Monday, 23 August 2010

Natwest - helpful banking

2011/03/03: Update: Natwest fail to pass a fifth of their self imposed targets.
2010/12/16: Update: Natwest have been told to stop using this advert.

Helpful Banking Charter

Natwest is making a public promise to become[1] Britain's most helpful bank.
This is a real commitment.
It's why we've created our customer charter.
It's why we've listened, and will continue to listen, to thousands of customers across the country.
It's why, when you told us to open on Saturdays, we did.[2]
And why 160 branches will open earlier, or close later.
It's why we're committing to deliver over 25,000 MoneySense for schools lessons.
It's why we devote over 15,000 staff days each year to help local communities.
It's why we'll continue to run mobile banks to serve remote areas.[3]
And why, with our queue busting programme, we aim to serve our customers within 5 minutes. But we know we can do more. You see when we say helpful banking, we want to make sure [garbled]
To find out more visit our website. Natwest. Helpful banking.

Sadly, it would appear, they are still only thinking about 'helpful banking,' rather than actually providing it.

Dorothy Southernwood, wanted to pay a bill, but was unable to because her bank manager refused to allow the payment.

The bill? £27,000. Did Mrs Southernwood have the money in her account? Yup.

Was the payee at all suspect? Well, no - it was the German clinic Mrs Southernwood was attending for cancer treatment.

What did the helpful bank manager do? Even after 5 days of frantic phone calls, she insisted Mrs Southernwood provide written authority from Germany.

In order to try and show willing with the clinic, Mr Southernwood withdrew cash from machines, until the helpful bank helpfully stopped his card after £860.

Rather more helpfully, the bank backed down once they started to be questioned by the press.

[1] They have a long way to go, even though none of the UK banks could be considered particularly helpful. I'm looking at you Santander. I note there's no time scale for when they will actually be Britain's most helpful bank.

[2] Which banks don't have branches open on Saturdays? And I note that they don't qualify this by saying how many of their branches are open on Saturday. (I'm assuming it's not all of them since their branch locator has a check box for listing only those open on Saturdays.)

[3] Perhaps if they hadn't have closed down their branches over the years there wouldn't be a need for 'mobile branches.'


  1. And then banks act all surprised when opinion polls show that a) we don't trust them and b) we don't like them.

  2. Why don't they try to be britains most honest bank so we can trust them?

  3. natwest & rbs are a bunch of c***s i used to work for them and the whole helpful banking is a load of bollocks