Now if you susccessfully apply for a Zurich bank online account they'll send you a case (12 bottles - 6 Red, 6 White) of wine from Laithwaits. Sounds like a good offer the only catch is that you have to keep £500 in the account for three months. If you can spare up the cash this sounds like a good way to earn your Christmas wine! The account it's self is easy to run and has pretty reasonable interest rates - there's a handy chart on their internet site (www.zurichbank.co.uk) which compares it's rates to other similar accounts and it's second to the top. They actually guarentee that their rates will always be just 0.5% under the Bank of England Base rate. Aswell as all the usual services you would expect from online banking they have some interesting extras like sharetracking. Update!!!! Unfortunately it seems that Zurich are no longer trading in the uk. sorry to those of you who tried to get the account - i guess i must have got in there just in time!
*******UPDATE: SERVICE HAS BEEN SADLY WITHDRAWN******* After having dreadful experiences with Citibank and IF, it was with apprehension that I tried this site, and so far its really a breath of fresh air. Open honest competitive pricing is their catchphrase, and so far thats exactly how it seems. The second thing was that during the log-in process the computer refused to accept my previous address, so I called up Customer Services expecting them to stonewall, lie and cheat (the way Citibank does), and instead they helpfully guided me through the problem. The third thing that caught my attention was that I've always had this problem where everyone calls me by my second name, but my banks insist on calling me by my first (!!!). Anyway, I thought I would give it a go, and the first thing the bank said was that they will see if it can be done! This may not sound revolutionary, but it came across to me as a bank which was aiming to provide a customer-oriented service, the like of which I for one have never seen. PS I noticed they do international transfers also, which have positively driven me up the wall at other places! Having said that... just wait for my scathing review in a few months when I've finally found the flaws!!!
***Update*** Zurich has just launched a brand new internet bank. They are available 24x7. Zurich is a global leader in financial Services (in the top 10 companies in the UK) They have 35 million customers worldwide in over 60 countries including 5 million in the UK. They have 72,000 employees 15,000 work in the UK. The other well know financial brands under the same umbrella are Allied Dunbar, Eagle Star & Threadneedle. (information gained off the site www.zurichbank.co.uk) They use state of the art security used by many top US financial companies. You choose your own unique user id & password & also details of a memorable place yourself. The bank launched on the 16th January to the public after years of development. They also tested out all facilities with pilots (Zurich Employees) I was one of the pilots & found all the transactions we were asked to do were quick & easy. There was only one problem & that was that my switch card was not recognised at Pet Smart - this was soon sorted out as the problem was the company not recognising the sort code. The bank did have a couple of teething problems, hopefully all sorted out in pilot. The facilities are as standard on the internet - set up Direct Debits, Standing Orders etc. All banking is online & no statements etc will be sent out. The portal however is not, this is different to any other internet bank I have seen (HSBC) You can personalise the portal to have share tracking, news headline, links to other sites etc. To apply you need to log onto the site & complete the online procedure, after that you will receive a welcome pack, this will ask you to send in some forms of Id as proof of ID & proof of residency (e.g Bank statement, gas bill & BT landline bill) They will return these to you. At the end of the application you will be provided with an account number & you can access your account, you will not be able to do any online transactions unti
l you have provided the required ID & returned the declaration. From first application it should take about 12-13 days to have a fully active account with all items received. They have good rates of interest & guarantee to stay at 0.5% below the base rate for life. You can compare the rates on the website & see for yourself - other internet banks may have slightly higher interest but it's not guaranteed to stay that way unlike Zurich. Interest is paid quarterly & at a guaranteed rate as above until the account is closed. They will calculate the interest daily & add the amount to your account every 3 months. They don't have any high street banks - although you can go into the Bank of Scotland to pay in cheques etc (or post them) You can also use their registered address which is Sackville Street in London. You can withdraw your money from any LINK cashpoint & are offered a Switch Card, chq book & £250 overdraft immediately. You are allowed another 6 sub accounts on top of the current account you have. You can name these as you wish e.g New Car account, Holiday Fund, Christmas Savings etc. (these do not have over drafts on) You can transfer between accounts at no charge. Authorised overdrafts charged at 5% above the base rate & unauthorised overdrafts (for you naughty ones out there!) is 18% above the base rate. This will be the first bank set up from scratch in over 20 years & is not like the they are offshoots from other banks like IF & Smile etc. The switch card is also quite attractive - silver & blue metallic, with £100 cheque guarantee. Charges are: Bankers Draft £10 Bank Reference £10 Certified Statement £10 CHAPS Payment £20 Foreign Payments £20 Stopped Payment £10 Unauthorised overdraft £20 - per transaction Unpaid Cheque £25 Unpaid Direct Debit £20 Unpaid Standing Order £20 To withdraw cash you can cash a cheque (usual c
harge of £5) Cash back & ATM (£300 per day) For a large cash withdrawal you would have to go to a Bank of Scotland or arrange other means. To pay in money you can post it (in the pre paid envelopes they provide) or take into a Bank of Scotland. All banks can take the cash - not all will though, they may also charge. To qualify for a Zurich Bank account you have to be resident in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man, and are not US or Canadian National. Overall this is a great online bank - you can do everything online & if you ever have any technical issues or problems the call centre is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Not bad at all! It has now been launched since January and now has over 40,000 customers - they can't be too bad can they? The wine promo is still going till September too!