Money Grouse: Statement of a frustrated man

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PETER BRADBURY, a retired education officer from Colchester, Essex, has, as he puts it, a very active bank account and likes to keep a close eye on what cheques have been cleared.

He has a number of investments actively managed by various stockbrokers and likes to know exactly what is happening in his account.

So he needs to see statements with some alacrity. He is perplexed about differences in the time taken for NatWest statements to arrive, depending on where he orders them.

Recently his monthly statement arrived on 14 September, five days after it was sent out from his bank.

When he asked his bank about the time delay they told him that the printed statement was sent from London to his branch, where it was sent out second class.

He contended that if he ordered a statement through a cash machine it appeared to arrive in a much shorter time.

A spokeswoman for NatWest said customers could choose to have statements sent either first or second class. Mr Bradbury had opted to have them second class.

There should be no difference between the time taken for statements ordered by machine or those sent regularly from the branch, as they went through the same central computer. At certain times the bank was sending out 750,000 cheques a day, which could account for delays.

Write to Money Grouse, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. Please do not send SAEs or original documents as we cannot guarantee to deal with every letter personally.

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