You asked for it - here's your praise of banks!

We asked readers for positive stories about their bank. You responded in droves. Simon Read picks a selection of your comments and concludes it's people who matter the most

When I asked for your positive experiences with banks, I didn't expect so many responses. Perhaps I've become jaded about the whole banking experience. But who could blame me?

In my lifetime banks have changed dramatically from being places you'd happily trust with your money to being somewhere to avoid if you don't want to be ripped off or flogged some expensive insurance that you don't need or can't afford.

But enough of the criticism. My appeal to you has yielded a wide range of happy customers from almost all of the big banks. Interestingly, one thing unites all your messages. Not one person wrote to praise the bank as a business or its range of products.

Instead, all emails and letters were about the good service or help you got from the people who work at banks. As Kay Locker of Blackburn wrote: "Most individuals are great and most organisations a nightmare!"

Peter Steere has a similar view. "As corporations, banks may be untrustworthy, but individuals working for them are not." Sorry we couldn't include all your comments, but here's a selection of them by bank in alphabetical order...


Peter Steer has only praise for Barclays, especially after bank staff advised him to switch accounts from one charging £17 to a £11.50 one.

"It made sense as we weren't using the extra services offered, but the suggestion came from our adviser, which has helped increase our trust in the bank."


Despite the recent problems for the mutual, many customers remain loyal. Typical is Colin Andrews who says: "The recent furore over the actions of theCo-op board was shameful, but the bank counter staff are wonderful."

For Kath Morris a suggestion from staff that she switch accounts to save overdraft charges was a godsend. "They deserve to succeed."

Angela Walton is with Co-op's online bank Smile. "I trust them. I like their ethical outlook," she says. "It's not the fault of frontline staff that idiots appointed the wrong person at the top."


Robert Lynn of Cardiff reports being delighted that "a friendly Scottish woman" at the online bank sent his wife £50-worth of M&S vouchers after learning that she was struggling to get around on crutches after she had been attacked by a feral cat. "That's a pretty decent and positive gesture by anyone's standards," he says.

For Denis Hanbury of Derbyshire the bank's quick action in ensuring he could get more than £500 in cash from his local HSBC, after branch staff refused, was "impressive".


Josephine Stevens praises counter staff at her Halifax at Saxon Square in Christchurch. "We are always welcomed warmly, transactions are conducted pleasantly and queries dealt with promptly."

The main banks in London's Canary Wharf (AFP/Getty Images) The main banks in London's Canary Wharf (AFP/Getty Images)

Charles Lewis of Kent has been with the same bank for more than 50 years, joining Midland in 1964 and remaining with it when it became part of HSBC in the 1990s.

"My bank has served my needs well and has gained my loyalty. I resent the frequently implied accusation that it is sheer laziness that stops me from switching to another bank." Fair point Mr Lewis!

Chris Curson of Northwich relates how his local HSBC branch helped out when he had his pocket picked one Saturday leaving him with no cash and no plastic cards.

"I was told that the nearest branch with cash facilities that morning was Warrington, but I knew I couldn't get there before it closed. Learning of my predicament the local branch said they would let me have £50 out of petty cash to help. Good service, and I have no intention of changing!"


"I have had a consistently excellent experience with Lloyds," says Paul Birtwistle. "They are attentive, always there for me and have probably made little profit from me over the years!"


Janet Atkin had problems paying on board a Thomas Cook flight after the steward told her that NatWest had put a £50 limit on its cards.

When she told staff at the Hucknall Road branch in Nottingham they found out there was no such ruling. "To apologise they sent a huge box of chocolates which amazed me as it wasn't the bank's fault."

Keith Mace praises the Wymondham, Norfolk, branch after its manager opened a business account even though he had been turned down by another branch. "I'm still getting brilliant service from the same branch."


Staff at the bank's Penrith branch helped Rosemary Cambell "get back on the straight and narrow" after high rent and the Government's austerity measures hit her finances. Colin Read speaks warmly of the Folkestone branch. "It is old- fashioned face-to-face customer service that makes the difference."


Branch manager Jamie Cripps wrote in with some solid points. "Good customer service is the priority for every colleague in the bank," he says. "I could list hundreds of stories of good customer service (such as the elderly customer we saved from taking out money for bogus workmen, who came to her door to do repairs to her drains) but what is the point?

"The media concentrate only on negatives. People that work in banks aren't particularly well paid or have had any real influence over the economic crisis but are tarred with the same brush as the investment 'bankers'. For goodness sake, give us peace and let us do our jobs."

Happy to do so, just for one week, Mr Cripps! But you can rest assured that we'll be back on the case next week, calling banks to account when things go wrong.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at

i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: HR Benefits Manager

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

    £30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

    Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

    £250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

    Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

    £230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower