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I applied for a mortgage through Principality as they do have some very competitive rates. However 4 weeks later and they still haven't 'processed' all our paperwork. They don't ask for all your evidence together so it wasn't until 2 weeks down the line we were asked for ID and bank statements which then take 9 days to process. We have been told they won't have looked at our latest documents for another 9 days which will take our application to 5 1/2 weeks waiting and they still won't have booked the valuation until everything else has been processed. When you are buying a house and are unwittingly faced with a 7 + week wait for a mortgage offer it is really very stressful. I would look elsewhere if I hadn't already paid for the valuation and various fees to the amount of several hundred pounds.
Best avoid unless you have a couple of months to spare waiting for them to process your application
Terrible experience with them. Their customer service is some of the worst I have ever come across. I took out a mortgage with them as they offer pretty decent rates but please do not fall for it. When they say you get what you pay for, they are right in this case! They never call you back, the mortgage advisor's don't seem to have a clue what they are on about, don't listen to what you say or your needs, don't do what they say when they say they are going to do it and their 'extra charges' surely make up for the lower rates. I don;t know how they are allowed to get away with what they do, do not use!! When you are buying a house, you are already pretty stressed, and these guys will guarantee to make it all the more stressful for you, that's the only promise they will keep!
Let me start by saying that I am not Welsh and I do not live in Wales. Odd then that I should choose to have accounts with the Principality Building Society, Wales' only Building Society, based in Cardiff. Simply, they had, and still have, great rates on certain products and I like to get a good rate if I can.
I've had an account with the Prinicipality since 2005. I started with a regular monthly saver account, at a great rate of interest, opened an internet savings account (also at a good rate) and have opened and closed various similar accounts over the last 6 years to get the best rate. Currently, I have an ESaver issue 4 (2.85% - not quite top of the ratings at the moment, but pretty darn close) and a monthly saver account at 4%. Unfortunately, the most recent versions of the monthly saver account (also at 4%) is only available to open in branches, so, unless you happen to live in Wales or be travelling there, it's not a possibility (I did try to get one opened by post, but the criteria for opening are rigid).
The Principality also offer a 'Dylan Regular Saver' for kids under 18. You can put away up to £150 per month for a year and get 4.50% interest. A pretty good deal and one that is only beaten by the Halifax Kids regular saver (6%). This can be opened by post and I found it very easy to Email via the Principality website, get the forms sent to me and to apply.
I have found their online system easy to use. I am very computer literate, but I think this is one that even my technophobe mother could manage. Not all the accounts can be accessed online - for me, it is only my E Savers that have been accessible. It would be great if the system were updated so that I could at least see, if not transact, all of my accounts when I log in.
I have no borrowings with the Principality and so cannot comment on their mortgages.
My experience over the last 6 years has been that the staff are very efficient, timely and helpful. I have had conversations by phone and correspondence by Email and letter. Even as a non-Welsh person (I am married to a Welshman, but don't share his surname, so there are no clues to allow me to get extra preferential treatment as a spouse of a Welshman), I have found none of the anti-English attitudes mentioned in other reviews - just decent, helpful people. Even when I have asked to do fairly complex things on the maturity of multiple accounts, they have done as I asked and done it in a timely fashion.
Like almost all UK deposit takers, the Principality is covered by the FSCS deposit takers compensation scheme which means, in the unlikley event that they should 'do an Icesave' and go bust, the FSCS will refund 100% for your savings with them up to £85,000 (double for joint deposits). the FSCS is effectively backed by the UK government; if it were to fail to pay out in the event of a banking collapse, it would mean major disaster for the UK economy. So, even though the Principality is a much smaller institution than, say, Barclays Bank, your savings really are safe up to the FSCS limit.
Be careful when choosing your accounts and you will get a good deal.
The Principality Building Society is the only building society or bank that is based in Wales, and has it headquaters in Wales. While it mainly operates within Wales, I believe that the building society operate within the Boarder Regions.
The way that the Principality Building society operate their account system is through a passport system book system, for use in the branch. So far I haave not used their internet site for internet banking. The way that the in branch passport style system works is by taking the passport to the branch, handing over the passport and askinng for the amount of money that you wish to withdraw.
The down side is that money over a certain amount, which I believe to be £500 must be ordered and will take a day before you can recieve the money. A good thing about the passport is that it keeps a rercord of the transactions that have taken place; so it will record all money that that has been paid in and withdrawn by the amount holder.
Another down side to the passport system is that the Principality do not issue a cash point card, so the only a person is able to withdraw money from their account is through a branch.
But what the passport system does do is add extra security, as the only person that is able to take money out of the account are those people that are authorised on the account as being able to do so. Also these is within the passport book system itself, it will state who can withdraw.
The types pf accounts that are avaliable to a person are standard to all building societys, as the Principality minaly operate savings account, such as ISAs; but also offer products such as loans and mortgages. Although at the moment the interest rates like all other building societys and banks are not the greatest.
What I have found with the local branch that I go to within Cardiff is that the staff are always polite and helpful. Therefore I would recommend the Prinicality to any person that is looking for a new place to store their money or a new savings account. Although, I cannot comment on the internet part of the Principality as I have never used it.
If you want a hassle free internet account do NOT open one with the Principality. The website is a disaster and having spent the last 6 weeks getting it up and running I have now insufficient confidence in them to put money in.The staff are fine and v helpful but whoever created the website needs a different vocation!
Firstly I must apologise - this will be a short review. My reviews are normally somewhat longer, not that I have so much time at the moment to write reviews, but there is a good reason that this review is short - these guys won't let me open a savings account. OK, I exaggerate a little. They only demand that I deposit £2,500 with them for the honour of becoming their customer. And if I choose an instant access account they will pay me a mouth watering 0.5% interest (0.4% after tax). Basically these guys are not on my ?get rich quick? list. My sin is that I do not live in Wales. They are therefore, as far as I can see, discriminating against me and all other English, Scots, and Irish. I am off to egg. At least I get 4% instant access, a good web platform (not one of these old scrappy passbooks that you have to post off whenever you want your money) and they want my custom. Avoid the Principality at your peril.
There are so many mortgage lenders about these days that it is hard to choose between them. Their adverts can be found all over newspapers and magazines, bombarding us with images of happy families and individuals who all recommend the services that their mortgage lender offers. But how many live up to the promises they make? Not many I should imagine, one that does is THE PRINCIPALITY. Not only does it offer competitive mortgages at reasonable rates, it gives it `s customers a service that is second to none! Many lenders will promise you the Earth, but when the crunch comes how many actually deliver the goods? It is rare indeed, to phone your bank and actually have somebody pick up the phone on the other end. Not only that, but they are courteous and helpful, no problem is too small for them to solve. If ever I have to contact them, I have the peace of mind knowing that they will treat me like a person, and not a number. In hard times they will give me the support that I need, not a continuous stream of letters. With fluctuating interest rates you may find a cheaper mortgage ( but not by much ), but you certainly won’t find a mortgage lender that gives you a better service! So if you’re looking for a cheap mortgage with excellent service, then look no further than THE PRINCIPALITY. They have a new web-site under construction at www.principality.co.uk, which although not yet finished, will still be able to service your needs and supply you with account options and contact details. Some of the big high street names could learn a lot from THE PRINCIPALITY, as they realise that without the customer there is no building society. So look after the customer and you automatically look after the building society. This is something they do very well and for this alone I would recommend them, add to this their rates and versatility and who could wish for more! Make them your first stop if your i
n the market for a mortgage, you will not be disappointed. Thank you for your time in reading my opinion.