At the Sign of The Prancing Pony

Posted by @ 11:17 pm on Thursday 14th January, 2010.

I went into Lloyds Bank today to close my 34ish-year old account, considering it to be no longer needed as for the last few years I've entrusted my spondulix to a building society with better rates, more flexible conditions and excellent customer service.

I'd just about forgiven the bank for their refusal to give me a the benefits of a student account way back in the 80s (which meant that I had NO overdraft facility at all, unlike my peers), but I never did figure how they worked out their overdraft allowances. While I was earning a good salary I was allowed a maximum of £300 overdraft, but when I was made redundant back in 2002 and had no income whatsoever they immediately offered to increase my overdraft facility to £4k! WTF???

Anyway, of late their service had slipped too far behind that of other similar services, and I'd had enough.

The customer-care woman didn't try to talk me out of the closure, which was a relief. After the standard ID process was over, she worked out the interest and told me the final balance of my account. Then she told me to use my Visa card to withdraw the cash from the cashier. Now I didn't want to carry several hundred quid around in my pockets, so I asked for the balance to be transferred to my building society account. It could be done, I was told, but it would have to be a CHAPS payment and I'd have to pay £30 for it. I could have a bank-cheque, but that would cost too. Yes, I'd have to pay to move my own money. I declined.

Having not used the account for several years, I couldn't remember the bank Visa card PIN number anyway. The only way forward was for me to produce extra ID and use the old-fashioned bank-slip method to get the money from the cashier. I produced my passport and the process continued as the woman went off to the tills, signed bank-slip in hand.

Five minutes later she reappeared with a wad of notes and some small change, declaring it to be the full closure balance of my account. Without even counting it out for me, she stuffed it all into a plain white letter envelope which was obviously a used reject as it was tatty and wouldn't seal. It had to be double-folded to stop the cash from falling out. This shoddy package, and a receipt, was given to me and the deal was done, or so she thought. I made a point of opening the package and counting out the contents for myself, it took seconds and should have been done by her, but what the hell, I was almost free!

As I turned to leave, she asked me why I didn't want to continue banking with them.

Hmm...

Crap customer service?

Poor treatment in the past?

Or the fact that the total interest earned amounted to less than one penny for each year the account had been open?

All three, obviously.

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One Response to “At the Sign of The Prancing Pony”

  1. Just before Christmas I did exactly the same thing with my bank account.
    Similar circumstances- held for 41 years- poor interest in more ways than one and customer service in terminal decline.

    Still we have learnt a lot about banks over the past couple of years.........!!

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