transactions leading up to the one which caused them to cancel the card. It seems they were deemed to be suspicious, even though they were all in shops which I regularly used.
I bank with HSBC now.
Only because the site won't allow me to leave it at 0 stars.
I must forewarn you, this review is lengthy. In fact, on reviewing this, it turns out I've written a full-on monologue. I hope you have the time and patience to read this, as hopefully, my experiences will spur you on to make the right decision, and steer well clear.
Natwest is a corrupt, money-grabbing, tax-payer shafting so-called 'bank', who snatched the bail-outs handed to its' parent company RBS by the government (funded by US, the taxpayer) and are greedily shafting US, the taxpayer, for even more with their atrocious charges and fees.
I have been a customer of Natwest since I was 12, when I opened my junior saver account around 11 years ago. Once I turned 18 and was heading off to university, I visited my local branch who sold me an advantage gold account (without telling me it was a charged account, as the member of staff I spoke to didn't allow my parents into the room as 'we would be discussing personal financial matters' and I didn't know any better back then), a student account, and also signed me up for a credit card, as I'd mentioned I was hoping to go to Canada for a ski season in my gap-year which prompted her to say 'oh, well you'll need this then because the current accounts don't work abroad.'
I now rue the day I walked into that office. Had I known back then how dysfunctional, impolite and frankly obscene this bank would become towards me, I'd never have even set foot in the branch, let alone been duped into opening three accounts.
The Gold account is the bane of my life. Such 'luxuries' they sell to you to convince you to sign up for one have never been used by me, nor are they ever to be needed.
The credit card is even worse. I went through a bad financial period in my second year of uni (one of those life lessons about finance as I was quickly realising), admittedly partially self-inflicted, but also due to unforseen circumstances which saw me plough through my credit card in a state of necessity.
I'm now getting increasingly terrified of my student account, and whilst I'm chipping away at paying back the over-draft before the interest charges kick in, I know I'll never get to clear it before they do.
These accounts need good money throwing after bad with them, as the charges Natwest impose are beyond reasonable and are simply extortionate. As soon as you think you're getting to the surface and can have a moment to breathe, they throw another charge at you which brings the house of cards tumbling down again.
Now, onto the subject of customer service - erm, it doesn't exist. I detest the telephone banking, always manned by incompetent members of staff who are only there to earn their £5.75 an hour so they can go out and splurge it on cheap alcohol when their shift ends. They couldn't care less if you have a genuine question; if the computer monitor in front of them doesn't give them an answer they can dictate to you, you're met with a stony wall of silence and a 'dunno, mate'.
The money transfers are a joke as well. When Natwest want your money, it's gone before you even realise it. Yet if you want money paid into your account, especially from another bank, it takes '3-5 working days'. Example: My father has kindly sent me some money to help cover my food for the final week of this month, as I ran out of money due to - guess what? That's right, paying more charges imposed by the leeches. He transferred the money from his Barclays account on Monday evening. It's now Friday evening. Have I seen this money come into my account? Nope. So where is it? Most likely in one of Natwests' escrow accounts, getting them those few pannies of interest that they seem so desperate to skim from it. I understand there's the typical speil of '3-5 working days', but I must ask, WHAT exactly happens to this money during that period?
Does it travel through Mordor, in the quest to find the one ring to rule them all? Does it really take so much computing and brain power from their crack team of keyboard-clackers to select the money coming into Natwest from the ether-regions of financial space, and drop it into the allocated account, i.e mine? Apparently, this task seems harder to fathom than the inner-most workings of the starship Enterprise.
The creme-de-la-creme, however, comes with their loans division. Around three months ago, I used the on-line banking (which is the one crumb of solitude Natwest can take from this review, not that they'll ever read it) to apply for a personal loan, partially to try and clear the over-draft of my gold account (which is a relatively average £500, yet some of the correspondences I've received from Natwest would make you think I was rinsing them of £millions a year... oh, wait, that's not me, THAT'S THEIR SHAREHOLDERS!), but also to use to pay for a deposit on a rented flat, as I'd just started a new job that required a re-location. The pop-up application window congratulated me on the fact I'd been intelligent enough to input my details correctly without going into some kind of morphic spasm, and that I should await to hear from Natwest, via letter, within the golden '3-5 working days'. this period of time came, occured, and passed, with not a peep from them at all. After 2 weeks, I decided that maybe my internet browser had been on the blink, and tried again. Another success, another request to wait the required time. Success! A letter landed on my doormat within 2 days (considered light-speed by them), informing me that I was 'provisionally accepted' for the loan, and needed to supply details such as employment and pay-scale. So off I trot to my local branch, copies and originals all within my paws, expecting to be approved on the spot.
Was I? No, of course not. The barely teenage branch manager informed me that had I come in and made the application in person, I'd have been rejected immediately, as my employment contract stated I was still inside my 6-month probation period (apparently Natwest have never heard of people needing to re-locate at short notice to start a new job and request a loan to bridge the gap and make moving/setting everything up a little easier). I asked what my next step was. To his small credit, the manager did take the relevant information and offered to send it off to the loans department at head office to see if they would accept it, but he admitted there was 'little to no chance' of it happening.
Now, as far as I'm aware, there's nowhere on Natwests' loan page that tells you you won't be accepted for a loan if you're inside your probationary period of employment.
It gets better, though. After two weeks of nothing, I phoned them up (much to my annoyance for the reasons mentioned above), only to be told that not only had the application been rejected, but the other application (the one I thought hadn't worked) had also been rejected, meaning I'd made two applications in the space of two weeks, and two rejections in two weeks - the end result being that my credit rating had taken such a hit, it was now below acceptable standards for Natwest to even consider giving me a loan.
And here's the clincher; when I asked the kid what my options were, this was the exact, to-the-letter answer I got: "Well, you can always try and apply again."
Give the boy a coconut.
So, in summary. My credit rating has been handed a severe beating due to Natwests' incompetence and inability to post one scrawny, pathetic letter, which would've saved me having to re-apply with the false feeling that my first application hadn't been received. I'm struggling to pay pretty much anything because of the abysmal fees continually being lumped onto me (another irony; Natwest charge you for going over-drawn; if that takes you over your overdraft limit, they charge you again for...you guessed it, going over your overdraft!).
They have been unhelpful, discourteous, ignorant, shambolic and completely inept, every step of the way. As a side-note, my parents, who have also banked with Natwest for many years and, due to a series of unfortunate events, hit financial turmoil for a few years (coinciding with my bad second year at uni, as I was doing everything in my power to help them out financially - family comes first, after all) were taken to court by Natwest with the banks' sole aim being to re-possess our home. I won't disclose figures, but the bank were whinging over unpaid mortgage arrears. The judge asked how much of the mortgage my parents had left to pay on the house. The bank said the totals equalled less than a fifth of the house's worth. The judge laughed the bank out of court. Things are much better for my parents now - ironically, since switching banks and new employment.
Now I know I'm not brilliant with money. I know I should be my own accountant, scrupulously going over every statement, every payment, every penny I spend. But I had also hoped that, considering the harsh economical climate we're in, and also the fact that I contributed to their bail-out that otherwise would've seen them go bust, they would at least be slightly lenient, or offer advice, or show willingness to maybe extend an over-draft, or accept a loan application. But no. I, and countless thousands of others out there, are constantly made to feel like we're the evil ones, that we're the all-consuming, debt-ridden monsters of greed.
But I guess it's not all bad. After all, I should sleep easy at night, knowing my financial turmoil at the hands of National Westminster bank is helping an under-worked, over-paid top-brass executive of this corporation pay for his next Aston Martin. Or second/third holiday home in the Alps. Whilst no doubt placing his money with a 'fee-free' overseas bank.
Natwest. One word. Pathetic.
My experience with NatWest spans two months, during which time I have yet to access any of the services promised to me. When I first applied for an account with NatWest, I was told that I would have all of my needed information in 5-7 business days. Due to a series of errors on the part of the bank, it has taken two months to be able to transfer my money into my account. Over this time, every call made to the help center was greeted with apathy, as a disinterested service rep informed me that, in spite of the appalling service I had received thus far, there was nothing he or she could do to remedy the situation. In spite of my repeated complaints that I had no way of using the bank and was forced to pay exorbitant fees to access my money elsewhere, I was offered no explanation or recompense for this neglect.
After my two month waiting period, I was finally able to transfer my money into my account two days ago. I immediately activated my debit card and was informed that it would be available for use by 6:00 on the next business day. Unsurprisingly, it remains unavailable. I have called the customer service line twice and been disconnected both times. As it is currently a Friday, I assume I will not have access to my money until Monday at the earliest, as the service reps will, I am sure, continue to be unresponsive to my needs as a customer.
In addition to this ridiculous failure, navigating the online banking site is unreasonably difficult, requiring a sequence of pin and password convolutions that are akin to what one would imagine highly classified secret agents would use to access top secret data. I would advise anyone considering banking with NatWest to explore other options.
I have been with NatWest since 2005, My husband since 1980s.
The past year we have been having problems with them. 1st issue was morrgage we were asked by cashier if we were looking for one or could re do our exisiting one we made a appointment and spoke with this guy (fly was no where near)he promised the world and we could get the mortgage everything was set we just had to get a valuation of our flat. if we disagreed with it or found another value greater they would match it etc etc. there 'independent valuer' valued it at £109k we disagreed as next door has went for 125k, we paid out for a valuer of £127 own money to prove it was valued at £117 bad day /Auction £127500 good day. Went to the bank with this information and they refused point blank to acknowlege our valuation and cancelled the mortage agreements!Then refused to pay us back £127 valuation fee.
2nd issue online banking. - Logged on the other day there and it says we have £900 avaliable credit. nothing went out nothing went in 5 days past. £190 over drawn??????? it has allowed things to go out DD fees to them when it shouldnt have , it takes a week sometimes to update how much actual money you have so you cant budget correctly. its rediculous.
When we went to bank to ask for help to re do loan as it was better intrest rates they refused curent loan £415 if did new loan at new interest rate it would be £372 yet they would give us a mortage for £180k @ £800 per month which we could never afford as we already have 2 other mortages.
Sensible lending my back side!
Having booked an appointment to open up a student bank account at my local branch, I turned up to find the whole place in chaos. I asked what was going on and it turned out that a member of staff had phoned in ill and they were trying to have 2 lots of appointments within the amount of time as 1 with the remaining member of staff they had in. This clearly wasn't going to happen. The member of staff didn't apologise for this problem once and was really rude to us about all of it. She told us to come back 4 hours later and they would 'try' to see what they could do. As a student bank account needs to be open before you move to university, this was an urgent matter and needed to be addressed sooner rather than later.
When I returned later they did manage to see me but didn't explain the problem from earlier and didn't seem to have any time for me, they just did their job as quickly as possible and gave me back my documents. I really felt I wasn't getting the service I deserved and wanted to leave ad go somewhere else but they were giving me a free student railcard which was worth it for me. They now actually don't give you the railcard if you do not have another account open already with them.
I do not recommend Natwest by the experience of my local branch but the branch in Lincoln city centre are really helpful and friendly so I don't even really know my opinion of this bank at the minute. I am still going to be weary with them as it is my local branch that I have had the problem with and it would be them that I would have to deal with.
On the 20th of july I asked my branch to make a foreign payment to a bank account. I sent a written order. They tried to contact me on a single occasion 2 weeks later and as my phone was switched off they canceled the order.
Since that day I have phoned about 12 times. I have sent about 10 letters with the same written order. I have risen a number of official complains!
They have tried to executed the order again only once on the 24th of august, but the useless staff they employ, canceled the order again because i was trying to transfer more money than available in the account. Pity that I had asked to transfer the "balance of the account".
This is not the first time they mess up with my account. I get payment to my current account which are diverted to a saving account which i cancelled about 10 years ago!!!
As soon as I am back in London i will close the account with nUtwest!