You may have read my recent blog on sorting out our children’s savings accounts and a couple of very old accounts of our own. Well having returned from holiday full of energy I thought I’d tackle the old savings accounts today, with mixed success.
As you read on you’ll find my key messages from the saga so far are:
- Make sure you regularly review your savings accounts to make sure you get the best interest
- Update all your personal finance related accounts and anything else appropriate with your new address if / when you move – not least this will help ensure you don’t fall victim to identity theft or lose important documents sent to your old address
- Take identification with you when sorting out such as savings accounts – a passport or driving licence for example
- Allocate enough time, taking account of queuing and the time needed to sort your specific needs – go armed with a lot of patience!
- Be prepared to undertake research to get the best interest rate on your savings.
My first stop was at Santander to deal with my old Abbey National Instant Saver account.
The account hadn’t been updated since September 2007 so I first asked for this to be done. It was, very easily and for 3 years of having just over £500 of my money I earned less than £6 in interest. How awful is that! The assistant kindly explained that I am not earning any interest on the account because of the type it is but she keenly pointed out that it does provide me with instant access to my cash.
Surely I thought there must be a better option, paying at least some interest, even with instance access? I put this to the assistant. She then explained I could open up an online account. I would though need an online account set up as I don’t have one. We agreed this would be a good idea and I left with her sorting this out for me.
Good I thought, 1 done and 1 to go.
Second a visit to Halifax to deal with my Liquid Gold savings account.
On entering the branch I spoke to the ‘Help and Advice’ section first , not least as the queue for the transaction tills seemed decidedly too long but also the assistant seemed very welcoming and had just finished with her last customer.
Very politely she checked the account was still valid and said that the interest rate was just 0.5% on it. She suggested I could swap to a card account on which I could earn more interest or maybe close the account. There was around £100 so I decided for the latter, thinking I could add this to the money in Santander.
The bad news then was that I had to join to queue to get the account closed. It was still as long but thankfully moved quickly. I closed the account and got my cash without issue.
A return next to Santander to sort out an address worry.
Whilst lining up though I suddenly thought back to Santander. The address on the savings account was way out of date so I needed to go back to see them otherwise the material they were sending would go to the wrong address.
Had to queue up again. Saw the same assistant as before and once I explained the situation she immediately cancelled the original request. I then had to fill in a change of address form and show my passport for identification purposes – thankfully I had it with me as I thought I might need it dealing with such old accounts.
It then turned out that the account had a bar on it as it hadn’t been used for so long. This needed to be changed and needed further signatures to do.
The de-barring of the account and registration of our new address all needs to take affect and then my online account can be established. It will now take around 10 working days before I get the paperwork.
Meantime my £500 + my newly added cash from the other account will have to sit with Santander not earning a penny! Doesn’t seem right to me but short of closing the account seems to be the only option I have.
Progress but more research is now required.
At least I am making progress. Whilst I am waiting for the material to arrive I think I need to do some research on where I could transfer the money within Santander or whether in fact I’d be better off moving the money elsewhere – for example Skipton may be an option, who we’ve reported about on MoneyHighStreet today as they have just launched a new account with flexible access to your cash.
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