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I have been banked with RBS since I was 16 years of age. Initially the reason I opened up a bank account was because my Dad banked with them, so RBS was a brand I was familiar with. I opened up my student bank account with HSBC, but I differed back to RBS a few years ago and they are now my major banking provider.
I would like to give you an overview of the services the bank offers and my opinion on its bank account and the general banking service.
*********** The branch ****************
Long gone are the days where you build up a relationship with your bank manager - you are now unlikely to see the same face twice and the person you speak to will have the power of a monkey. I recently went in the branch to discuss a list of changes I'd received on my account however I was then fobbed off with a list of telephone numbers. I don't think this is an appropriate way to treat your customers and I'm the sort of person that prefers to discuss things face to face. However it seems that a trip down to the bank to discuss a banking issue is a wasted journey.
The other thing that
really annoys me about the branch staff is that, although the staff are unable to help if you have a question or a problem - they are constantly trying to sell you account upgrades. I know they obviously have targets to meet, but if I'm not receiving a good service in general then I won't be paying £15 a month for a list of 'perks' that I won't get any use from.
*********** Telephone banking *************
The one thing that I like about RBS's telephone banking experience is that I get to speak to somebody that is based in the UK. I am not racist, far from it, but I object to calling a British-based company, being transferred to Mumbai and speaking to somebody that can barely speak English. That's why I rate the RBS telephone banking service, because I get to talk to somebody that can speak English.
I usually find that the telephone banking staff are more clued up than the people who work in the branches. However they don't have to power to do a lot of things, so you have to be transferred through to your branch. In theory this is a good thing, because a lot of banks won't allow you to speak directly to your branch, but as I mentioned earlier, I don't think the branch staff are very clued up, so it often infuriates me when I have to speak to them.
********** Internet banking ***************
I have used lots of internet banking systems and I think RBS offers one of the best on the market. The website is really easy to navigate and you can set up lots of different payments yourself. You need your card reader to make more complex transactions, but this doesn't bother me because it makes me feel secure.
I can easily transfer money between accounts and with the on-line system I feel like I have complete control over my money.
RBS also have an extra security system, which involved you putting characters of a password into the system when you have carried out a debit transaction on-line. Again this is another way that RBS protects you against fraud.
********** Bank charges ************
Every bank charges people that go over their account allowance, however I think that the charges at RBS are excessive in comparison to the charges that other banks issue. Last month I went over my overdraft by using my card when I shouldn't have done. So the bank charged me £20 for going over my overdraft limit and a further £30 for the three switch payments that I shouldn't have made. Now I am not one of those people that blames the bank for my money mis-management, but personally I think those charges are excessive and the bank shows absolutely no flexibility. I suppose we should thank the high court for ruling that excessive bank charges are lawful.
********** Overall **************
I think that in comparison to other banks RBS is the best of a bad bunch, the service is far from perfect, but they are certainly not the worst provider. Personally think that all banks are the same - hard-nosed corporations that don't really give a damn. I have banked with HSBC which were just awful and in comparison to the service I've received from RBS is much better.
I don't think the branch staff are very helpful, but the telephone banking staff are more clued up and although they have limited powers I like the fact that they are British-based. I also think that the internet banking system is first rate.