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The Man from the Pru used to call at the door back in the good old days and all things financial seemed far more simpler back then, you put a little money away each week and paid every fortnight or whatever period "your man from the Pru called". You never expected a lot just a comfortable future, a bit extra over and above the old age pension that would provide for those extras you had become accustomed, the odd holiday; food shopping at M&S, being able to continue your hobby and perhaps being able to give a little to your family, nothing too extravagant. That was back then and boy have things changed, my man and every other man from the Pru beat a hasty retreat or they were made redundant, your annual "bonus" has been whittle down each year and something called "smoothing" as been introduced which effectively holds money back in good times so that you get something in the bad times, sadly as everyone knows we are in the bad times but the "bosses" seem to get more than their fair share. Things could be a whole lot better if they looked after the customer in the same way they look after the CEO. Anyway if you have stayed with me thus far there are still some worthy things to be said about the Pru; they have survived! They appear to be strong financially and even though the returns have diminished you still get a return! I guess it boils down to the devil you know syndrome, whilst the Man from the Pru doesn't call anymore they are still there.
I became a customer of LloydsTSB when the banking crisis began because I always perceived them to be the "average bank just plodding along without causing too much fuss" and therefore a good bet to look after my money. My perception could not be further from the truth, after I started banking with them I found that they deliver on every count; pleasant and helpful staff; good branch network with convenient locations and an internet banking service which must be the best available or at least one of the best. My strong recommendation to anyone considering changing banks is to look at the Advantage Current Account which actually gives you interest on your balance and keep the balance between £5,000 and £7,000 the rate is currently 4% gross. Before you say the obvious that this is a large sum of money to leave in your current account; where else can you get 4% gross with instant access? The negatives are quite limited transferring an ISA to them took far longer than four weeks and the same experience when moving an ISA away from them which could be down to the other financial institution and I understand that this should not occur again and the vast majority of transactions take place within the four week period.