Friday, September 24, 2010

Another Reason to Hate My Bank

I have a Lloyds TSB Gold Account. When they offered it to me some years ago I was told it offered me all sorts of benefits. Since then, every few months I get a letter telling me of "important changes to your account". Funny how these changes are never in my favour. The letter I got today is typical.

From now on they will charge £5 a month if I use my overdraft facility on top of the extortionate rate of interest they already charge. And right at the bottom of the letter they tell me that they will no longer be paying interest on the money in the account.

I think they should remove the word Gold from the name of the account and call it what it actually is. A currrent account.


Justin said...

Have you considered switching to First Direct? I've been with them for about 20 years and I can't recommend them highly enough.

Antisthenes said...

This is a case of lack of competition caused by banking being concentrated in too few hands. No doubt the left will blame capitalism and free markets however the truth is that government intervention and interference that has created this problem by over regulating so only the largest enterprises can afford the cost and so survive.

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Iain Dale 11:19 AM

"I think they should remove the word Gold from the name of the account and call it what it actually is. A currrent account."

Surely that should be a c*** account?

Reverse Dutch Steamboat said...

Sometimes you see someone in the comments admitting to having voted Labour in 1997 and never again. It's because of them that we were saddled with a government which was self-perpetuating. Only a cretin could have halted the juggernaut. Er -

Change your bank, Iain.

Darsalon said...

It's not unusual. I get charged £1 for each day I go into my authorised overdraft on my Halifax bank account (owned by Lloyds). It's something like £2.50 a day if it went into an unauthorised overdraft although someone can probably quote me differently there.
At the moment it's convenient to stay with them. By next year when I know circumstances will be changing in my life I'll be shifting banks. I won't be sorry to be waving goodbye to 16 years of custom with them.

Anonymous said...

Switch back to an ordinary current account, then to a "vantage" account. That's the best deal Lloyds do

Max Clark said...

I know exactly what you mean, im on an interest free student account and have been for 2 years, they wait two years for me to work up a decent overdraft and then put this £5 a month charge on. Really messed up my finances

jwildbore said...

I agree with Justin. I moved to First Direct two years ago after I fell out with Citibank. I chose them as they come first every year on customer satisfaction.

I can't recommend them highly enough. When you call you go straight through to a person based in the UK. No menu systems to navigate. That person deals with your issue through to resolution in most cases.

If you need a branch you can use the HSBC network - but I have never felt the need to.

Don't put up with crap service - vote with your feet.

Michael Heaver said...

Saw ya coming?

Penfold said...

Switch to the Co-Op Bank. Safe sturdy and not tainted.
Does support Labour but hey can't have it all ways.
Might give MetroBank a try. They're new kids on the block and open long hours plus weekends.

As for LloydsTSB, worst bank on the high street, just, they've had to work hard to get there from Santander, the old Abbey.

Blackacre said...

Move banks

Enlightened Despot said...

Halifax tried that on me. Result - all accounts moved. I could understand it if these were not agreed overdraft facilities, but as they are it is nothing short of robbery. I bet all the banks eventually cartelise on this wheeze.

Anonymous said...

Will the right wingers here now pay a little more attention to what Cable said?

Mr Dale your problem is caused by the cartel which is our banking system.
We pay high supermarket prices because of the cartel which is our supermarket system.

I support capitalism but there are limits and it needs regulation.
The banks are the cause of our problems yet even now we see HSBC threatening us if they do not get their way.

Is anyone in favour of this? Like I say I am a capitalist I am a Tory, but I despise the banks and bankers for what they (with the thick connivance of Brown) have done to us.

Unknown said...

It isn't a current account. It's a raisin account or possibly a sultana account.

Anonymous said...

I think that you are right Iain to be critical of the banks in this respect.To my mind their behaviour has deteriorated since the credit crunch as they know they they are too big to fail,and of course the Gordon Brown approved merger with HBOS made Lloyds enormous in size and genuinely too big to be allowed to fail.

Imagine if this merger had been proposed in any other industry.The competitveness authorities would rule against it and we are all seeing the implications of this.

Also it is bad for the economy as the rates that they charge bear little relation to the base rate. I wrote about this some time ago on my blog in an article about official and unofficial interest rates in the UK.I wrote on this subject back on the 14th December 2009 and if anything it has got worse since then.

Unknown said...

I agree with Justin. I've not been with First Direct as long (only about ten years) but have always found them brilliant. On one occasion when NatWest had screwed up a transaction FD fixed it; I didn't even get an apology from NW.

Twig said...

After taking investment advice from the man who sold the gold they find themselves needing to rebuild their balance sheet Maybe it was the same advisor who suggested picking their customer's pockets, like he did with the pension funds.

Unknown said...

George said...
"As for LloydsTSB, worst bank on the high street, just, they've had to work hard to get there from Santander, the old Abbey."

Try Halifax for really bad service.

Having said that, I have just dumped my 1st Direct account as they have continually moved the goal posts since it was opened, when it was a brilliant product - not anymore though.

It's really very easy to change banks, but don't rely on the banks to swop your Direct debits over. It doesn't work. Do that yourself on the phone, direct to the company involved, which is very easy to do. Solves the problem of a missed payment - expensive if its your credit card.

Go for it!

jwildbore said...


A bit OTT. There is competition in the sector. There are banks that don't charge and there are banks that offer a better service.

There is a need for a certain level of personal responsibility rather than always relying on Government action. Iain can research the best bank and move. Simple.

Martin said...

I'm moving all my cash into a big metal trunk, which was left over from the war. I'ts the only SAFE plaice.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Switch to HSBC

MikeyP said...

Me too. Time for a change, methinks

Brian said...

Why don't you change the name to closed account and switch your business to another bank offering simple free banking. I've had no problems with cahoot for nearly a decade: the Spanish practices of Santantander haven't bolloxed it up yet but I keep my eyes open for basic bank accounts should the need arise. Most of the add-on services that banks charge a monthly fee for are already provided through house/car/travel insurance etc. Shop around and buy separately.
Banks are companies for making money for themselves and shareholders. They are not in business to provide a social service to customers.

Anonymous said...

Lack of competition - before the Lloyds-HBOS merger Halifax was offering a charge-free interest-paying cheque account.
But the withdrawal of interest payments is probably because it isn't worth the effort. Each month LLoyds TSB calculate the interest they owe me, then deduct tax, then put it on the statement that they post to me and, after the end of each tax year, they post me a statement of the total amount of gross and net interest and the tax deducted. Last year the postage *alone* was greater than the interest paid! I blame Eric Daniels for the deterioration in the quality of service but the case of interest I think you should blame Brown and Mervyn King.

strapworld said...

Iain. Why not start the Conservative Credit Union? Credit Unions are gaining great support and are an excellent answer to these greedy banks.

Anonymous said...

I do not twitter - so if you are wondering what to talk about tonight why not ask the question 'should Ken Livingstone continue to be employed by LBC'? See Dizzy.

Anonymous said...

I too have two of current accounts for which I fork out nearly £16 fee for each account every month. In one account, they have given me an overdraft of over £2000 ( from my salaried days). In both accounts I have travel insurance thrown in. I have laptop extended insurance ( we have 4 lap tops), and the emergency cover. The latter was invaluable as I could get a tradesman free to fix a leak in the hotwater pipe running below our living room.

I do not like banks which do not have physical branches. I never like Lloyds.

Unknown said...

I had issues with TSB, have now moved to Barclays Premier account, best account I have ever had and I would recommend to anyone!

Unknown said...

You've got a Lloyds TSB Gold current account?

Sorry Iain, but I thought that you free marketeer type Tories were supposed to have financial nouse... sucker!

Tapestry said...

Don't hate your bank. Just get wealthy so you don't need them.

Kind of don't get mad. Get even.

That's our problem in Britain. It's the same in the States. Everyone believes in debt. The government is the worst case. Banks next. Big companies next. Private people can only be safe by accumulating wealth and standing clear of the mess, but the government tries to prevent this through wrong minded socialist dogmas.

Politics offers little freedom from the predations of governments and big corporations. Wealth on the other hand does.

British people should decide to become wealthy. Politicians should get rid of high rates on capital taxes, IHT at 40 should top at 20. CGT should top at 18 where it was.

Encourage people to save, take risks, invest and build their own security. Don't trust governments. Don't trust banks. Don't trust pension funds. Don't believe in debt which no longer works as it did during inflation. Trust only ourselves.

Span Ows said...

Agree re First Direct...the service is superb and every time you telephone you get the "it does exactly what it says on the tin" feeling of satisfaction.

Joe Public said...

They've been learning from politicians.

Offer one thing in your manifesto; implement different & sometimes opposite policies once elected.

At least you can change or prosecute banks under Trades Descriptions / Advertising Standards.

tory boys never grow up said...

For all those now suffering the inevitable consequences for customer service arisng from concentration within the personal banking sector and blaming the last Labour Government perhaps they should thing a little about the impact of the Building Societies Act 1986 which allowed Buidling Societies to convert so that they could compete more effectively with the clearing banks and what happened to those building societies that converted i.e.

Abbey National - had to be rescued by Santander

Halifax - merged with the Bank of Scotland and then had to be rescued by Lloyds and the State
Bradford and Bingley - effectively went broke and had to be bailed out by the State and Santander

Alliance and Leicester - had to be rescued by Santander

Northern Rock - had to be rescued by the State

National and Provincial - taken over by the Abbey - see above

Birmingham Midshires - taken over by Halifax - see above

Cheltenham and Gloucester - take over by LLoyds - see above

Bristol and West - taken over by the Bank of Ireland - now largely ceased mortgage operations in the UK, bank bailed out by the Irish State

Woolwich - taken over by the Woolwich and now just exists as a brand name.

Yes there may be criticisms of the Labour Government's competition policy - but I didn't hear many Tories asking for acquisitions to be referred to the OFT . But surely the Building Societies Act 1986 is one piece of (Thatcherite) legislation whose impact must be seen as one of the most anti-competive in UK history.

Unknown said...


Agree 100%. First Direct are the best bank in the UK.

For everyone with overdrafts and loads of debt check out this article to see how your life would have been different in the 1950s...

Steven_L said...

I just use a basic account and move all the money I don't need at the start of the month into a stocks and shares ISA where I gamble with it.

Just cut out the middle man Iain.

Charles said...


You are exaggerating. There are far better banks in the UK. First Direct is just the best *high street* bank

Anonymous said...

Mr '...never grow up' -- really all your list is down to Browns incompetence and the failure of his dubiously invented tripartite regulation system.

He allowed banks and building societies to borrow short and lend long; he allowed banks to indulge in casino operations.
Northern Rock which you quote is a classic example of Brown's failure and the failure of Browns regulatory system.

You seek to blame conservatives but only expose the incompetence of Brown and labour. Thank you.

tory boys never grow up said...


Building societies always had (and still have)limits on the amount of non retail borrowing they could undertake and were not allowed to go into "casino banking" - the banks never had such restrictions. Brown may have been wrong in allowing the continuation of existing Tory deregulation, but you are deluding yourseld if you think that the process did not start in the Thatcher years.

BTW all credit institutions borrow short and lend long - that is the nature of their business. And there always has to be tripartite regulation - there are always 3 components the state (with fiscal and monetary policy), market regulation and prudential regaulation of individual institutions - the question is how those roles are brought together and co-ordinated where there clearly were problems, but you delude yourself if you do not think that they existed before (remember the FSA replaced 13 regulators and one of the criticisms of the Bank over BCCI was that their market and prudential regulation were not co-ordinated)

Pogo said...

Slightly off topic, but, @tory boys never grow up on September 24, 2010 7:45 PM has just summarised why the latest idea of "splitting off the 'casino banks' from the 'safe banks'" is such a fatuous idea...

By-and-large, all the banks that needed "saving" were "safe banks" (eg NR, HBOS, RBS) that depended on their normal loan and mortgage book for survival. Virtually all those with large investment banking sections (eg HSBC, Barclays) managed without government "help".

But, they're politicians... "Breaking up the banks" is a good soundbite even though it is utter stupidity.