Thursday, April 28, 2011


Banks can be a pain in the arse! So I've got most of my bills sorted out by direct debit, one or two others I pay off with my debit card. Naturally, I leave a healthy amount in my current account, which the staff were never happy about. "Rather a lot in your account, sir." ... "Yes, pays the bills." ... So, after brushing them off for years, they finally made it a policy that no-one could have more than two grand in their current account, and without so much as a by-your-leave the excess was hived off into a First Reserve account. Fine; they sent me another card, which I made a payment on. However, the next time I tried to make a payment on it, the bank wouldn 't cough up (as the bill was for my car insurance, they nearly dropped me right in it - luckily, I sorted out that payment with a couple of days to spare).

Of course, I went around to find out what was going on. Helpfully, they opened up a third account ... a Special Reserve. "When do I get a card?" ... "You don't?" ... "Huh? What if I have a big bill to pay? Do I write a cheque?" ... "Not for the Special Reserve." ... "Then how do I get to it?" ... "If you need to do that, see us and we'll transfer whatever amount you need into your current account." ... "Why not just leave it in there?" ... "We can't do that, sir; policy.
You see, The First Reserve holds the money and earns a few pence in interest, but you can get into it. A special Reserve account earns no interest, and is - in effect - an invisible current account; except, of course, you have to see a member of staff and ask them to transfer it into your real current account if you want to access it (Policy, you see!).

Jesus! Nat West. The bank that really likes to mess you around! There's a lot to be said for keeping your money in a mattress under the bed.

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