Money Grouse: Inflexible attitude found at Firstdirect

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RACHEL KABRA, managing director of an events company, had been using her Firstdirect account for rental income from her property.

When the income flow temporarily dried up, Firstdirect cancelled her overdraft, and insisted that she redirect her wages.

'I explained to Firstdirect that the property had been vacated and was being renovated prior to reletting, hence the temporary drop in credits. I agreed to have my salary of pounds 1,642 redirected into my Firstdirect account.

'Subsequently, I found a new tenant and I paid initial rental income of pounds 2,222 into my account.'

The bank refused to reinstate the overdraft, and said she would have to earn about pounds 4,000 a month before it would reinstate the limit.

Her annoyance with the bank came to a head when her Firstdirect Visa card was confiscated in a TV rental store in North London. Ms Kabra had previously received a letter warning that she had exceeded her credit limit. She immediately rectified the situation, but the status of the card had not been changed.

She decided to switch her account to NatWest, which offered her a pounds 10,000 overdraft straight away. First Direct had no comment.

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