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Cornish Emigrant

Who to Bank with in 2019

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I'm not sure if this has been asked previously (can't see it on a search) but in this day and age of disappearing high street bank branches and 'unfriendly' GDPR and money laundering obsessed banking staff what is the consensus on where to hold Lodge bank accounts nowadays. I ask as Treasurer of 2 Craft, 1 Mark and 1 (elect) Chapter Lodge. The latter currently banks with HSBC and the current Treasurer is handing over primarily because of their failure to treat him as a valued customer.  

My mother lodge is with Nationwide, HSBS and Lloyds. Nationwide no longer offer 'community' accounts. 

My 2nd Craft and Mark lodges are with Nat West and I find them very helpful.

 

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Changing banks is always a nightmare. Our current Treasurer recently changed our lodge accounts to Metro Bank, which conveniently has its head office branch near Freemasons' Hall. It seems to be OK now but he had to go through a lot of hoops and hassles.

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Bank staff can go to prison if they don't follow AML [money laundering] processes - hardly surprising they're 'obsessed' about getting it right

 

 

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HSBC are a real pain and seem to have forgotten customer service. Barclays do Community Accounts - recommended in the Sunday Times today as it happens. All banks have to go through the same procedures though sometimes they can be awkward - for one where I am a signatory we have been told we need to get a death certificate before a former signatory can be removed!

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Thank you for the answers - particularly @Lew_Finns. This mirrors my experience with HSBC - they seem to go that extra mile when it comes to being beyond difficult. Most infuriating is their inability to acknowledge or respond so it ends up with the customer having to ask again. I simply want to be added first as a signatory then be annotated as Primary user for my Chapter but as the Secretary etc have strange titles it seems to throw them completely. 

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My ongoing frustration with the relationship between Freemasonry and banking continues. I have been elected as treasurer of my Chapter. Trying to take over the HSBC held account is proving to be a complete nightmare. I was initially given a set of forms in June to complete, I did so but because I moved house in July by the time I got them all signed off and ready for submission I carefully blanked out my old address with cut out strips showing my new address in the boxes provided. Our Scribe E. dropped the forms off at the branch where the account is held. Speedily we received a letter telling us they had been rejected because the address for me had been altered on the virgin form. Also, any changes had to be completed online by then. 
The outgoing treasurer duly spent an age both online and on the phone going through the necessary forms which were then duly completed and sent in by mail. This was rejected as well because the forms had not been ‘signed in accordance with our signing rules. 
We currently only have the two signatories the outgoing treasurer and one of our more senior members who has held just about every post in Chapter that ever existed. 

This batting contest continued with several attempts to tick all the boxes. Yesterday having completed yet another set of mandates I had an appointment in HSBC Bath with a Business Banking Manager (there is no longer one in the local towns where the account is held or the one to which I have now moved). The young lady went through the mandate that was trying to get me listed as a signatory but speedily concluded that the problem lay with the fact there is no record of who the current Secretary is (Scribe E) nor is the Scribe E listed as a signatory. Neither of the two current signatories is designates as Secretary. Therefore, it seems we are at a total impasse as the jobsworth form must be signed off by the current secretary who must also be listed as a signatory. I have now again written to their customer relations department seeking their advice on how we might resolve this seemingly impossible conundrum.   

I have explored the options to 'switch' the bank account to another bank but because I'm not a signatory I can't start that process. Meanwhile, the active year is upon us and subs are trickling in. 

Has anyone experience and a recommendation toward how we might get around this silly issue, please?

There must, surely be a banking institution in the UK that is friendly to Clubs & Societies?

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Since when does one of the signatories have to be the Secretary?? - Last time I had to go through this, it just needed a copy of the minutes of the (installation) meeting detailing the change in Treasurer .. your predecessor being listed in the officers in attendance, and your name as the new Treasurer, with the minutes having been duly signed and approved.

I appreciate it's now a bit more involved with the advent of GDPR and money laundering laws, but I'm still not aware of any requirement of the Secretary being a required signatory!

Edited by Sontaran
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Thank you Richard.

That's exactly the way I see it. Such institutions do themselves no favours do they in first being institutionally obstructive but also seemingly losing sight of the fact that they are there meant to be providing a service to their customers. 

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Thanks, Richard, Interestingly I was paying in an early received subscription cheque from an esteemed Brother who I usually have to chase, and chase and chase some more before Christmas day and was interested to see they now have a large and very prominent sign in the cashiers area stating that any aggression toward staff will be treated with a zero tolerance and anyone who does so will have their account closed - end of! Customer service - I think not. Mind I am one of the Klingons still remembering when I banked with them when they were a proper bank (Midland Bank) and back then (late 60s) all the staff made it their mission to be able to greet customers by name. I'm not expecting those days to return but it would be fabulous if they regained sight of the fact that without customers they will no longer exist.  

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