First Direct

Money, investing, mutuals etc

Re: First Direct

Postby macliam » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:06 am

parchedpeas wrote:For online they are probably not the best, but if you ever have to phone them they are leagues ahead of other banks.

That's my issue - except I was advised (by phone) that they could meet my needs for online banking :(

The "seamless transfer" is also an issue, my ISP says the new DD was not in place when they raised their bill, so they charged me via Visa with a £1.50 surcharge.......

Feeling a bit grumpy at the mo' - had a right go at my ISP too, as I don't think they handled it well ;)
Just because I'm paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get me

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Re: First Direct

Postby anthonyh » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:41 pm

As with a lot of us these days, I carry out 99.9% of my banking online. I use FD, Lloyd's and Nationwide. Have no problems whatsoever with any of them. Don't see anything much wrong with the "awful" FD app or online banking. If I had to choose the worst of the three as an overall service provider, sadly Nationwide would be the winner.
Last edited by anthonyh on Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Direct

Postby Player3746 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:57 pm

blythburgh wrote:Free for how long though?


Indeed, even the well-respected First Direct introduced a 10 GBP monthly charge a few years ago. Fortunately, the 10 GBP charge is waived if certain conditions are met but some people will be levied with this charge.
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Re: First Direct

Postby Player3746 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:02 pm

macliam wrote:Portuguese banks charge you just to have an account. :x


I live in Hong Kong and banks here will charge for making a monetary transfer to a competitor's bank account and around 8 GBP for setting up Autopay (the equivalent to a direct debit).
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Re: First Direct

Postby macliam » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:02 pm

Player3746 wrote:
macliam wrote:Portuguese banks charge you just to have an account. :x


I live in Hong Kong and banks here will charge for making a monetary transfer to a competitor's bank account and around 8 GBP for setting up Autopay (the equivalent to a direct debit).

Banks exist to get rich, not to serve their clients.

They use your money to play the markets, whinge when they fail and pocket the money when they succeed.

Unfortunately, they have built a dependency on them and now exploit it for all they're worth.

The near failure (through greed) of banks in the UK cost £133bn in cash from the government (i.e. you and me) - that's over £2,000 per head ..... the guarantees supported by the governement (i.e. you and me) was £1029bn, or £17,000 per head. So almost £20,000 per head was put at risk to support the bankers who now still think they have the right to earn huge salaries and bonuses and are a credit to society.

Then there's "Quantatative Easing", i.e. printing money and devaluing the currency. That has robbed people of the real value of their savings and pensions.

But the buggers still get knighted!
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Re: First Direct

Postby expressman33 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:05 pm

macliam wrote:
parchedpeas wrote:For online they are probably not the best, but if you ever have to phone them they are leagues ahead of other banks.

That's my issue - except I was advised (by phone) that they could meet my needs for online banking :(

The "seamless transfer" is also an issue, my ISP says the new DD was not in place when they raised their bill, so they charged me via Visa with a £1.50 surcharge.......

Feeling a bit grumpy at the mo' - had a right go at my ISP too, as I don't think they handled it well ;)


put in an official complaint - normally get offered £50 compo

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Re: First Direct

Postby Player3746 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:56 pm

macliam wrote:
Player3746 wrote:
macliam wrote:Portuguese banks charge you just to have an account. :x


I live in Hong Kong and banks here will charge for making a monetary transfer to a competitor's bank account and around 8 GBP for setting up Autopay (the equivalent to a direct debit).

Banks exist to get rich, not to serve their clients.

They use your money to play the markets, whinge when they fail and pocket the money when they succeed.

Unfortunately, they have built a dependency on them and now exploit it for all they're worth.

The near failure (through greed) of banks in the UK cost £133bn in cash from the government (i.e. you and me) - that's over £2,000 per head ..... the guarantees supported by the governement (i.e. you and me) was £1029bn, or £17,000 per head. So almost £20,000 per head was put at risk to support the bankers who now still think they have the right to earn huge salaries and bonuses and are a credit to society.

Then there's "Quantatative Easing", i.e. printing money and devaluing the currency. That has robbed people of the real value of their savings and pensions.

But the buggers still get knighted!


"Play the markets" as in stock market or housing market? The collapse was caused by the reckless lending to property purchasers who had absolutely no hope of keeping up with repayments while the banks had the delusional notion that property prices can only rise.

The loans were repackaged as bonds that were sold to other banks and as a result of the repackaging, the loans could be removed from the accounts and the bank would believe (incorrectly) that they would be absolved of these loans. Consequently, by removing the loans, the banks would lend more money - albeit money they didn't have. As you said, bank workers would earn huge bonuses while having no care in the World for the impact this would have.

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Re: First Direct

Postby Constantine » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:00 pm

Player3746 wrote:...The loans were repackaged as bonds that were sold to other banks and as a result of the repackaging, the loans could be removed from the accounts and the bank would believe (incorrectly) that they would be absolved of these loans. Consequently, by removing the loans, the banks would lend more money - albeit money they didn't have. As you said, bank workers would earn huge bonuses while having no care in the World for the impact this would have.


No, that's not how it worked. The loans were never "removed from the accounts". The loans remained in the accounts; they were simply being financed by securitised bonds, rather than by deposits. Banks cannot lend money that they don't have. They have to get the money from somewhere. Balance sheets always balance.

It was however the case that banks used Special Purpose Vehicles to issue these securitised bonds, and went through a a certain amount of jiggery-pokery so that they could exclude these SPVs from their risk weighted assets so that they didn't need any extra capital to support these loans. Following the argument that this lending posed no risk of loss to the bank because they were legally owned by the SPV. This was bonkers, and proved to be bonkers when it turned out that a lot of this lending was not of the 'best quality', and the banks concerned had to eat the losses.

Which is to say that, flag-waving populism about the greed of banks really misses the point. What we are talking about in terms of the cause of our recent banking problems is a failure of banking regulation. Which in terms of the UK, would be because the idiots in charge at the time (Bonkers Brown and Co) hadn't got a clue about banking regulation.

Thank all that is holy that the Coalition government that followed at least had a clue, put the Bank of England back in charge of banking regulation, and we at least now have someone going around telling banks they need more capital.

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Re: First Direct

Postby Player3746 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:55 pm

Constantine wrote:
Player3746 wrote:...The loans were repackaged as bonds that were sold to other banks and as a result of the repackaging, the loans could be removed from the accounts and the bank would believe (incorrectly) that they would be absolved of these loans. Consequently, by removing the loans, the banks would lend more money - albeit money they didn't have. As you said, bank workers would earn huge bonuses while having no care in the World for the impact this would have.


No, that's not how it worked. The loans were never "removed from the accounts". The loans remained in the accounts; they were simply being financed by securitised bonds, rather than by deposits. Banks cannot lend money that they don't have. They have to get the money from somewhere. Balance sheets always balance.

It was however the case that banks used Special Purpose Vehicles to issue these securitised bonds, and went through a a certain amount of jiggery-pokery so that they could exclude these SPVs from their risk weighted assets so that they didn't need any extra capital to support these loans. Following the argument that this lending posed no risk of loss to the bank because they were legally owned by the SPV. This was bonkers, and proved to be bonkers when it turned out that a lot of this lending was not of the 'best quality', and the banks concerned had to eat the losses.

Which is to say that, flag-waving populism about the greed of banks really misses the point. What we are talking about in terms of the cause of our recent banking problems is a failure of banking regulation. Which in terms of the UK, would be because the idiots in charge at the time (Bonkers Brown and Co) hadn't got a clue about banking regulation.

Thank all that is holy that the Coalition government that followed at least had a clue, put the Bank of England back in charge of banking regulation, and we at least now have someone going around telling banks they need more capital.


Great explanation. Yes, of course, taking the loans off the balance sheets is not synonymous with "removing the loans from accounts" which was a poor choice of words.

I don't think greed is missing the point, however. This was surely a huge contributor. It's quite incredible how supposedly intelligent professional people could be unaware if the risks they were taking and being forgetful of basic banking principles. Sure, the regulatory bodies seemed to be oblivious to what was happening and sure, the Bank of England had received prior warning (I remember they were gently recommended to cut interest rates), but bankers who became wealthy from risky investments were guilty of greed but the public were guilty too by taking out the loans that they could not afford to pay.

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Re: First Direct

Postby macliam » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:17 pm

Constantine wrote:
Player3746 wrote:...The loans were repackaged as bonds that were sold to other banks and as a result of the repackaging, the loans could be removed from the accounts and the bank would believe (incorrectly) that they would be absolved of these loans. Consequently, by removing the loans, the banks would lend more money - albeit money they didn't have. As you said, bank workers would earn huge bonuses while having no care in the World for the impact this would have.


No, that's not how it worked. The loans were never "removed from the accounts". The loans remained in the accounts; they were simply being financed by securitised bonds, rather than by deposits. Banks cannot lend money that they don't have. They have to get the money from somewhere. Balance sheets always balance.

It was however the case that banks used Special Purpose Vehicles to issue these securitised bonds, and went through a a certain amount of jiggery-pokery so that they could exclude these SPVs from their risk weighted assets so that they didn't need any extra capital to support these loans. Following the argument that this lending posed no risk of loss to the bank because they were legally owned by the SPV. This was bonkers, and proved to be bonkers when it turned out that a lot of this lending was not of the 'best quality', and the banks concerned had to eat the losses.

Which is to say that, flag-waving populism about the greed of banks really misses the point. What we are talking about in terms of the cause of our recent banking problems is a failure of banking regulation. Which in terms of the UK, would be because the idiots in charge at the time (Bonkers Brown and Co) hadn't got a clue about banking regulation.

Thank all that is holy that the Coalition government that followed at least had a clue, put the Bank of England back in charge of banking regulation, and we at least now have someone going around telling banks they need more capital.

Sorry, your conclusion is incorrect - bankers found a way to increase their profits and bonuses without regard to the consequences - to me that is greed, plain and simple. You do not say "I was burgled, but it wasn't the burglar's fault because the police didn't stop them".

As for "Bonkers Brown and Co", as I recall his liberalization of the market was fully endorsed by the Tories - some of whom thought it should go further. It's so easy to be wise after the event - the next "failure" will show where the current regulations are lacking.
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