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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    8,713

    Default I have to confess

    that I don't do that many transfers from my Egg account.

    I've got the internet only one and, providing you set it up in advance, it seems no more difficult than the other on-line banks.

    I think, on balance, that LloydsTSB, have the "best" on-line banking site.
    It's certainly the most secure and the engine works at a fair speed. The trouble is that Lloyds is about the most expensive of the UK clearers, but its all-in monthly charge is just about worth it for the travel and other insurances they bundle with it. Their credit card is bad value for money.

    Barclays are trying quite hard, in no way as sophisticated on-line as LloydsTSB, but fairly good. However we've got to be aware that they're definitely in the sights of one or two private equity players and are the most likely, now that Abbey have been swallowed by Santander, of the clearing banks to be swallowed.
    NatWest are trailing by leagues, it's probably the most backward of the UK clearers, certainly it is of those I've had 1st hand knowledge, tho' their Coutts subsidiary does offer an old-fashioned personal banking service which no-one else matches - but you've got to have a nett worth of well over £1000K before they'll look at you.
    Nationwide have a "steam-age" internet system albeit the front-end looks quite up-to-date, security is about average, the engine has lots of hiccups but in terms of value for money it beats all the rest into a cocked hat. But what would you expect of a mutual? after all the depositors are the owners and no greedy shareholders or pension fund managers are trying to screw the last drop of divi out of them. I've always had a soft spot for that endangered species the mutual.

    It's quite enlighteneing to talk to senior bankers - at least most of them are still chartered, unlike the present wave who are just derivitive salespeople.

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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    8,713

    Default Societé Generale

    Ah!

    Q1 Do you use their associate banks' billeterie?

    Q2 Are you one of their tariff accounts - and have you amortised over your withdrawals the charges?

    Certainly if I used one of the Credit Agricole associates in Spain and N Italy there was no charge but those were few and far between.

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  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: I have to confess

    Hi Charles

    "just about worth it for the travel and other insurances they bundle with it"

    I have my online banking with LloydsTsb for the insurance. I expect to bin it when I go liveaboard since I wont need AA and I doubt if they will allow their travel insurance to remain valid for long term holidays abroad. Unless you know different.

    Cheers

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  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Cash while cruising?

    Had have good experience using Nationwide. We have used the flexaccount debit card for payment and withdrawing cash in France, Italy and Spain with no problems and no charges. The internet banking is good if you can guarantee internet access. We found internet cafes hard to find in some places and often expensive which could cause problems if you need to do urgent transactions. Good for checking balances etc though.

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  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Cash while cruising?

    I have of course the advantage that my accounts are in the euro-zone. I don't know what a transfer from greatbritain to the euro-zone cost, but feel the best solution would be to transfer once a month or possibly once every two or three month money from a pounds-account to a euro-account and use this last account to get money with a debit-card from cash-machines. As I said before, my dutch bank does not charge me anything to get money from a cash-machine in any country of the euro-zone, independent of the bank that owns the machine. Spain has a number of different chains and I can use all of them without paying charges, this in contrast to my spanish debit-card, which does charge me as soon as I use it outside their chain.
    When I use a credit-card, independent which one, I have to pay charges to get money from a cash-machine as well as having to remember the different PIN-codes. Using my credit-cards in shops, restaurants etc is charge-free.

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  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    8,713

    Default LloydsTSB Platinum ac

    My circumstances are slightly different as my mechanically challenged wife stays on in the UK for much of the time I'm on the boat, so AA SureStart is even more valuable than if it were me.

    I have however claimed twice on the travel insurance and "Providing you're travelling from one domicile to another" it's valid. Just make sure your travelling isn't in excess of 1 month in any 12.

    They now throw in mobile telephone cover including PAYG on a UK provider.

    They also hold for safekeeping and administer all my share portfolio, which covers about 40 companies for free and provide a cheap execute-only broking service.

    Last and not least, they're prepared to give me a median 5 figure facility (which wouldn't normally b e supported by current retired income) with no arrangement fee.

    However I'm sure you'd be able to fix far more comprehensive travel cover than Lloyds offer for £18/month.

    What I like most about them is the effectiveness of their internet banking site, it's extremely secure, seldom down or over-subscribed and works quickly - which is more than you can say for any of the other sites (including Egg which is frequentl blocked off)



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  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    8,713

    Default Good for the Netherlands

    I can assure you that they're the only banks within the €zone who make no charge - however the charge is levied by the cashpoint owner and passed on to you by the card issuer.

    All this is supposed to change by the end of 2005, the deadline given the banks by Mario Monti when he was in charge of Community Competition policy - so there is light at the end of the tunnel (even if it is s disguised train ccoming btowards you).

    I say that because I have an idea of the contribution to profits made by currency transfers for banks and they're not going to give that up in any hurry. Expect some other weasel charge, currently it's on bid/offer spread, which historically used to be 2% and is now nearer 2.5%.

    The Uk clearing banks did try and take Visa(bank America) to court over the unreasonableness of their charge - I haven't heard the outcome and I suspect they managed to win a greater share of the rake-off and us poor consumers are still footing the bill.

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  8. #28
    cliffb is offline Registered User
    Location : SW Scotland
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Good for the Netherlands

    Charles,...or anyone...
    What's the situation if one has a Euro account with a UK bank? Would drawing cash at an ATM in the euro zone attract charges? Presumably the bid/offer business doesn't apply.


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  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    8,713

    Default Re: Good for the Netherlands

    Usually they charge you for converting into €, but if, for example you're doing work for the Commission you can specify they pay into a UK bank account denominated in €, though if it's work done in an aid country you get paid in that country.

    Having said that working for the Commission is very trying on one's patience and cash-flow. Everything has to go through 3 levels of signatories which, outside holiday periods, takes 6-8 weeks. You then have to wait 90 days for the cash.

    Worst of all is trying to get EC money out through Egypt, that used to take 6 months from when you submitted the invoice.

    The charge for using an ATMS is made by the bank who owns the ATMS, not your bank. This does vary from bank to bank and country to country, but this is due to be phased out next year when the deadline given €area banks bu Monti runs out.

    I suspect that UK banks will still be charged because UK is outside the €area.

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  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,876

    Default Re: To clarify

    Charles you are right of course. The Credit Card companies and banks make a profit when we use them to withdraw cash in foreign countries. But think back to the crazy days of travellers cheques - everybody made a profit - and how inexpensive &amp; convienient it all is now. Living in France with my income from the UK I now have to run a euro account to move funds between countries... and they charge me for that at the French end. For large sums it is cheaper than the cc rates but not vastly.
    I have found no country in the world where I could not use my cc's and as I posted before I have the full amount debited each month automatically so I pay no interest at all and they are slightly cheaper than debit cards. Long term cruising would be agony without plastic.......... as it were...
    Gentle Sailing Route to the Med
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