Monday, May 18, 2020

Why doesn't loyalty seem to pay with Nationwide savings? | The Guardian

I have a Nationwide Loyalty Saver account which contains my savings and which I normally operate with a passbook via my local branch. My current account is with the Co-operative Bank and when I need to top it up I withdraw money from the Nationwide account and take a cheque to the Co-op. To do that, I would have to go to a branch, then get on a tube – both of which are discouraged now. In normal times I could pay the cheque into my Co-op account through a post office, but my nearest one is closed.

There is no customer service number on Nationwide’s website, and questions via “live chat” generate non-specific automatic replies. I was able to find a number for my local branch, and was told that if I registered for internet banking I could transfer funds online to my current account.

I registered for internet banking but I was not able to use my account online. The branch put me through to a call centre which confirmed my account wasn’t one of those Nationwide had decided to allow to be used online. I was then cut off.

I am nearly out of funds in my current account. Surely building societies and banks should be doing all they can to minimise the need for customers to use public transport and interact face-to-face by opening up accounts such as mine so they can be used online?

GW, London E17

We agree it would be helpful but only provided that can be done without compromising security. We have had many letters on this issue.

Nationwide says most of its branch-based accounts can be managed online. It says: “While the majority of our branches remain open for those who really need to come in, we have also set up a dedicated phone line to support members who would normally manage their finances in branch but cannot visit.”

While the savings account you hold doesn’t allow external transfers, Nationwide suggests you open an Instant Access Saver by phone and transfer money from that to your nominated current account. It adds: “We apologise that GW wasn’t made aware of all the options when he initially contacted us.”

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