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The Ayatollah Buggeri

Santander .... Grrrrrr!

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This morning, I walked into a south London branch of Santander, wanting to take some cash out. This is because last week, my ATM card was rejected twice by two machines. I called their helpline (0845 of course), and was eventually told that the cause was probably that the chip was knackered, and that they would send me a new card. In the meantime, I was told, I can withdraw cash from branches.

I am currently in south London having taken a day's leave to visit a parent and do some minor repair and maintenance jobs in their house. I went into the local Santander branch, queued up and made my request. The woman typed a few things into her computer, and then said 'It says here that you live in York, sir. What are you doing hundreds of miles away?'.

Me: 'With respect, that is none of your business.'

Woman: 'Actually it is, Sir. I have to make some security checks before I hand over money to someone. Now, why are you in London?'

Me: 'That is none of your business. My date of birth is XX-XX-XXXX and my mother's maiden name is XXXXXXX. Do you have other security questions?'

Woman: 'I repeat, what is your business in London?'.

At that point, with a queue accumulating behind me, I asked to speak to her manager. The manager was a slight improvement in terms of bedside manner, but would not budge. He explained that it was company policy to ask a customer why they were in a given area if it was a long way from their home address, if they were trying to withdraw money over the counter. I replied that they were perfectly entitled to conduct routine security checks (e.g. asking for my mother's maiden name), but that this is not routine. 'But it's our duty to make sure that no laws are being broken, Sir', was his reply.

Me: 'With respect, it is not. It is the police's job to make sure that no laws are being broken. I see that you have a telephone on your desk. If you have good reason to believe that I am trying to break any laws, why not call them?'.

Manager: 'I'm sorry Sir, but unless you give me a satisfactory answer, I cannot let you have any money.'

Me: 'And I'm also sorry, but I will shortly be closing my account with you and having the entire balance, which, as you will see on your screen, is several thousand in credit, transferred elsewhere. I shall also be writing to Santander's chief executive explaining why. Good morning.'

This is a classic illustration of the danger of DIY law enforcement that I referred to in this post: mission creep into unacceptable intrusions of privacy on the innocent. As a general rule I'm not in favour of public sector monopolies, but law enforcement is definitely an exception IMO.

In the meantime, can anyone recommend an alternative current account provider? Reliable ATM provision is my no. 1 priority, with an Internet banking service that works with Firefox (i.e. not just Internet Explorer) being the second.

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This morning, I walked into a south London branch of Santander, wanting to take some cash out. This is because last week, my ATM card was rejected twice by two machines. I called their helpline (0845 of course), and was eventually told that the cause was probably that the chip was knackered, and that they would send me a new card. In the meantime, I was told, I can withdraw cash from branches.

I am currently in south London having taken a day's leave to visit a parent and do some minor repair and maintenance jobs in their house. I went into the local Santander branch, queued up and made my request. The woman typed a few things into her computer, and then said 'It says here that you live in York, sir. What are you doing hundreds of miles away?'.

Me: 'With respect, that is none of your business.'

Woman: 'Actually it is, Sir. I have to make some security checks before I hand over money to someone. Now, why are you in London?'

Me: 'That is none of your business. My date of birth is XX-XX-XXXX and my mother's maiden name is XXXXXXX. Do you have other security questions?'

Woman: 'I repeat, what is your business in London?'.

At that point, with a queue accumulating behind me, I asked to speak to her manager. The manager was a slight improvement in terms of bedside manner, but would not budge. He explained that it was company policy to ask a customer why they were in a given area if it was a long way from their home address, if they were trying to withdraw money over the counter. I replied that they were perfectly entitled to conduct routine security checks (e.g. asking for my mother's maiden name), but that this is not routine. 'But it's our duty to make sure that no laws are being broken, Sir', was his reply.

Me: 'With respect, it is not. It is the police's job to make sure that no laws are being broken. I see that you have a telephone on your desk. If you have good reason to believe that I am trying to break any laws, why not call them?'.

Manager: 'I'm sorry Sir, but unless you give me a satisfactory answer, I cannot let you have any money.'

Me: 'And I'm also sorry, but I will shortly be closing my account with you and having the entire balance, which, as you will see on your screen, is several thousand in credit, transferred elsewhere. I shall also be writing to Santander's chief executive explaining why. Good morning.'

This is a classic illustration of the danger of DIY law enforcement that I referred to in this post: mission creep into unacceptable intrusions of privacy on the innocent. As a general rule I'm not in favour of public sector monopolies, but law enforcement is definitely an exception IMO.

In the meantime, can anyone recommend an alternative current account provider? Reliable ATM provision is my no. 1 priority, with an Internet banking service that works with Firefox (i.e. not just Internet Explorer) being the second.

This is disgusting behavior to be treated as a common criminal without due reason. I suggest you write to the managing director and explain too him why Bank Santander have lost your business.

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Well done for sticking up for your rights and not caving in to save yourself the hassle.

I recently closed my account with santander and they sent me a £10 closing cheque which they then refused to cash at their branch. Said it had to be paid into an account. I said I didn't have an account as I was leaving the country. They said tough. I should have torn the cheque up in front of the cashier but instead I paid it into my HBOS account (£10 is £10 afterall).

Anyway I would totally recommend a Halifax or Bank of Scotland current account which is very user friendly and works well with ATM's all over the world. Also Co-operative bank is good as you can log in and leave messages telling them you're going abroad to wherever and to make sure your card will work there. With HBOS you need to use telephone banking to do that but I find that even if you dont bother, your card will still work.

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Very odd behaviour by the Bank. Clearly with the security questions such as the DoB of your mother, or whatever they can check the accuracy of your answer. Asking why you are in London, hundreds of miles from your home address doesn't help them assess security risk at all - how can they assess whether you are telling the truth in your response or whether you are who you say you are? The question is pointless and an invasion of privacy.

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In the meantime, can anyone recommend an alternative current account provider? Reliable ATM provision is my no. 1 priority, with an Internet banking service that works with Firefox (i.e. not just Internet Explorer) being the second.

Smile (part of the coop) works fine with Firefox, and doesn't have the annoying nag screen of "You haven't installed Trusteer! You are at risk" that both Santander and HSBC inflict on me.

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Have been with RBS for years and find their customer service very good. Internet and phone banking is decent too.

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The woman typed a few things into her computer, and then said 'It says here that you live in York, sir. What are you doing hundreds of miles away?'.

The thing is it's nonsense anyway.

"I'm going to a garden party at the palace"

"I'm particpating in an exhibition of chainsaw juggling on Oxford Street"

"I'm displaying some of my work at the V&A"

etc

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Had problems with Santanshit.

I won't bore you with the info, but I left my account open with 1p in it.

Why?

Because they send me a statement every month by post, so as long as they don't close inactive accounts I'm ensuring my account will be a drain on them, if we all did that to crap banks they'd soon get the message.

Queuing up and paying in 1p one month and taking it out the next would also be entertaining.

Write a cheque from that account for 1p too. That's expensive for them.

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Had problems with Santanshit.

I won't bore you with the info, but I left my account open with 1p in it.

Why?

Because they send me a statement every month by post, so as long as they don't close inactive accounts I'm ensuring my account will be a drain on them, if we all did that to crap banks they'd soon get the message.

+1

I have done this to barclaycard and bank of scotland :D

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The thing is it's nonsense anyway.

"I'm going to a garden party at the palace"

"I'm particpating in an exhibition of chainsaw juggling on Oxford Street"

"I'm displaying some of my work at the V&A"

etc

That would have been my response although fair play to the op for sticking to his guns and making a point.

I recently had to return a pair of brand new faulty shoes to clarks and was asked for my name and address on a refund form even though I was getting a replacement. I left the details blank and was told by the assistant that I had to put my details down. I said that they didnt need them and I didnt want any junk in the post from them but got told that it was company policy and I had to. I put down Buckingham palace as my address :D

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The thing is it's nonsense anyway.

"I'm going to a garden party at the palace"

"I'm particpating in an exhibition of chainsaw juggling on Oxford Street"

"I'm displaying some of my work at the V&A"

etc

I wonder what they would have done if you said you were on the run from the Police?

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Barclays website works with firefox, but they do nag whenever i go into the branch.

'Sir, you do realise your balance is (over a few K)? You should open one of our (sh!tty interest) savings accounts to *protect* that money from theft.'

'Yes, and thanks for telling the entire f*cking branch.'

If i ever do get robbed or have a card stolen, it'll be right outside the bloody branch from some git who's overheard the cashier.

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Barclays website works with firefox, but they do nag whenever i go into the branch.

'Sir, you do realise your balance is (over a few K)? You should open one of our (sh!tty interest) savings accounts to *protect* that money from theft.'

'Yes, and thanks for telling the entire f*cking branch.'

If i ever do get robbed or have a card stolen, it'll be right outside the bloody branch from some git who's overheard the cashier.

Used to get loads of grief about using Lloyds other products until someone told me you can opt out of being asked the crappy marketing questions.

:)

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When they are ask why are you withdrawing a large sum. Say it's for drugs. I find it's fun to make up all sorts of crazy responses to these sorts of questions.

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I would have replied that York is not a closed city like Gorky and you dont yet need a travel permit to leave it (though I am sure they are working on that point).

It is also less than 2 hours from London by train which is not much more than most commuting journeys

Of course your main problem is that underneath that Santander wrapper is that festering pile of shite called Abbey National who I once had the misfortune to use for a mortgage. I think they send all their staff on a training course where they teach them to be officious irritating twats. No other bank I have encountered has quite the collection of ars*holes that they employ.

BTW the simple solution to these problems is to supplement your regular bank account with a simple no frills Cash Card savings account with the likes of the Coop or Nationwide into which you deposit a few quid. The interest rates are crap but at least you have some alternative means of drawing out money if the main account screws up. It might also be is useful if we have a full scale banking crisis where withdrawls from any individual account are capped which IMHO is the most likely response to such a meltdown

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Of course your main problem is that underneath that Santander wrapper is that festering pile of shite called Abbey National who I once had the misfortune to use for a mortgage. I think they send all their staff on a training course where they teach them to be officious irritating twats. No other bank I have encountered has quite the collection of ars*holes that they employ.

Sounds highly plausible: Abbey have a history of being The Very Worst. We have a Santander locally that's ex-Broke&Bust, and it was only ordinarily bad when I had some money with them.

BTW the simple solution to these problems is to supplement your regular bank account with a simple no frills Cash Card savings account with the likes of the Coop or Nationwide into which you deposit a few quid. The interest rates are crap but at least you have some alternative means of drawing out money if the main account screws up. It might also be is useful if we have a full scale banking crisis where withdrawls from any individual account are capped which IMHO is the most likely response to such a meltdown

I've been with Nationwide for over 20 years, and they've been The Best for all that time. Until the past year or so, as much that's distinguished them from the crap has been disappearing :angry:

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Very odd behaviour by the Bank. Clearly with the security questions such as the DoB of your mother, or whatever they can check the accuracy of your answer. Asking why you are in London, hundreds of miles from your home address doesn't help them assess security risk at all - how can they assess whether you are telling the truth in your response or whether you are who you say you are? The question is pointless and an invasion of privacy.

Exactly. It doesn't prove anything at all.

Bizarre.

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Of course your main problem is that underneath that Santander wrapper is that festering pile of shite called Abbey National who I once had the misfortune to use for a mortgage. I think they send all their staff on a training course where they teach them to be officious irritating twats. No other bank I have encountered has quite the collection of ars*holes that they employ.

Sadly, they are busily standardising what was Alliance & Leicester down to the same level.

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Won't go in to all the boring details but enough to say that I accompanied my 80 year old mum when she attempted to close her Santander accounts (all rollovers from A & L and B&B).

They wouldn't let her close them in the store as her passport had expired in 2009 (I know...I know). I even had a meeting with the "manager" who said she would have to provide a current passport and current driving licence (!!!aaaarggh) and during this conversation I realised what the solution was.

Went home and phoned up their call centre and I managed to close all my mum's accounts over the phone (proceeds going directly back in to her current account/cheques being sent to her address).

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This is disgusting behavior to be treated as a common criminal without due reason. I suggest you write to the managing director and explain too him why Bank Santander have lost your business.

The Irony is the Spanish Mafia family who run the various banking arms of Santander are the biggest crooks going.

Arrested for numerous major fraud/banking offences - the bent Spanish judiciary just keep letting them go.

Another Iceland-type banking corp in the waiting?

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Thanks, folks.

I've heard good things about the Co-Operative Bank from others. I'd like to check out how stable they are (e.g. exposure to eurozone debt) and what their Internet banking provision is like, but they have a branch in York and so I'm going to investigate switching to them.

BTW the simple solution to these problems is to supplement your regular bank account with a simple no frills Cash Card savings account with the likes of the Coop or Nationwide into which you deposit a few quid.

I do indeed have a Nationwide Flexaccount as well as my Santander current account, which I opened when they were still offering fee-free overseas transactions. I didn't use it since they introduced the charges until yesterday, which was how I eventually got some cash.

I would like to have two current accounts with two different institutions (ergo if I close the Santander one down I'm looking for another bank), so that if one goes bust or I have a major problem with them, I can always use the other.

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Thanks, folks.

I've heard good things about the Co-Operative Bank from others. I'd like to check out how stable they are (e.g. exposure to eurozone debt) and what their Internet banking provision is like, but they have a branch in York and so I'm going to investigate switching to them.

I do indeed have a Nationwide Flexaccount as well as my Santander current account, which I opened when they were still offering fee-free overseas transactions. I didn't use it since they introduced the charges until yesterday, which was how I eventually got some cash.

I would like to have two current accounts with two different institutions (ergo if I close the Santander one down I'm looking for another bank), so that if one goes bust or I have a major problem with them, I can always use the other.

NM Rothschild are excellent apparently, and you wont encounter any of the outrageous questioning above, very discreet to boot

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Very odd behaviour by the Bank. Clearly with the security questions such as the DoB of your mother, or whatever they can check the accuracy of your answer. Asking why you are in London, hundreds of miles from your home address doesn't help them assess security risk at all - how can they assess whether you are telling the truth in your response or whether you are who you say you are? The question is pointless and an invasion of privacy.

The funny thing is that if a scammer had managed to get the OP's details, such as DOB and mother's maiden name, then he'd obviously just answer the question with some bland answer, e.g. here on business or visiting a friend/relative. I don't see what value was added to the security of the account by asking a question where the answer couldn't be verified by the staff at the branch.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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