BoS moves away from home banking

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The Independent Online
BANK OF SCOTLAND yesterday launched a new telephone banking service, in effect admitting that its existing remote computer banking service had failed to appeal to personal customers, writes Lisa Vaughan.

It becomes the latest bank to copy Firstdirect, Midland's 24- hour bank without branches. Most big British banks have added out- of-hours telephone banking to their branch services.

Bank of Scotland was a pioneer in home banking when it launched Hobs, Home and Office Banking Service, in 1985.

Customers can use their own computer systems or buy a special keyboard for just under pounds 100 that they hook to their television and telephone. Routine banking transactions are possible until 1am during the week and 11pm at weekends.

Though Hobs has been popular with small businesses, it has never caught on to the same degree with personal customers.

The new service, called Phoneline, offers phone banking from 6am to 12pm seven days a week for Bank of Scotland personal cheque account customers. For the cost of a local call, customers can take care of most routine banking needs. The bank says it will continue marketing Hobs to personal customers.

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