Newest Review: ... good in this respect. This was very easy to set up and did not involve a great deal of paperwork. ***Mortgage Having 4 separate mortgag... more
Counter service a sheer delight - telephone manner has some gaps
Member Name: areajohn
Date: 28/09/12, updated on 25/10/12 (67 review reads)
Advantages: Good Counter service and excellent on-line banking
Disadvantages: Not all parts of the non face to face have the same service delivery level
I have banked with the Nat West since July 1986 and have always associated the brand with honesty and integrity. Over the years I have had several accounts, a Private account, a joint current account, first reserve savings account and an ISA account.
When banking went "On-line" I thought the security and the set up of online was excellent, never had an issue in transferring funds from one account to another and more importantly was able to set up all my bills and set up when and how much I would pay. The private account came with a £20 fee per month which also gave several other benefits such as Green flag car cover, travel insurance and mobile phone loss (as long as you register your handset and have proof of the cost.)
Of course not everyone wants to pay for their bank account and the current plus comes with no frills but also no cost and this is a standard checking account that you can have with either person signing cheques and also two ATM cards - (which has come in handy more than once)
The ISA account was Ok but not very competitive in the market place as smaller providers started setting these schemes up and were (and still) able to pay better rates. However again the ISA being on line with all the other accounts is very handy as you can transfer money into the account should you have any spare and still have some of your ISA allowance left.
My first reserve savings account paid very little interest and I solely used it as a means to have a reserve that I could transfer in if required. I believe the interest rates went up after £5,000 or so and again after £100,000 (I should be so lucky)
I have had a small pension with Nat West for 15 years and also contracted out of SERPS many moons ago when it was a good thing to do (Now back in of course) If you don't know what SERPS is you won't need to so I will refrain from a long winded explanation. The pension has steadily built up and not lost anything so all good in this respect. This was very easy to set up and did not involve a great deal of paperwork.
Having 4 separate mortgages with Nat West I have probably tried most of the products that they have to sell. The first was a standard fixed initial term and the variable mortgage which is still on variable at present because this for me is the most sensible product.- AT PRESENT. The good thing I found with this first mortgage was the ability to have it over the years that I wanted to and bringing it down to 14 years considerably chopped a huge amount off from the interest payments.
The second mortgage was fixed for a longer term as was the third, these again suited me at the time as the funds were used to buy other premises as an investment. Nat West were very good in releasing the equity we had in the house and the paperwork was all done over the phone. To be fair this is where the Private Banking comes into its own
The last mortgage was a offset mortgage and this didn't go as well, the bank retained the ability to change the interest rate without the need for the bank of England to put up their rate. This was not a good time between me and the bank and the resolutions were very weak and not long term.
If the branch staff service could be bottled and given to the members of staff in the call centres and on the phones in general then Nat West would be well on their way to winning the "hearts and minds". I have never come across any bad service in a Branch of Nat West in 26 years. This is not an idle boast, even after changing some of my accounts out to another bank the branch staff were very keen to help me and work with me on a charity project that I had going on.
So service needs to be split into Branch Service and Telephone service and the former is second to none. The latter, whether through lack of face to face contact or other reason can be found lacking and I have been offered more than once a £50 compensation as a panacea to cure all my worries. In my experience it is not the money that I am after but a clear cut decision on the events that occurred with at times just a simple "sorry" is enough.
Nat West is a good bank and one that has a fantastic customer facing service that really is at the top of their profession. Sometimes the backroom support is a bit lacking and sometimes more keen to get you off the phone than actually understanding and clearing up an issue that you might have. If you can do your banking on line and everything else in the branch then this is the bank for you.
Summary: Good name and if you want good service then pop into the branch