Money Nous: Banks have admirers after all

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FOR years readers have been sending us Money Grouses criticising the financial institutions.

This week we have been deluged with letters from people wanting to say nice things about their banks.

It has been prompted by last week's story about how the main banks which issue credit cards will not provide the simplest of services - a direct debit facility to pay off credit card balances in full.

Firstdirect's head office mistakenly said it could not oblige, but its customers have been rushing to tell us that the facility is on offer - and praising Firstdirect to the hilt in the process.

Peter Livingstone writes from Essex: 'I have used the full payment facility for three years and continue to be most impressed with this and all the services offered by Firstdirect.'

John Wade, of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, regularly uses the full payment direct debit facility. He says: 'I am very happy with Firstdirect and would recommend it to anybody'.

There are a lot of fans of the Co- operative Bank, which was not mentioned in the original article.

Peter Crofts, of Stockport, says: 'Anyone wanting to pay in full by direct debit should switch to the Co-op Bank, who advertise it as a normal service.'

All the Co-op's cards, including the Visa card, have a full repayment direct debit facility.

TSB got a pat on the back from Peter Bates, of Sussex, and David Stevens, of Dorset, for offering a full repayment facility on its credit cards.

And Yorkshire Bank is praised by Norman Webb, of Halifax, West Yorkshire, for allowing customers to over-ride the direct debit to settle credit card bills in full when they need to do so.

There are undoubtedly other card issuers that offer the same service. All of these smaller providers are offering a facility that people want. It makes the lame excuses from the big banks last week look even more pathetic.

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