i Editor's Letter: What would make you change your bank?


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The Independent Online


What would it take to make you change your bank? Would the news that your account was being moved to another bank make you think twice? Would the information that your account was being moved to another bank, but that, ahm, actually, the deal had fallen through, and goodness only knew what was going to happen now – would that make you decamp?

How about if you were worried that someone had sent you a phishing email that you had opened, and you rang the bank but they told you it would probably be OK? And then you found that the someone who sent you the phishing email had applied for a smartphone app in your name and was withdrawing money at £100 a pop? Would that give you pause for thought?

How about if it was you, not the bank's security system, that noticed your account was haemorrhaging money? And what if, when you rang the bank to sort it out, they treated you like a criminal and told you that no, you could not regain access to your now frozen account because you were unable to answer their daft questions.

What if they told you this was because they had to be very careful about security (despite the fact that they had given some toerag carte blanche to withdraw money on the smartphone app in your name). And let's say this was the very same bank that, back in June, experienced the mother of all IT meltdowns. You'd be mad to stay, wouldn't you?

So why am I still with NatWest? Well, in the Kafka-esque world that is British high-street banking, I can't really see the advantage of moving elsewhere. I have a bank manager I like, and that personal contact is worth a million IT foul-ups. So far. But only so far.

Stefano Hatfield is away

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