We opening a free bank account with Abbey but when it was taken over were told we’d be moved to a fixed-monthly one
Some years ago we opened a business bank account with Abbey, which promised free banking forever (subject to relevant changes in the law, regulation or the imposition of any tax in connection with bank charges).
In August 2012 Santander wrote to inform us we would be transferred to its “award winning £7.50 fixed monthly fee account”.
We do not consider that this offers us any advantages over our present “free banking forever” tariff. However, Santander has not replied to, or even acknowledged, my letters on the matter. Having taken over Abbey, Santander should surely accept both its assets and liabilities. Perhaps Abbey made a rash promise, but Santander should still be bound by that promise. How can I hold Santander to this? JW, Monmouth
When Santander took over Abbey and A&L in 2004 and 2008 respectively, it decided to ditch their free business bank accounts. It took them off the market in October 2011 and replaced them with a range of paid-for accounts, with monthly fees ranging from £7.50 to £40. These don’t seem to offer significantly better benefits than the free accounts. For example, businesses get unlimited cash withdrawals where these were limited on the free account, a marginally better overdraft rate and, so says Santander, “greater access to business managers” in its branches. It is not clear what access free account holders have.
Santander was transferring all its business customers to these new accounts, but has since had a change of heart. It says “after listening to feedback from our existing customers” those who want to can stay on the free accounts. You should have now received a letter confirming this about-turn, which will effectively save you £90 a year.
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Santander has staged an about-turn and will no longer withdraw its “free banking forever” account from 230,000 small business customers.
See the rest here: Santander U-turn on free accounts