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Halifax HBOS Bank Deteriorating Banking Services, Low Savings Interest Rates

Personal_Finance / Credit Crisis 2009 Apr 22, 2009 - 05:48 PM GMT

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Personal_Finance

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleFollowing the UK tax payer funded bailout of HBOS by Lloyds TSB, as anticipated the quality of HBOS banking services continues to deteriorate for example of specific note are the introduced delays in the transfer of funds to bank accounts with other institutions, this appears to be an attempt to force customers to upgrade to the fee based accounts which do appear to offer a more competent transfer process in terms of time.


An example of the delay in acting on online payment requests, on the morning of Thursday 9th of April 09 an attempt to transfer funds resulted in the actual date of the transaction being delayed by the Halifax until Tuesday the 14th of April. Whilst this was in part due to the Easter break, however most banks still normally act on instructions the same day, whereas Halifax typically adds on 1-2 full working days which are in addition to the 3 days normally required for an online BACS payment to reach accounts.

On a comparison test against the Alliance and Leicester - Transferring funds form the Alliance an Leicester to the Halifax via BACS took 2 working days i.e. the funds arrived within 48 hours.

Whereas funds transferred from the Halifax on Tuesday afternoon, did not arrive at the Alliance and Leicester until the Following Tuesday, or 7 days later.

HBOS was once held up as the people friendly bank with a huge branch network, however the collapse of the bank into the arms of LLoyds TSB looks set to push the bank towards the bottom end of the UK banks customer satisfaction league tables and likely to result in a exodus of customers to other banks that offer a better service.

Whilst the Halifax have announced a fast pay facility, however so far in my experience no transaction has been able to benefit from it, rather than introduce or publicise something that is so far not proving practical perhaps the Halifax should have kept the same day online BACS payment service intact, as customers increasingly miss payments due to increased delays in processing payments that now stretches to 5 working days or more which is set against typically a 24 hour processing period on the european mainland, and more efficient UK banks completing transfers within 48 hours, then increasingly the joint TSB / HBOS banks 30 million customer base will soon start to evaporate.

HBOS customers need to perform an urgent inventory of their savings accounts as the bank has slashed rates right across its range, for instance the banks once highly regarded web saver account that used to pay one of the most competitive rates for an online instant access has now fallen to a pittance rate of just 0.1%.

A Summery of current rates for Halifax instant access accounts without penalties for withdrawals -

Halifax Web Saver - Without Cash card - 0.10% gross

Halifax Web Saver - With cash card - 0.25% gross

For many years the rule had been that the account WITHOUT the card would PAY more interest, clearly HBOS are now targeting those that have left money with the Halifax sitting in web saver accounts.

Halifax ISA Saver - 0.10%

Halifax ISA Saver DIrect - 0.50%

Halifax Premium Savings Direct - 0.11%

Halifax Instant Saver - 0.10%

Halifax Saver Reward - 0.10%

The Competition

Whilst rates on Halifax instant access accounts have been slashed to a mere pittance, this is set against the competition which offers the following instant access accounts without penalties or special conditions.

Yorkshire Building Society 2.1%

Northern Rock Esaver 2%

Natwest 1.1%

RBS 1%

Therefore typically savers can get between X10 to X21 more by moving their cash then keeping their savings in a number of HBOS instant access savings accounts. For example saving £50,000 with the York's Building Society would yield interest of £1,050 after 12 months at 2.1%. However the same amount in an Halifax Online Web saver (without card) would yield just £50!

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By Nadeem Walayat
http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

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Nadeem Walayat has over 20 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis specialises on the housing market and interest rates. Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication. We present in-depth analysis from over 250 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets. Thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

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