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porca misèria

Spoilers

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Checking the comparison sites, I find the best flexible ISA rate on the market appears to be 3.5% from NatWest. And that's with a 1% bonus, so not a total washout if kept beyond the bonus period.

OK, it's an e-isa. I apply online. At the end of my application, what happens? Does it set up my account? Nope! Does it ask for the regular identify-yourself stuff to set up my account? Nope! It just tells me it'll send me application documents in the post.

That was just over a week ago. Nothing in the post :angry: I'd be inclined to go straight for Santander's 3.3%, except for the fact that almost all of that is bonus, so it leaves me unable to relax about it a year hence.

Then I recollect, I had similar grief from Natwest two or three years ago. A market-beating headline rate which I applied for, but one that disappeared (they slashed a full 1% off it) during the longwinded application process.

Has anyone got themselves a market-beating rate from Natwest, or is this all about stringing you along as a spoiler for other providers?

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I went with Santander and the 3.3% - because I could sit down for half hour in a branch, sort all the tedious ID stuff and walk out with it all set up. In exactly 12 months time I shall do the same, probably with a different provider.

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I can probably help you with this, having been through the pain of the application process myself.

I had the 'application in the post' message from them, waited a week, no sign of anything, called them to be told 'we have no record of your application'. Tried again, got exactly the same message at the end of the application. Waited a while, nothing.

Tried a third time, only to find that the application process took a completely different route around 6 forms in.

My guess is that it silently failed on the first 2 goes. The 3rd application took me through an ID verification process that the other 2 didn't.

The first 2 applications were on weekend evenings, my guess is they took the ID verification systems off-line for maintenance, but the application process doesn't flag it as an error and just silently fails by presenting the user with a semi-successful looking application confirmation screen.

I believe that a successful application should end with an account being opened and the details given to you, or a reference number if ID couldn't be verified.

I got a reference number, which meant they sent a form to sign and return by post about 5 days later.

A few days after that, I finally got confirmation of opening and account number/sort code details.

Still waiting for half of the on-line banking login details though.

Filled in a transfer form from them too and that had 2 different addresses it could be sent to, 1 on the page that links to the form, and 1 on the form itself.

My impression is that their systems are cobbled together and poorly designed/tested. I sincerely hope that nothing goes wrong with the account and I need to contact them to do anything as my experience so far has been poor.

BTW, you don't even get 3.5% from opening, it's something like 3.5% from the 15/16th day of the month following opening and 2.5% until then. They've actually changed the advertised AER on their website to reflect this, so top rate is now stated as 3.32% AER(variable).

It may prove a better decision to apply elsewhere, as the rate doesn't justify the hassle, and the delays I encountered more than nullify the 'market leading' rate.

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I went with Cheshire B.S. Although it was postal, i was able to print the full application form at home and post it immediately.

Linky.

You have to pay in a minimum of £1000 but the bonus is until October 2013.

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I just opened a Nationwide FlexAccount current account, with the account transfer option, in order to access their Flexclusive ISA. The ISA was offering 4.25% easy access, but they went and cut .75% off the rate yesterday, as detailed here. I probably will still take one out, but I'm not happy.

Wish NS&I were still doing index linkers.

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A lot of these accounts only accept new money. Do you folks (Driver, Quicken) not have existing cash ISA money whose bonus is expired in search of a new home?

I've given up on NatWest as a bad job and gone to Santander, where they were happy to take my application.

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A lot of these accounts only accept new money. Do you folks (Driver, Quicken) not have existing cash ISA money whose bonus is expired in search of a new home?

I've given up on NatWest as a bad job and gone to Santander, where they were happy to take my application.

The no transfers out thing caught me with barclays - put in the maximum one year, open another one for the next, deposit cash in it, then attempt to transfer in cash from the old ISA.

What happens? They don't reject the transfer, they deposit it in my current account.

Now both accounts are sitting there with 1p in, from now till hell freezes over.

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The no transfers out thing caught me with barclays - put in the maximum one year, open another one for the next, deposit cash in it, then attempt to transfer in cash from the old ISA.

What happens? They don't reject the transfer, they deposit it in my current account.

Now both accounts are sitting there with 1p in, from now till hell freezes over.

No transfers out? Thats a new one on me, I've seen no transfers in, you just run with the best two account combinations fiscally setting them up to take advantage of the one ISA account per tax year. But no transfers out, doesn't that make the bank insolvent...O wait a minute. Seriously, they transferred an ISA to your current account without your consent?

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Seriously, they transferred an ISA to your current account without your consent?

Sounds like a clear breach of the Banking Code to me. That ISA-cash would have lost its tax-free status :angry:

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