Still, the Royal Bank are a load of crap. I have heard (from Bill amongst others) that their personal banking—especially in the last two years—has become very good (although I have not found it to be particularly special). Unfortunately, their business banking leaves an awful lot to be desired. Just for clarifiation, I bank at the Edinburgh West End branch and, admittedly, my problems may stem from the unbelievable incompetence of the staff that they hire.
My dealings with the Royal Bank have been pretty poor; I was advised to go with them when I started the business, and that has been a mistake.
- Firstly, I also switched my personal account to them at that time. I asked if, should I do this, they would match Barclays' £350 overdraft limit. They assured me that they would. Naturally, this was a lie, and they had given me an overdraft limit of only £100. The first that I knew about this was when I tried to take some money out, and couldn't. Because, equally naturally, no one had bothered to tell me that they hadn't matched the overdraft, and had thus effectively deprived me of £250 which I simply couldn't afford to lose.
- That was when the letter from Barclays, demanding that I pay off the £350 overdraft with them, came in. I thought that the RBS would close that account. Alas not. Still, my bad, I'm sure.
- All this meant that there were problems with bills being paid, me going over the overdraft limit, and these led to my first application for an overdraft for the company being turned down.
- I have been through three (or, assuming that they have got around to appointing a new one, four) business managers. The first I never met, despite assurances that he would have a meeting with me, rather than one of his lackeys. This same lackey then became the business manager.
- Eventually, he got an overdraft in place, and emailed me to tell me it was on the account. I went to the nearest branch to get some money out and, hey, guess what? The overdraft wasn't in place, and that branch had to 'phone him. When I pointed out that he was a bit of an idiot, the teller, with a rueful smile, agreed that he was.
- When a bill, for which I didn't have enough money, was to go out of my account, the bank moved, without my authorisation, £250 from the business account to my personal. The auditors will have fun with that!
- There were supposed to be no charges on the account for the first six months; they put charges on. I rang the business manager in a rage, and he refunded the charges, and then extended the charge-free limit until September. Or he said he had. Needless to say, the next bank statement had charges on, and I had to ring him again.
- I communicated with the business manager mainly by email. Having emailed him several times and received no reply, I finally 'phoned the branch. He had left, and they hadn't told me, or even bothered to keep a watch on his email address.
- Now on the third business manager, who I went to see shortly before Christmas. I wanted to try to extent the overdraft, and get some information on the Small Firms Business Loan Guarantee. I had a good meeting with her, and stressed the urgency of the overdraft request. I also offered to provide any materials that they might need in order to get it in place. She promised to phone me before Christmas. I sent a couple of emails asking whether there was any progress; answer came there none. On the 25th of January, here I am, still waiting.
- So, I 'phoned the branch last Thursday: she wasn't available, but would call me on Friday. I 'phoned again on Friday; she wasn't available, but she would 'phone me on Monday. When I pointed out that she had failed to call back previously, the person that I spoke to stressed that I would definitely get a call on Monday. Here we are at the end of Wednesday, and still no call.
- After applying twice for internet banking (it has to be a hard copy for limited companies), firstly last November 2004 and again last March, I still haven't got it. Apparently, even the business manager cannot call the internet banking people, they can only email. I need to apply again (which means tracking down the company secretary again).
- Apparently, cheques paid into the business account (even from other RBS accounts) can take six—yes, that's six—working days to clear (as I found to my cost—about £35 worth of cost—at one point).
These are the gripes that I can think of, simply off the top of my head. There is a whole litany of other minor annoyances and irritations, but the above are the substantial points. So, as soon as this company's running nicely again, and I get some time to sort it out, I am going, very politely, to suggest that RBS shove their crap business up their collective arsehole. In the short term, however, I shall ring them in a blistering rage tomorrow. If the relevent person does not get back to me within half an hour, I shall stride down there in a towering strop and hang about looking menacing until they find the person I need to speak to.
In the comments, Adelante points out:
That'll be the private sector wealth creators for you then. Cunts eh?
Quite so. And, if private sector companies are shit, what do we do? That's right: we withdraw our business from them. And, in this case, we also do everyone else a favour and, quite seriously, recommend that no one else use that business's services.
What we say, in fact, is do not use the Royal Bank of Scotland, because the Royal Bank of Scotland is shit.
* Changed on advice from the P-G.