Rip-off NI: Banking cartel costing us millions…

THE four big banks in NI – the Bank of Ireland, First Trust, Northern Bank and Ulster Bank – are ripping its customers off, according to consumer watchdog Which? In some instances we are being charged 21 times what a GB customer is charged. Time to switch banks…

Phil Evans, principal policy adviser for Which?, said: “Bank customers in Northern Ireland are being ripped off.

“The big four in Northern Ireland are all offering similarly inferior products, leaving their customers with little choice, indeed a choice between who will rip them off the least.”

  • jackduckworth

    About time too. They charge for everything: writing a cheque, taking money out, even closing your account.

    As someone who has avoided them for years they still manager to annoy the hell out of me – by printing their own money.

    Just because they can.

    They’re nothing worse than landing in some airport in England and realising that all you have on you is some poxy Northern Bank money. Even though people usually take it (and no they dont have to) why are they allowed to design their own money just so as I can be looked up and down by some surly English landlord before he grudgingly gives me a pint of warm beer.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Northern Ireland is a farce in every detail.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • willowfield

    I like the NI notes. Distinctive.

  • Davros

    I like the NI notes.

    So do Sinn Féin 😉

    That’s why they are mad keen to get the assembly up and running !

    (sorry, couldn’t resist!}

  • willowfield

    Don’t understand that. Is that because they’re easier to forge?

  • Davros

    It’s a jibe at them taking the Queen’s shilling in Stormont .

  • willowfield

    The supposed ease of counterfeiting probably comes in handy for them, too.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    We were the first to have plastic notes in the UK… wonder why?!

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Does anyone know why we have no many different variations on the same monetary denominations? What were/are the reasons for this most unusual state of affairs?

    I know the Scots have the Bank of Scotland notes as well as the Bank of England, but apart from that, are we unique in having all different notes?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    That of course should have read: “does anyone know why we have SO many different variations..”

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Last year I was clearing out some stuff and found a cheque for about a tenner that I had forgotten to cash.

    So I took it to First Trust – who I’ve been with since the age of six or seven – and asked them if they would put it into my account. The cashier checked it and did so.

    Not long afterwards, a letter arrived to tell me that the cheque was older than than they accepted (can’t remember – maybe 3 months?) and they had removed the money from my account.

    …and charged me MORE than the bleedin’ cheque was worth for the privilege!

    All this, despite the cashier checking it at the counter.

    A minor matter, but I get easily annoyed about these things…

    I will be reading THIS later: http://www.switchwithwhich.co.uk/

  • Davros

    a cheque for about a tenner that I had forgotten to cash.

    If nothing else, we now know you are not a Ballymena man 😉

  • smcgiff

    In the ROI a cheque is stale after 6 months.

    ‘If nothing else, we now know you are not a Ballymena man ;)’

    Not sure – A tenner? Was this not from his communion money stash? 🙂

  • willowfield

    I know the Scots have the Bank of Scotland notes as well as the Bank of England, but apart from that, are we unique in having all different notes?

    Scotland also has RBS and Clydesdale notes.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    If nothing else, we now know you are not a Ballymena man 😉

    Heh! No comment.

    …hi.

  • Davros

    smcgiff- never give a ballymena man a cheque on a week-end. He’ll worry about it until Monday Morning 😉

  • Henry94

    Davros

    Bring on the euro. We need a single currency on the island.

  • Davros

    With you on that one Henry. Problem – the notes are all the same, imagine the rows over the NI coinage 😉

    I would, if we were allowed our own, go for an Eel motif. In fact, the Euro should be renamed “the Eel”.

    But then I’m biased. I live beside Ireland’s best river, the Bann. Which side ? That would be telling!

  • willowfield

    Henry94

    You don’t support Provo policy on the euro, then – support it in NI, but oppose it in the South?

  • Fraggle

    Ireland’s best named river is the Suir. For those who don’t know, guess how it’s pronounced.

    btw, what is the Bann best at/for?

  • Davros

    “what is the Bann best at/for?”

    Eels!

    Don’t disillusion me about the Suir – I grew up with Bridie Gallagher singing the Rose of Mooncoin.

    How sweet ’tis to roam by the sunny Suir stream,
    And hear the dove coo ‘neath the morning sunbeam,
    Where the thrush and the robin their sweet notes entwine,
    On the banks of the Suir that flows down by Mooncoin.

  • Alan

    We clearly need some regulation here, even if it does interfere with the retirement plans of senior bureaucrats.

  • smcgiff

    Don’t know about Northern Bank, but the other three are just off-shoots of banks with their main business in the ROI.

    We certainly can’t crow here. The banks are creaming it. They make the most money per customer in Europe, and as far as I recall from the article, by a mile!

    How come Barclays, Natwest, etc don’t open a branch Network in NI?

    Can those in NI of the orange flavour open a bank account in GB and telebank?

  • smcgiff

    ‘Can those in NI of the orange flavour open a bank account in GB and telebank?’

    Or internet bank with Natwest for example.

  • Belfast Dissenter

    Recently the First Trust Bank helped itself to £45.00 for quarterly charges from a small business account I am partly responsible for. This was a few days before a significant regular electronic transfer was due. However, it was enough to put this account into the red so that they bounced two cheques,without contacting me beforehand, and causing me some embarrassment. To add insult to injury they charged £37 for bouncing the cheques. In addition, I had to pay an extra fee to the poor folk whose cheques were bounced.

    In addition, this bank recently closed down several branches and forced everyone to use the Royal Avenue branch ‘for a much better service’. All I can say is, they must be joking. There is rarely more than two clerks on the counter and the queue invariably runs out the door at all times of the day. Don’t even think of trying to pop in between 1:00 and 2:00pm.
    Great customer service or what?

  • smcgiff

    ‘Great customer service or what?’

    Your local bank branch is an endangered species.

    Banks don’t want punters soiling their plush carpets and sharing their climate controlled air, but instead, to use phone and internet banking.

    To be honest, it’s been over 12 years since I’ve entered a bank (My then girlfriend (bank official) even forged my signature to open the account in the first place – ah the perks!) for personal business, (except for mortgage purposes) and even that has entailed just two visits in 6 years.

    I have on occasion visited banks on behalf of business. But even those inconsiderate enough to use cheques in this age, just have their cheques posted to the bank for lodgement.