Banks fail to cut mistakes on accounts

Banks are failing to cut the number of basic mistakes they make on customers' current accounts, despite claiming to have made efforts to improve customer service, says the Consumers' Association.

A third of bank customers experienced a mistake on their current account last year, according to a survey for Which? magazine. This is worse than the results in the previous year's survey, which had shown improvements by the banks.

Barclays and NatWest customers were the least satisfied with the overall level of service, with Clydesdale and TSB also rated below average. The worst offenders for errors - Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale - were over twice as likely to make mistakes as Alliance & Leicester and Halifax, the least error-ridden.

Standing orders and direct debits are the source of most mistakes. Other common mistakes reported are incorrect charges, new cheque books and guarantee cards not sent or sent to the wrong address, incorrect account debits, statement errors and statements not being sent.

The survey found that while banks are making more mistakes, they do seem to be correcting them more quickly than in the past. The proportion of mistakes corrected immediately rose across all types of error surveyed.

First Direct and Alliance & Leicester were rated best for overall service by those surveyed, and telephone banking generally was given the thumbs up.

The best buy bank accounts in this month's Which? are, for those who never go overdrawn: Alliance & Leicester, Co-operative, First Dircet and Royal Bnak of Scotland; for those with overdrafts of up to pounds 100: Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Royal Bank of Scotland; and, for people with overdrafts of pounds 500, Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester, Halifax and Nationwide.

WOMEN are particularly vulnerable to having poor pensions, not just because of their generally lower earnings but also because they are more likely to have breaks from working. TSB, the bank, estimates that 50 per cent of women in the UK are likely to face financial hardship in retirement. It is offering a free booklet, Women & Pensions, which gives pensions guidance to women in a relatively accessible question-and-answer format. The booklet explains how career breaks, marriage, divorce and being widowed may affect women's pensions. Call 0645 758700.

Separately, IFA Promotion, the organisation that promotes independent financial advice, has produced three free fact-sheets covering the rules of personal and company pensions, how to choose a pension that suits your lifestyle, and when are the main trigger times for pension decisions. You and Your Pension, Company Pensions, and Planning Your Retirement are free to callers on 0117-971 1177. Callers will also receive details of three IFAs near their home or office.

One IFA, Surrey-based Informed Choice, has produced a special guide called Choosing a Personal Pension. It is free on 01483 274566.

TAX-FREE PEPs (for Per- sonal Equity Plans) are rightly one of the most popular ways of investing in the stock market. The Plain Language Guide to PEPs is a straightforward new guide written by a Daily Mail journalist and published by the PEP Manager's Association. It is available only by mail order from Pepma, Freepost, SWB 30086, Exeter EX1 1AZ, for pounds 2.40 (the price includes p&p).

Norwich Union, the insurer that has just announced plans to give free shares worth at least pounds 500 each to 3 million of its policyholders, is also offering free guides to investment jargon and health insurance. Norwich Union's Glossary of Investment Terms is available to anyone calling 0345 60 66 77, Your Guide to Insuring Your Health and Income on 0800 42 42 42.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
film
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ampersand Consulting LLP: UI Designer/ User Interface Designer (UI, User Flow, Design)

£6000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: UI De...

SThree: The benefits of Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Head of Regional Sales - Financial Software - £130,000 OTE

Negotiable: h2 Recruit Ltd: A rapidly expanding, global Software/ SaaS Vendor ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?