Don’t lock yourself out of on-line banking (NatWest)

Well about two year ago I initiated telephone and on-line banking in the UK with NatWest.

Got an acceptance letter for private and business account and never wasted another thought on it.

So now in Galicia I thought it would be nice to actually use it. About two or three  month back I phoned. Business account – sorry cant do international transfers. Mhhh wasn’t urgent so I forgot about it.

About two month ago I tried using the Internet for banking and sometimes being a scatter brain promptly looked my out. Well, I don’t know why I thought I could remember a password that I dreamed up about 2 years ago. Support told me they’ll send anew activation code – OK great.

no accessWell this week I wanted to do a simple UK transfer. Well, all accounts are still locked. One needs a customer number. For what I have an account number why in devils name do they need yet another number?

Eventually I got my customer number out of them, which I scribbled down somewhere.

After lengthily talks whilst the line cut out twice with the usual various departments, they will send me another activation code. This one I need to sign and snail mail back. Oh and they have a 7 day delay in their processing department.

They see that I have a Spanish address, still “Oh can’t you drop by in the branch?” No I can’t thats the point of having phone or Internet banking, isn’t it?

Oh, and when you lock yourself out of on-line phone banking is also locked! Great.

I can’t Fax either as they need an Indemnity form to follow Fax instructions. Obviously I can’t fax a fax indemnity and yes the processing department has a delay…..

Yes, I do have business manager, but she is about the 7th in 7 years and… can’t or won’t do anything as the account is locked. I could send in a written transfer request. They would have to verify this by phoning me. Well, they changed the address but conveniently forgot to change the telephone number. Yes, I can change this by separate letter but the processing unit has a delay of at least 7 days.

So tomorrow I will take two hours off, find all these papers and write about 10 letters to NatWest as every single request needs to be in a separate mail……

Spain – I just send a polite e-mail and things get done. I don’t even need to phone.

Germany – I send a polite e-mail and things get done. We  phone about once a year.

UK – …. well I have to use a UK bank but will limit it to the bare necessity. Well I can’t switch as I would need to probably be there in person and I have no intention to travel just because of a bank.

So if and when you move here make sure you can access your accounts when necessary.
Keeps the blood pressure down, saves on phone bill’s and limit early day wine consumption.

By the way 0845 numbers work – 0800’s don’t,

Happy banking – Maybe avoid NatWest.


 Update 2009 – I have telefone banking but the promised rematriculation for on-line has still not arrived. Be aware that the daily max for telefone banking is 10,000£. I had to transfer 20,200£ so it took three days to do this.

3 comments on “Don’t lock yourself out of on-line banking (NatWest)

  1. I have used First Direct for years without the slightest delay or problem. But maybe this is because it’s a personal account and I was using it in the UK before I came here. Of course, I need to have my security details to hand whenever I talk to them or when I use the internet. When they did make a mistake a year or two back, they sent a fulsome apology and a cash sum to compensate, even though it hadn’t cost me anything. Don’t know if they do business accounts but their HSBC parent surely does.

  2. Hi Colin, always good to hear about positive experiences. Yes, I screwed up, but it’s different if one does it on “home” turf or abroad. In the UK I could just pop into the branch and I would get mail the next day. Here it’s a bit different and it might, just might catch you out like it did me. It’s just the sheer frustration but it’s also an experience.

    Take care and thanks

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