It's official, I can't deny it any more, I like my bank.
There, I've said it. I like HSBC.
I opened my very first 'Livecash' account with £1 when I was eight years old, back in the days when HSBC was Midland - with its shiny gold griffin dragon surrounded by a circle of dots. My mum had banked with them for years and as the branch was only round the corner from my home (it's now a bath showroom in case you're interested), it was easy too.I remember getting a folder to keep all my statements, a few vouchers for CDs, and a moneybox, and from that moment on I pledged my financial loyalty.
But HSBC has been good to me. It gave me free driving lessons when I hit 17. It gave me a student account with a free 4-year railcard and a £1,500 interest-free overdraft, which was a real lifesaver in times of need. When I ventured forth into the world of work and started to get a monthly salary, HSBC picked up on fraud on my account and stopped it immediately. The fraud department gave me a call and stopped all transactions, reimbursing me for the money I'd lost and sending me letters every time a direct debit is set up on my account,just in case.
Whenever I call up I speak to helpful people who know what they're doing, and only this afternoon when I went to pay in a cheque the staff in the branch were happy to help me work their new-fangled paying in machine (it scans cheques and gives you an actual copy on the receipt!) Yes, I love HSBC.
Alot is made about how us Brits don't change our current accounts, despite the measley amount of interest they pay us on our current accounts. Recently the OFT revealed that current accounts are failing consumers. The study discovered that banks make £2.6 billion from insufficient funds charges and £4.1 billion from net credit interest income. In total, it means that current accounts generate more revenue for banks than savings and credit cards combined.
It's no surprise banks use our money to make enormous profits, but if we were happy with our bank and thought of them as an old friend we trusted to look after our money, does it really matter?