A recap – having been a happy customer with National Girobank for most of my working life, when it got privatised and sold to Alliance & Leicester, I considered changing to another bank. However A&L didn’t actually change much about the account, and served it well, so I stayed.
In 2010, A&L were bought by Santander, and things quickly went downhill. They unilaterally discarded the long standing automatic, charge-free, overdraft I had of up to half my salary (which admittedly I hadn’t used in a long time, but was convenient to know I had). They completely screwed up my monthly money transfer into my savings, resulting in the whole balance of my chequing acount being transferred one month. Then they took their merry time about clearing the proceeds of the sale of mum’s house, even though I knew from the other party (my brother) that his bank had cleared it a week ago.
So I moved. I opened an account with the Coop, just before I went to California, in March, and got my salary paid into that. Once I was back, I authorised the Coop to transfer my direct debits across, and instruct Santander to close the account and transfer the remaining balance (at the time, 4K plus change).
Except the account closure and transfer didn’t happen. I assumed the hold up was the transfer of direct debits, and waiting for the various organisations to confirm the new instructions. But when I spoke to the Coop, they told me they had requested the transfer no less than 4 times. Each time they chased it, Santander claimed to have no record of the previous request.
So I went online, and found my Santander account was still operating. I did a manual transfer of the 4K, leaving about 20 quid in the account. Within 3 days, and with no more prompting from the Coop, the account was closed and the remaining balance transferred. I guess there was no longer an incentive to hold onto my money.
But that is not the end of the story. Today, several weeks after the account was closed, and a month and a half since the first request to close it, I check my post, and find that Santander has sent me a new Debit card, for the closed account.
As I say, completely rubbish.