Barclays – Don’t Want Me To Go!

Ray Stewart Business, General 2 Comments

It is nearly two months now since I opened a new business bank account with HSBC and wrote to Barclays to close the account and transfer the direct debits etc.  Well, after hearing nothing at all from them until last Friday, 5th June) the letter I received made me really angry.  They were writing to charge me £35 because they couldn’t transfer the weekly amount into my wife’s account (because she had shut it the previous weekend – and her experience in doing that is another whole post in itself).

[private_basic]I saw red.  I rang the number on the letter and eventually got through to some nice young lady who explained they have no record of the notice from me, or the notice from HSBC that I had signed, or of any request to close the account blah, blah, blah.  Anyway, she promised she would escalate my complaint and someone from higher up would ring me within 24 hours.

I have just received that telephone call and there is still no record of me wanting to leave and the chap who called, nice though he was, had to ask me what my complaint against the bank was about.

Having explained it all again, he has promised to look into it and ring me back with a plan to close the account.

I honestly thought they would be happy to see me leave but it seems I was wrong.  They are so keen for me not to leave they are adopting the proven and tested ostrich approach to banking –  burying their head in the sand hoping I’ll change my mind.

It’s a shame they cannot get their act together – but this really demonstrates why I decided to leave after all those years anyway.  Not one person knows what any of the others are doing or have promised to do.

I thought when I made the decision to move banks that it would be a stressful affair but I didn’t realize just what was involved and how determined I would have to be to see it through to the bitter end.

In case you are wondering, HSBC is brilliant.  When Dell messed up the new direct debits I set up, one quick phone call saw the money repaid the next day.  There is a machine in our local branch that automatically takes cheques and paying in slips, credits the account and gives a printout of the cheque paid in and the slip for my records – no waiting.  The business manager can actually do things locally (see above about the Dell direct debits – that was him).  The chip and pin machine is flawless and cheap to use, and arrived just a few days after the paperwork was completed.

I don’t know how Barclays are when you open an account these days but they will have a long way to go to better the service I am getting at HSBC – and did I mention the 18 months free banking!!

The moral – if you decide to move your bank account, for whatever reason, don’t give up in the middle if your old bank mess about (or totally ignore your requests) – see it through to the end.  It really is worthwile.  Honest.


Ray Stewart
I am a qualified Certified Practising Accountant having passed my final exams way back in 1981. I actually can’t believe that was 37 years ago!! Anyway, I am now in my 60’s and I have been running my own business since May 1983. And before you ask, no, I have never regretted a moment of it! Part of the membership requirements of my professional body now dictate that I spend quite a lot of time on “CPD” - continuing professional education (one of their better ideas) - and over the last two years I decided to study business growth and marketing. I have learnt such a lot and that knowledge has radically changed my old “accountants” approach to business. It has made such a difference to the way I work and operate I feel that I just have to pass on this knowledge. It is simply too powerful to hold back!! - but I will try and do it in simple terms rather than expecting you to spend hours, as I had to, working through the difficult language that trainers seem to use to pass on their concepts. I hope you find the blog a useful resource and interesting place to visit as the months pass. I will do my best to keep up the flow - but if there are any topics you would like me to cover, then please let me know. Ray Stewart
Ray Stewart
Ray Stewart

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Comments 2

  1. Banks are like mobile service providers… pretty much necessary but have to be lucky for it to go smoothly.

    More than 2 years on with HSBC and also have had mostly good experiences, just one small issue maybe a year ago and sorted out with a call to the right person.

    Unfortunately now we have spent nearly 3 months experiencing incredibly poor and frustrating service from HSBC regarding a bank charge which is obvious to us, an error.

    HSBC has been unable to provide adequate details of the charge, apart from saying it’s not their charge. They also haven’t been responding when they say they will, and when they do it’s with answers to a question that was never asked.

    Do I think this shows HSBC to provide a poor service?

    No worse than what we’d probably see anywhere else.

    Would we change banks?

    Something to consider but I wouldn’t expect a much better service elsewhere once they’ve had time to make mistakes.

  2. Post

    I agree I am looking through rose tinted glasses at the moment, but after 15 years or so with Barclays, after being subjected to endless charges, needless hassles and having the account moved around the country at the bank’s whim – an arguement about just 1 charge would have been a dream for me and no excuse to change the account – But, as it is…!

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