Not Just Any Bank Account

  oresome 09:41 18 Jul 2012

M&S are launching current accounts later this year.

The rub is they will cost the customer between £15 and £20 per month to operate.

To soften the blow M&S will offer a range of 'benefits' worth hundreds of doubt involving spending more money.

Do they stand a chance of success while free banking is still widely available? Should we expect to pay for a current account?

It's claimed that one in five adults already has a current account with a monthly fee. The range of benefits offered by the banks are generally under used and offer poor value for money for many and the practise is under scrutiny by the FSA.

  Chegs ®™ 09:58 18 Jul 2012

I opened an account with NatWest and was offered a range of "free" additional extras as long as I kept the account in the black.After 7mths I received a call from the bank asking what I intended doing about the £400 I owed them,I was annoyed as hell because I'd never used the account other than to buy "game cash" for an online golf game.When the caller recognised my annoyed tone of voice,she explained that there was a monthly standing charge on the account and did I not know this.I said if I'd known about the charges,I wouldn't have opened the account.She went and asked her Boss,and returned a few minutes later to say they'd cancel the debt.Suffice to say,I told them to stick their account where the sun don't shine(losing about £80 through their charges had really annoyed me)and will never bank with NatWest again.I am now back to no bank accounts,credit cards or debit cards but the big advantage to this is no "secret" charges.

  caccy 11:18 18 Jul 2012

The only reason we have a chargeable account is that gives us good World Wide health insurance cover that is cheaper and better for us, when age is taken into consideration, than a stand alone policy.

  lotvic 11:29 18 Jul 2012

caccy, the health insurance, apart from convenience, does it still work out cheaper when you have factored in the monthly charges for the bank account?

  spuds 12:07 18 Jul 2012

I think that perhaps people must realise, that banks do not want to provide 'free banking', and any opening of possible enticements will eventually convince the banks that the customer wants more, possibly as an extra, and for a 'small' fee.

Most of the so called incentives that I get offered, are not even worth considering, and I think the banks soon realise this. Take Barclaycard for instance, at once upon a time (when they wanted customers) they were offering free insurance on items, free legal advice etc. Where are these offers now?.

I was reading a full page advert from the CEO of Barclays the other day, telling the public how concerned the he and the bank was, in respect of the recent Libor issues, and general customer concerns. As a long term customer of Barclays, I would suggest that this person left his ivory tower and visited some of the few branches that are remaining, and then get first hand customer comments regarding the failing services. There's no point in having customer suggestions and comments forms, and the bank doesn't take the slightest notice!.

I don't know how it stands nowadays with M&S, but years ago their financial services were provided by a banking institution located in Chester. I had a very serious customer care problem regarding protection insurance with that banking institution, and stated that I would never use them again, and I haven't.

  Aitchbee 12:25 18 Jul 2012

I don't have a lot of money...I'm skint... but I've heard that CREDIT UNIONS are quite good for people who don't like the big banks for saving and lending money. I don't know much about them or even if they can handle direct debits etc. It might pay to shop around.

  interzone55 12:46 18 Jul 2012


Credit Unions tend to offer simple deposit accounts and short term loans, they're not in the same league as the big banks in terms of services...

  Diemmess 12:47 18 Jul 2012

You live and learn. My first current a/c was with Barclays, because my father used them.

When I lived in a different part of the country, I moved to Lloyds there was no Barclay nearby, and initially with two current a/cs one had the suffix Business a/c.

Near retirement Lloyds cashier suggested that I scrubbed the Business a/c to save a standing charge henceforth to be called "Myname" only to distinguish it from our joint a/c. A good example of how things once were!

So it went on for years until Cheque cards were issued and because I kept a worthwhile sum in the a/c they gave a gold card and some reasonable interest, which has not been there for a few years now.

Now, a message that from the 1/8/12 I will have to pay a fruity standing charge each month, and like others I will have a raft of benefits available, mostly insurance with lots of small print and useless to me.

I have since discovered what most others may know that there is a Classic a/c which is still free(for how long), and without any of the insurance cover. That suits me, though I miss the days when a manager, remember them, would occasionally pop up and spend the time of day with a customer.

  caccy 12:55 18 Jul 2012

Lotvic, Yes it is cheaper, especially at our age. We have friends who have used this policy in "anger" and were very pleased with the result.

  Forum Editor 13:21 18 Jul 2012

The truth is, the days of free banking are numbered.

  Bing.alau 14:14 18 Jul 2012

But they aren't free anyway if the bank is using our money to make big interest elsewhere. They should actually give some of the money gained (notice I didn't say earned) back to the customer for the loan of it. That's my theory anyway.

I have a classic account with Lloyds which I have had since 1950. The interest on it hasn't been worth the proverbial carrot, so they have had a lot of money from me with that account alone. Oh yes at one time, provided I kept the account at a certain credit level, I had free annual travel insurance. They neglected to tell me when I became seventy years old that it was no longer there. I found out just in time by accident. There was also free AA membership but they then discontinued that. So now there are no perks at all in keeping my account at their level. So I keep it to a minimum and check it on line every day. I suppose they could charge me for that.

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