Friday, March 11, 2011

Natwest, Security in Question? Or do you just hate your clients?

In the past I have ranted about some banking issues. This one is just so bad, if any UK bank wants to get our money, please let me know.

Suffice it to say we do not have 100,000 pounds there else we would have "Private banking" which would let us do everything over the phone. Whether we have 1,000, 5,000 or 50,000 pounds there, it is still our money and we should be able to get to it, when we want to or need to, without a delay. I was surprised they didn't ask for us to send it via coded messenger or carrier pigeon.

Never mind us, what about all the UK customers who have retired to non-UK countries? Does this make any sense to them? As people live longer and travel more and do more, I guess we also need to work with more advanced and modern banks that have security, that they trust, and can allow for worldwide access to funds.

Maybe this is a new law enacted by the UK I thought. No, I was told this is a Natwest "guideline". Right, so the UK has no such limitation on transferring money outside of the UK that it must be in writing via the Royal Mail.

Any UK banking people reading this have a modern and future outlook on the world, please get in touch with me so we can move our accounts.

The letter below is what I sent Natwest via their online feedback page, which after going about 5 clicks deep and them saying if it is about my account I can only call them or go to a branch, I finally was able to submit it.

As an owner of a UK account residing in the US and traveling frequently, I find it appalling that when I need to get access to my money, I have to send you in writing, not fax, not via secure email, not via your own secure website, but in writing, a letter requesting MY MONEY to be transferred to MY account wherever that is, outside of the UK.
This process can take over a month depending on IF you receive my letter at all in the mail and IF everything is correctly handled.
You have no documents available online for me to download to fill out from your own secure website so hopefully I will not need to fill any out, thus postponing again MY MONEY.
The person I spoke to on the phone gave me some story about faxes being intercepted...because regular paper mail never got lost, burnt, stolen, fell overboard or just never arrived?
This is the 21st century and you are acting like feudal lords with MY MONEY which is loaned TO YOU, not to be held in a ransom like state.
As the population ages and lives longer and moves out of the UK many people will be relying on an easier way to receive their money around the world.
When will Natwest come to the modern day?
You provided me with a calculator like security method to access your website, surely that is secure enough for me to make my transfer? Surely that is secure enough for me to download a document?
If not, then what have you been paying for all this security?
Does the front side of the bank ever talk to the back office?
Did any of you ever need money when you were traveling and had "guidelines" that prevent YOUR MONEY from being distributed to you?
This message will be posted to a number of places online and I do request an answer. I understand you may not be able to resolve my situation at this time.
However, I would like to know how you will resolve this for the future, not just for me, but for ALL of your customers.

Thank You.


  1. My wife and I use Royal Bank of Scotland for our UK money, and we can transfer funds to the US based on instructions given via phone. There is one caveat - the branch is in Jersey (UK Channel Islands) and I believe that may have something to do with it.
    If you want more info, email me.

  2. Hi Keith, I found your post after googling for solutions to this problem. I have been exasperated by exactly this issue for many years. They usually lose the form that you send, which is why I have to spend $50 to Fedex the form with "signature required" delivery. Most recently, you can't even speak with someone at the branch you send the form to, so even thought I have proof of delivery, it doesn't do me any good.

    All is not lost though - I have found a great solution to this problem: Everything is done online, including setup. Including ID verification the whole process took less than one hour to set up an account. What's more, it's significantly less expensive than using the bank to transfer the money. And, guess what - the whole process of transferring funds can be done in 24 hours.

    Just thought you might be interested...


  3. Natwest are the most obtuse, complicated bank I have ever dealt with. Their guidelines, security practices and workforce display a complete lack of common sense. I find it incredibly difficult to deal with them and I LIVE IN THE UK!
    The frustration they cause when I want to make a simple transfer is unreal. I have only been with them for 3 months and they have already managed to leave me crying with frustration on several occassions, including our Honeymoon!

  4. Elizabeth this was exactly the scenario I painted for NatWest, they don't care. Their 1800's banking guidelines makes one wonder they survived this long.