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I have banked with the Nat West since July 1986 and have always associated the brand with honesty and integrity. Over the years I have had several accounts, a Private account, a joint current account, first reserve savings account and an ISA account.
When banking went "On-line" I thought the security and the set up of online was excellent, never had an issue in transferring funds from one account to another and more importantly was able to set up all my bills and set up when and how much I would pay. The private account came with a £20 fee per month which also gave several other benefits such as Green flag car cover, travel insurance and mobile phone loss (as long as you register your handset and have proof of the cost.)
Of course not everyone wants to pay for their bank account and the current plus comes with no frills but also no cost and this is a standard checking account that you can have with either person signing cheques and also two ATM cards - (which has come in handy more than once)
The ISA account was Ok but not very competitive in the market place as smaller providers started setting these schemes up and were (and still) able to pay better rates. However again the ISA being on line with all the other accounts is very handy as you can transfer money into the account should you have any spare and still have some of your ISA allowance left.
My first reserve savings account paid very little interest and I solely used it as a means to have a reserve that I could transfer in if required. I believe the interest rates went up after £5,000 or so and again after £100,000 (I should be so lucky)
I have had a small pension with Nat West for 15 years and also contracted out of SERPS many moons ago when it was a good thing to do (Now back in of course) If you don't know what SERPS is you won't need to so I will refrain from a long winded explanation. The pension has steadily built up and not lost anything so all good in this respect. This was very easy to set up and did not involve a great deal of paperwork.
Having 4 separate mortgages with Nat West I have probably tried most of the products that they have to sell. The first was a standard fixed initial term and the variable mortgage which is still on variable at present because this for me is the most sensible product.- AT PRESENT. The good thing I found with this first mortgage was the ability to have it over the years that I wanted to and bringing it down to 14 years considerably chopped a huge amount off from the interest payments.
The second mortgage was fixed for a longer term as was the third, these again suited me at the time as the funds were used to buy other premises as an investment. Nat West were very good in releasing the equity we had in the house and the paperwork was all done over the phone. To be fair this is where the Private Banking comes into its own
The last mortgage was a offset mortgage and this didn't go as well, the bank retained the ability to change the interest rate without the need for the bank of England to put up their rate. This was not a good time between me and the bank and the resolutions were very weak and not long term.
If the branch staff service could be bottled and given to the members of staff in the call centres and on the phones in general then Nat West would be well on their way to winning the "hearts and minds". I have never come across any bad service in a Branch of Nat West in 26 years. This is not an idle boast, even after changing some of my accounts out to another bank the branch staff were very keen to help me and work with me on a charity project that I had going on.
So service needs to be split into Branch Service and Telephone service and the former is second to none. The latter, whether through lack of face to face contact or other reason can be found lacking and I have been offered more than once a £50 compensation as a panacea to cure all my worries. In my experience it is not the money that I am after but a clear cut decision on the events that occurred with at times just a simple "sorry" is enough.
Nat West is a good bank and one that has a fantastic customer facing service that really is at the top of their profession. Sometimes the backroom support is a bit lacking and sometimes more keen to get you off the phone than actually understanding and clearing up an issue that you might have. If you can do your banking on line and everything else in the branch then this is the bank for you.
THE NAT WEST ONE ACCOUNT IS THE BEST THING WE EVER DID YOU CAN PAY MORE OFF YOUR MORTGAGE WHEN YOU LIKE TAKE A BREAK IF YOU NEED AND ALL YOUR SAVINGS ARE OFF SET AGAINST YOUR INTEREST PAYMENTS WE HAVE ONLY HAD IT 3 YEARS BUT REDUCED OUR TERM BY 4 YEARS. IT IS LIKE A BIG EXCEL SPREAD SHEET WHICH YOU CAN CONTROL YOURSELF. WOULD RECOMMEND TO ANYONE.CLANSDELL
I have always rated Natwest Bank as a market leader. I have banked with them for the past 20 years and have never had any complaints. Recently my husband and i decided that we would enquire about changing our existing mortgage to one that would offer us more than our current one. We made an appointment with the mortgage advisor at our local Natwest Bank and was very impressed with the advice we got. The advisor recommended the "Natwest One Account" which is a mortgage that is linked to your savings, similar to the Virgin one. The advisor completed all the paperwork with us and organised a surveyor. We have now had this mortgage for about six months and cannot believe the time we have already reduced our mortage term by. I would recommend this type of mortgage to those that have their salary paid into their bank accounts and that manage not to spend it all in one month! This is because the amount you leave in your account assists in reducing your interest. When the statement comes you can see clearly how much your mortgage has decreased by and it advises you how many years you can reduce your payments by if you continue to pay whatever you are currently paying. It clearly shows you how much you can borrow, if you need to, but to be honest, when you see in black and white how much you are saving you leave your money where it is!
I have had my Natwest Mortgage services since June 1999. I did the usual shopping around at all the major high street banks and a building societies looking for the best rate in the end all the information was giving a headache so I took a holiday. On my return I registered with a number of estate agents in the areas that interested me and spoke to a number of different independent mortgage financial advisers all of whom told me that they could get the best deal. I finally ended up with an independent mortgage adviser. I found a flat fairly soon put in an offer which was accepted and went to see my mortgage adviser equipped with chequebook and the necessary documents. He explained all the different kinds of mortgages and made recommendations that suited my current needs. I opted for a fixed rate. He looked through the new deals that had just come through and Nawest were offering a fixed rate for 5.49% until 30 June 2002. I chose this repaying via an endowment policy as I wanted to know exactly what my monthly repayments would be for at least a couple of years that way I could budget myself as I was first time buyer and still had to furnish my flat. I completed the necessary forms and paid the arrangement fee of £250 and waited for Natwest to send me an offer of mortgage advance. This advance confirms the terms of your new mortgage if successful. I was successful and Natwest sent me a mortgage offer folder this folder contained all the important documents relating to my mortgage. The folder contained: The Mortgage Code Mortgage Offer – a guide to the mortgage offer advance form Mortgage – terms and conditions Mortgage Offer - terms and conditions The current guide to account charges I was sent two copies of the offer of mortgage advance form one for my solicitor and the other and myself. The form is very self-explanatory and explains in detail what was agreed between the mortgage adviser a
nd myself. The form also lists the special conditions relating to the advance. These should be read carefully and if you don’t understand them you should discuss it with your mortgage adviser, as soon as you receive it as Natwest gives you 21 days to accept the offer. The form also gives the option of two dates to pay your repayments the 5th or 22nd of each month. I chose the 5th as I feel it is better to get all-important payments out of the way first so any money left is mine to use for entertainment etc. Natwest Mortgage Service keep you informed with your borrowing by sending you a copy of your annual mortgage statement at the end of each year this shows a breakdown in detail of all the payments that you make and lets you know the remaining term left. I am very satisfied with the service they have provided me so far. Just before my fixed rate ends next year I will shop around to see if I can get another good deal. Incidentally during my yearly review with Lloyds TSB (main bank) I was asked why I didn’t have a C&G mortgage. I told me that when I spoke to someone there I was offered peanuts so went to an independent that got me the best deal and it happened to be Natwest. I was told that it was an extremely good deal and C&G may be able to offer me something similar when my term runs out. I will speak to Natwest mortgage services first as they may have offers which I am not aware of before I make any decisions. One thing my mortgage adviser did tell me was that most high street banks and building societies don’t always get the special deals that can benefit first time buyers. I found this quite disturbing as if I would have gone into any of the banks or building societies I may not have got such a good deal.
The high street banks always appear, on the face of it, to have higher mortgage rates than the building societies, and their former brethren that have switched over. What they actually do is charge more for anyone daft enough to pay, but charge extremely competitive rates if you are willing a harass them every now and then. I was in a fixed rate mortgage at a fairly bad rate. At the time i got the mortgage i had no idea what i was doing, and was sold the mortgage by a financial adviser. If i had been more smart at the time, i could have found a better fixed rate, but there you go. Two years ago i needed to remortgage (i bought out my newly ex girlfriend) and decided to get out of the fixed rate if i could. I read through my terms and discovered that if i moved to Egg i would save more than enough to cover the redemption penalties. So i rang up NatWest to tell them i was going to move. They said they would get someone to call me, and 5 minutes later i was being showered with good offers to make me stay. The upshot was that i got the same rate that Egg would have charged, and also had my redemption penalties reduced by 60%. The deal i got was 1.10% off the normal rate for 2 years. AND with no redemption penalties, so i am free to move my mortgage when a better offer comes along. Six months later Egg were undercutting my new mortgage by 0.1%. Its not much, but every little helps. So i looked at the NatWest site and saw that new borrowers could get 1.25% off the standard rate for 2 years, again without redemption penalties. I psyched myself up and rang NatWest, and was very indignant. How come new borrowers get a better rate than me? Maybe i should go to Egg. I got a call back sharpish, and was given the new deal "as an act of goodwill". They were keen to stress that this was a one-off and is not normally available to existing borrowers. I have done this
routine once more, and am now on 1.5% off the standard rate for 2 years, still with no penalties. Having done some searching around, i cannot find a better deal that does not involve penalties. So there you have it. Keep your mortgage mobile by avoiding redemption penalties, and make sure that NatWest know you will take your mortgage elsewhere unless they match the best rate available. PS - if you arent a dooyoo member, and you found this opinion useful, please register and give me a rating. all my points are being donated to charity. thanks.