Alliance Leicester

Founded in 1852, Alliance and Leicester converted from a building society to a bank in 1997. It is one of the 100 largest companies in the UK, and with 5.5 million customers is currently the seventh largest bank in the UK. In May 2010 the bank was acquired by Santander UK and was fully incorporated by 2011.

Alliance and Leicester focuses on mortgages, retail savings, current accounts and personal loans. They are in partnership with MBNA to offer credit cards and credit facilities. They use Legal and General for investment and life insurance planning, and also offer other insurance through Zurich.

321 responses to “Alliance Leicester”

  1. S. Paddon says:

    AND they arent even worth one star! GRRR
    Anyway, these guys tend to make MANY mistakes in all areas of admin. So check all paperwork, and if u have any doubts about something they did or didnt do….trust yourself – youre probably right!

  2. Hazel Newton says:

    This bank is the worst I have been involved
    with ever they get direct debits wrong continually charge you and then charge you on top of charges.

  3. David Ripley says:

    this bank is the worst bank i have ever been with. the local branches have no idea what to do with customer queries. all tthey tell you to do is ring the number in your cheque book. head office is a waste of time as they are no help at all. they charge you extortianate amounts when you go overdrawn £34 for a returned direct debit. no leeway at all.

  4. Rich Soper says:

    They didnt bother telling me that someone was drawing out hundreds of pounds fom my account in Canada. When I asked why they didnt contact m,e they said it was at night so they sent a letter!!!!!! I was told that the transactions had not been authorised but the next day it was all gone. They didnt refund me as they said they would. I am so fed up of doing theyre jobs for them. They charged me £68 for 2 failed direct debits and told me that as my funds cleared 3 minutes after the start of the working day I had insufficient funds. I CAN NOT WARN PEOPLE ENOUGH HOW BAD THIS BANK IS

  5. R Mcewan says:

    Alliance and Leicester? Defiance and Pester more like! You cannot actually talk to these people without getting treated like you are from mars, i would rather trust the mafia with my money, BE WARNED! THIS IS BRITAINS WORST BANK

  6. S. Hill says:

    What’s good? Interest rates. But note A&L are masters at offering a promotional rate to hook you in and then lowering it as soon as a year is up. Existing customers can’t apply for the best deals. The internet banking site works as least as well as other banks I have tried, but they don’t correspond via email. You always have to phone.
    What’s really bad? Telephone customer service. They are giving the City of Liverpool a bad name. I have actually had real heated arguments with the staff on the phone and it takes quite a lot to get me annoyed.
    A&L’s charges are not fair and its customer service team’s general attitude is quite combative and hostile to any questions about charges. I once asked them to justify their charges, as the OFT are doing now – £25 for going £10 overdrawn? Even if you put money in on the day? How much does it really cost them to administer an overdraft?
    There’s also no (well it’s £5) overdraft “buffer zone”. Some banks offer £30. They need to learn from the masters of banking customer service – Smile and First Direct.
    So why stick with them? Interest rates are pretty good, particularly in overdraft. They also raised my overdraft limit which was quite pleasing.

  7. Patricia Anderson says:

    I agree 100% that Alliance and Leicester are the worst bank going, they are inhumane when it comes to bank charges.

  8. Lydia Walding says:

    I have to agree with all the above! Shame there isn’t a 0 star rating. Please please don’t make my mistake – I assumed high interest rates was the most important thing about a bank. I have been charged 2 times (£25 for each day) for a 3p overdraft, when the money was being transferred from my own Alliance & Leicester account (which took 2 days). They now insist I go into a branch to sort out the problem.

    Other problems: customer service (slow and discourteous); website (doesn’t work very well with Firefox); transfer of money (can’t be done between some A&L accounts; other accounts takes 2 days) etc. Avoid at all costs.

  9. N Regan says:

    This is my main bank, but I don’t know why. Good interest rates are its only redeeming feature. You can provide good interest rates without behaving in the following manner though:

    — When I called them about a letter they sent out which made no sense because it was not dated, I got abuse from the customer service rep who simply would not accept what was printed on the paper in front of me.

    — When I called using the “from abroad” number because I didn’t see why they should profit from me calling at a premium rate (yes, 0870 is a premium rate) to deal with a problem of their making, they ticked me off and said they would put a mark on my record in case I called them that way again!

    — They try to make their complaints procedure as convoluted as possible, telling you to contact their local branch. What’s a local branch? I’ve never visited one.

    — I had to follow their complaints procedure after they’d ignored (literally – no response to secure messages) my complaint about unclear information about charging for tax certificates. They only relented when I quoted the Banking Code at them! And their response was to make things worse by charging an obligatory £10 for a tax certificate on the current account where they didn’t before!

    I’m getting ready to leave…

    — The latest, and why I’ve been moved to make the comment today (and found this site) – Firefox. Firefox is a more secure browser than Microsoft Internet Explorer. Firefox adheres much more closely to open standards, the bedrock of the Web. Firefox runs on much more secure operating systems than Microsoft Windows. So you’d think they would encourage it. But no, they take the lazy Microsoft option and warn you in a pop-up that your browser is not supported. Normally the site is usable – the formatting is to pot but it works.

    However, this morning they had put a huge animated Flash advert on their front page which obscured the link for the internet banking, forcing me to examine the source code in order to be able to log on to it! The silver lining: I have now installed the Flashblock extension for Firefox (another good reason to use Firefox!), saving me a lot of bandwidth and irritation, and depriving A&L of advertising opportunities. Doesn’t allow me to get to the link though, as the browser still sees it as hidden under the area where the Flash drivel would appear.

  10. Paul Mackenzie says:


  11. Shona Wade says:

    I’ve been with A & L 6 months and am so angry about their charges. I just logged onto my a/c and see they’ve reversed a direct debit of £46.00 for the 26th and charged me £34 for the privilege!! I had £34 in my a/c the morning of the 26th and dashed to my branch at lunch to deposit £30 extra cash to cover it, my statement actually reads that on 26th I had a balance of £64, but on the same day they take out d-debit, paid it back and then took £34 in charges! Incredible!

  12. Shona Wade says:

    been with A & L 6 mnths and so angry about their charges.Just logged onto my a/c and see they’ve reversed a direct debit {£46.00} for the 26th and charged me £34 for the privilege !! I had £34 in my a/c the morning of the 26th and dashed to my branch at lunch to deposit £30 extra cash to cover it,my statement actually reads that on 26th I had a bal of £64,but on the same day they take out d-debit,pay it back then steal £34 in charges.CROOKS ON THEIR WAY DOWN & CLUTCHIN AT STRAWS !!!!

  13. H C says:

    I was very stressed last month when my nephew died. As a result I forget to keep tabs on my bank balance. A payment was taken from my A&L account which resulted in an unauthorised overdraft. The day I went overdrawn I set up an overdraft facility and paid cash into my account. Obviously this wasn’t quick enough, they charged me £25 to review the payment and £25 for the unauthorised overdraft, plus 1p interest. £50.01 for being overdrawn seems extremely expensive. I am considering changing my bank, can anyone recommend a good one? I’ve been with the A&L since about 1975. Why isn’t there a zero star rating?

  14. J. Samuel says:

    My experience with Alliance & Leicester indicates that the back office staff don’t have much of a clue. After 6 months of relatively hassle free banking with them I thought I would transfer my Barclays accounts to them. I have good sized overdraft facility with Barclays, and even though I rarely use it I like to know its there if needed. So I asked A&L for an overdraft half the size of the Barclays one, expecting no problems and preparing to shift banks. A&L’s reply was that my credit score was not high enough for them to grant an overdraft, and I should reapply in 3 or 4 months by which time my rating may have improved. As I have had an Experian credit rating of 999 for about 8 years I think there is little chance of my rating improving much in the next 3 or 4 decades, therefore I will be abandoning A&L shortly in favour of a bank which actually bothers to check their customers credit status properly.

  15. Fiona Tait says:

    (…) I thought I might warn everyone to take any “advice” given with a pinch of salt, based on my experience.

    At my local branch I saw a financial adviser to see about getting a further loan of £25,000 to use with my very in credit flexible mortgage to buy some land. My mortgage is due to be paid off in about 7 years and I am single with no dependents. But they advised me to take mortgage payment protection even though I have adequate protection through my employment for up to 5 years. OK I said I would have to check on the protection my employment provided before I got back to the adviser, but still she insisted that she thought it was a good idea to take out additional cover. This was even after I said I would sell the land and increase the term of my already small mortgage is something bad actually happened. Anyway, I got away by saying I would consider the offer and then spoke with my independent fee based financial adviser who deals with all my other finances. He agreed it was ridiculous and that I should not have been advised to take on cover as I would not be at risk of not paying off my mortgage even if I fell ill in the next two years. He also said there was little point in trying to complain as the rules regarding those that are allowed to give such advice would be changing in the next two years i.e. One has to be qualified to give such advice. Currently they are not.

    Saying all that, now I know not to trust them and get any advice from my branch checked independently. I am happy with the preferential interest rates and flexibility of my mortgage that I can transfer every two years at minimal cost onto the next best rate.

  16. Lilia says:

    Once overdrawn I paid in some money to clear the balance. Month later a letter comes saying I am overdrawn again – because they charged me for being overdrawn in the first place. They can never tell you how much or when they will take the charges, so you have to guess and overbid their next charge if you want break free from this vicious circle. Last time I paid in £150 into my account and still that was not enough – they charged me £150 on top of outstanding balance and made me overdrawn yet again! Six month on and with no other outgoings from the account but their own fines, A&L had charged me the hefty £300! Nice little earner! I warn you to stay away from them! P.S. Customer Service is appalling.

  17. Ricky Maloney says:

    Appalled at having to give them any rating at all to be honest – a fat negative in real terms. I became fed up with Barclays and having seen an ad online offering a seemingly ‘painless’ bank account transition by the Alliance & Leicester I decided to go for it. In short A&L the transition did not go smoothly – claims were still being made on the Barclays account when the money was with A&L. I withdrew funds from A&L to cover the Barclays overdraft and fees and then guess what, yep by the time the direct debits etc. pitched up at A&L I was already some £200 down in fees. A&L rejected something like 10 DD requests over a period of a few days and charged me £350 for the privilege; I contacted them there and then asking for some kind of suspension of account charges as I was battling to get the account back into credit – no chance, they continued to charge me for being overdrawn. I wrote to them officially requesting the account be closed so that I would not incur further charges; that letter was dated the 6th of July. I have followed up with many phone calls and further letters, they ignored me for three months then wrote to me in October saying the matter was being investigated. Last week I got a letter from them stating they are accepting no liability. They have closed my account and issued me with a default notice and a claim for £280 being the remaining charges sum – all in all they have charged me around £1,000 but I will be fighting to get that money back. As a quick fix I cancelled all DD’s with them but unfortunately having lost so much money in charges I couldn’t pay the various providers and as a result we had two mobile phones cut off, my wife has lost three life insurance policies (which I am trying to get reinstated), our electrical goods warranties DD’s weren’t paid and were cancelled as a result. I am utterly speechless at their disregard for customers. I saw someone mention the Northern Rock debacle – when that happened the A&L share price crashed though it quickly recovered, how I’d love to see a flurry of short sales in A&L and see them driven into the ground. Ironically my mortgage is with NR and I’ve never had any trouble with them at all – brilliant service provider in fact. I’ll keep you posted re getting my money back.

  18. I Perry says:

    I’m close to closing my account! I’ve been with the A&L since I was a kid, and on the rare occasions I pop into the city to pay a cheque in, EVERY time I do, the machine does not give out envelopes. I don’t even know why I waste my time trying, coz I’m always proved correct, i.e. I always presume I’ll fail and I usually do. You would have thought that with only the odd trip to the machine, I’d strike lucky more often than not… but quite the opposite. The website encourages you to contact the branch and gives no customer service on-line either. Pathetic and immensely annoying. You’ll get a smarter investor at the Alliance & Leicester? Yes… I’m smart alright… I’m changing banks… Grrr

  19. Nicola Elliott says:

    I have switched my mortgage from my bank (RBS) to Alliance Leicester just 2 months ago, I wish I had read these comments before. First month they have taken mortgage payments twice and before Christmas left me with nothing… and than told me to wait 7 days… After long arguments they have eventually credit me back… When i thought that’s it, no more problems, this months DD has not been collected for my mortgage payment, and I received a letter stating they will contact credit reference agencies for my default on my mortgage. Thing is they have taken dd 15 days later than they should of and I have no idea about it. Money sits in my account waiting to be collected, they don’t take the payment and than they do and now I will be defaulted…cant wait to call them in the morning… Can you believe this??? I have been with RBS 8 years, no problem at all and this… Plz avoid dealing with this Bank…

  20. C. Duggan says:

    The worst bank ever, they are hopeless. I would recommend keeping your money in a shoe box under your bed then use Alliance Leicester. Can never get hold of anyone on the phone; when you do, they are useless. I could not remember my pass code when I did get hold of someone after 55 mins on hold, they said they could not sort it and would have to go in to a branch, which I told them I physically couldn’t, so they said well they could not help and hung up. STAY AWAY !!!

  21. S Walding says:

    On Wednesday I tried to transfer £150 from one of my current accounts to the other. Internet banking did not confirm that this had been done so I did it again and again. The crux of the matter is they charged my £75 as I had insufficient funds for all the transactions. I transferred some of it back the next day, but 24 hours later it is still in limbo and I cannot use my £400 it is not usable funds in either account. I need to pay a bill. They will not admit that they are depriving me of my money. I wish I had read some of the adverse comment before I opened my account last year, then I would not be having to change yet again. Can anyone recommend an honest reliable bank that puts customers first? No stars!!!!!!!!

  22. Paul Chappell says:

    As bad as banking can get. Why am I obliged to give them any stars at all? If you want charges, more charges, staff who are so ashamed of their jobs that they will not identify themselves, long waits on premium-rate telephone lines, errors, lazy incompetence, and yet more charges, the A&L is the bank for you. If you want a clean and efficient online banking service, look elsewhere. Don’t even open an account to try for yourself – they’ll never let you close it and you’ll have charges, more charges and even more charges for not using it.

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  24. J. Smith says:

    Completely fraudulent and a disgrace to the banking community. They have taken thousands of pounds from me in illegal charges. Stay well clear! ZERO rating on here from 20 reviews! Disgusting. SAY NO to ALLIANCE LEICESTER!

  25. N Burden & A Spikings says:

    Banked with them for 18 years, totally disagree with the new Banking Charges imposed, telephoned them to ask about the new overdraft charges, and was told that it was a fairer system, and that I was the only person to complain about them!, Right. Customer service was appalling, their response to us wanting to close the account was, do as you like, I can close it for you now if you want! So after some thought, and opening a bank account with a proper bank, we called back to close the account, and was put through to retention, where they offer to refund the last two month charges, if we kept the account open, which we declined to do. There response was to advise that the due to the fact we wanted to close the account, we now owed them an overdraft fee for the current month. In my opinion it was worth paying to close the account, would never bank with them again. No Star Rating. Maybe the only hope for Alliance Leicester is they get bought out by a proper bank.

  26. mike plackett says:

    Is anyone having problems with on line access for the A&L credit card which is run by MBNA? It’s seems to be always down. I would say 8 times out of 10 I can never get onto the service.

    Maybe MBNA and A&L are having issues due to the credit crunch

  27. Sharon Wong says:

    Their pretence at listening is woeful as I rang to ask about a £12 late charge to my account. Having informed them before I left for my 5-week holiday and returning to find this charge, I was most annoyed that I was not informed that I ought to have paid a small outstanding credit before I left. Anyway, I suppose times are hard for A & L and they insisted that I owe the late charge. I will pay it and take my custom to away and incidentally, I’ve been with them for 10 years. They are OK when things are OK but when not, they really don’t want to know. Shame on them!

  28. Gazza says:

    Firstly as an existing customer (I also bank with Lloyds), it took 3 weeks to open an esaver account with A & L after I was attracted by the 6.5% rate. After several emails it was eventually opened.
    I initially transferred 1 pound it went through fine and then followed it with 100 pounds. Everything was fine for about 2 weeks. Then all of a sudden I notice both payments bounced… 18th of March the 1 pound bounced… as of the 1st of April (and this is no April Fool) neither amount has been returned to my Lloyds Tsb account. To add to my impending misery I have just transferred 1000 pounds to the same account and am looking at going 999 pounds overdrawn (because I transferred 999 into the A & L account trying to salvage the money before it too disappeared). Nobody seems to be able to help me as A&L are blaming the Lloyds Tsb account, which I, nor Lloyds believe to be true… My only hope is to be kept on hold on a rip off premium rate number costing me money in the hope to speak to another miserable call centre representative (who cannot call me back) at a premium rate… One word of advice, do as I am going to do… save yourself the grief… terminate your account! 0 Star Rating for customer service.

  29. michelle says:

    I have been with Alliance & Leicester for about 8 years. When I first started banking with them they were fine, their customer service was quite good, but over the years I find it ridiculous. I have had more bank charges than ever; this month alone I have had £350.00 in charges. I informed them that I had been in a car accident last year and that I had been out of work; there attitude to this was ‘well it’s not my problem’. On top of the charges that they had already charged me, I was then charged again for being overdrawn. The Alliance & Leicester say they are a cheaper bank and offer better interest rates; no wonder with all the charges they bang on you. I am now in the process of claiming all of my bank charges back and I would urge anyone who has encountered this problem to do the same. I am going to give them 5 stars for being this country’s worst bank ever; it should be shut down.

  30. david says:

    Alliance and Leicester are rubbish, they just mess people around with money. I had to put the same request in 6 times before they stopped charging me for the same thing which nearly came to £190; I would have been overdrawn. It’s stupid trust me do yourself a favour and stay away from them; they are nothing but trouble, not even 1 star rating.

  31. rob newton says:

    I opened an account with A & L simply to deposit a cheque so it would not get eaten into in my other account, I filled a form out stating I did not want any direct debts transferring from my other account. Tthe very next moth I find all my dd from 1st account had been transfered by my wages had not, my cheque was immediately eaten up, and after many calls eventually had some charges refunded. After 3 months of this I lost my rag and asked them to transfer all dd back to original bank. The people in the branch instructed me they could not do this and that I had to do it on their prehistoric online banking service. I have now been sent a default letter threatening legal action for being 98 pounds overdrawn through more charges. Still not as bad as my dad’s treatment. He informed them 6 times he had terminal cancer and had problems with funds; day after he died they sent a solicitors letter, they never even bothered to reply to him! Definitely the worst bank I’ive ever had the misfortune of using and I thought Halifax were parasites!

  32. j&e taylor says:

    iam trying to view my accounts. why can i not loggon as before

  33. Tony Pettit says:

    I thought it was just me?!! but am now really regretting transfering my ISA to alliance and leicester, THEY ARE USELESS, I have trouble with their website and logging on to it. I have received strange and irrelevant letters and most annoyingly my ISA has still not been set up after nearly 8 weeks, the FSA say it should take maximum of 30 days. I would strongly advise anyone to think twice about using the alliance and leceister for anything. by the way I have NEVER bothered to leave anything on this sort of website before.NEVER.

  34. G Hutchinson says:

    My husband has been trying to get a pin number for their new system since March. He has been unable to access the account – they say they have sent it and then several long, long phone calls later they realise they haven’t. We found out, purely by luck, that they sent his old customer ID, his new customer ID and his pin number to our old address where we hadn’t lived for nearly 2 years. They have been corresponding at our new address all that time. We have been promised calls from managers which never happen. 2 days ago we asked for the pin and a new ID to be sent urgently and ‘signed for’. We were again promised a call re this but no call we rang again today (another 40mins at our expense) and were told the pin had been sent 2 days ago (Wednesday) and we would get it on Monday!! Why the hell don’t they use Royal Mail instead of this UK mail place they seem to insist on using and which takes ages to get anywhere? UNFORTUNATELY I BELIEVE I HAVE TO LEAVE A RATING BUT WOULD PREFER NOT TO!!

  35. Lefty Mate says:

    Sad to say that I’ve had a similar experience to most people here. If only I’d been aware before.

    I’ve been running their online current account for a couple of years with no major problems other than one or two telephone/password access issues.

    Decided to open a new isa with them again no problem but when I tried to transfer in ISA from anoth bank is where problems started.

    Two months in money still hasn’t been credited to my account (despite confirmation letter from previous provider saying cheque has been sent to them)

    Have had many frustrating e-mail communications with customer service team which have lead nowhere. They are now basically admitting that they have no idea where the money is or when / if it will be paid into the account. They have now suggested that I call a member of their specialist investigation team on a premium rate number – yeah right!!

    Don’t know what else to do – was thinking of visiting local branch office, writing to head office, chief exec etc. but having seen other experiences here can’t really see the point.

    I’ve called the banking ombudsman service but they too seem to be as much use as a chocolate teapot. Apparently they can only take on a complaint 90 days after a formal complaint to A&L has been made.

    A&L customer service / support is a complete joke – the only thing I can say is that they have so far, been excruciatingly polite!

  36. ferg says:

    Slow decrepit internet banking system, takes 1 day to transfer money from A&L accounts, i though my transfer had not worked so did it again and now have two £25 charges.

  37. Stephen says:

    I am in agreement with all the opinions here. If they get the opportunity to snatch a few quid they will. In my opinion the difference between them and a back street moneylender is shrinking almost daily. They are happy to talk to you on the phone where they have the advantage of rehearsal and a recording machine, so be careful what you say to them. You could email the CEO on but don’t expect much help from him either. Frankly I don’t think anyone at Alliance Leister gives a Tinkers Curse about customers or customer relations! I am not happy about having to give them one star when they don’t deserve any at all.

  38. squirrel says:

    have had an account with a & l for a year the high interest attracted me. all was going well till i was charged for a failed direct debit the charges grew despite funds going in to clear it ended up paying over 300 quid and they closed the account after they got the charges paid, didn,t bother to tell me and money going into the account was being sent back to sender, caused a lot of problems. even wrote to them have had no response. regret moving to them, shoud have stayed with my original bank. don,t deserve the 1 rating.

  39. Agata says:

    I was looking around for savers account and i must admit that A&L has the best rates but after reading all that there is no way im going with A&L. I prefere to go with lower rate but at least have my money when and where i expect them to be.

  40. Writertype says:

    Like others here, I was attracted to A&L by the promise of high interest rates, only to discover within weeks of joining what an awful bank they are. I realised very early on that A&L is completely incapable of responding to customers on any kind of individualised basis. The women (they always seem to be women) in the call centres can only ever spout the rules, though they’re certainly not averse to throwing a little homespun cheek in with this.

    Like a previous poster, I thought that a payment I had attempted online from my current account had not gone through, so I made it again. Eventually BOTH payments left my current account (though they’ve yet to arrive at their intended destination), making me 20p overdrawn. This immediately attracted a £25 ‘payment review fee’. I called them and was told that all they could do, as this was the first time, was pass the charge for review, a process which would take about a week. My experience with other banks has been that in such a circumstance, they would be able to cancel the charge immediately – at A&L, however, there’s no discretion, and no common sense. They really are the computer says no bank!

    Fortunately, I am not relying on A&L for my primary current account – if I were, I think I’d be tearing my hair out by now!

  41. vicki nicholson says:

    I went overdrawn by £4 and as I was on holiday so did not realize, have been charged £95. I phoned to talk to them about it but they were rude and was not willing to discuss it. I was told it does not matter if I write in I will defintely not get my money back. How is this fair? Are they now allowed to speak for the FSA. Dont worry I will be writing my complaints letter to them and the FSA. I can’t wait until it is deemed as unfair charges and I get my money back.

  42. James Cartwheel says:

    If you are looking to open an account with A&L – don’t do it!!!!
    They will rip you off at any given opportunity.
    A&L don’t even deserve 1 star

  43. LanguedocFox says:

    If you think A&L are bad now, wait until they come under Santandar’s wing: read the reviews of Abbey to see how they have screwed up that organisation.

  44. Mrs Draper says:

    Got to say after 35 years of banking with A&L I was very disappointed to return from holiday to letter advising me as I hadn’t used my credit cards for 12 months they had closed the accounts down. I contacted the bank (using their god damn awful automated system) to explain I had been unemployed for this period of time and didn’t wish to run up a bill I couldn’t afford to pay. I explained I was running my accounts responsibly. I was told I had been sent a letter for each of my cards advising this was their intention. This I assure you didn’t happen. I asked them to reinstate the credit cards as I was now in employment and wished to make a purchase. I was told I would have to go through the pain of being credit vetted once again and wouldn’t get the preferential rate I had experienced before. I am now doing what only a customer can do….I am looking elsewhere, and when ready will be moving my shares, and direct saving account too!! So much for loyalty, maybe the new Spaish Bank can do better….I watch the reviews in anticipation. P.S didn’t want to give one star, but sorry for the staff working with poor tools and no coherent training.

  45. William Brock says:

    Orinally with National Giro – since acquisition by A&L no problems – on line excellent and easy to manage. Keep going in spite of takeover

  46. sue says:

    Very keen to take your money – high interest rates to start, suddenly reduced when they have your custom, and trying to remove your money to another bank is an absolute nightmare. They make everything as difficult as possible; at call centre left holding on for 10minutes+ on numerous occasions, then faced with surly, rude and aggressive staff who give different information each time. ‘Customer service’ is a complete misnomer. Today – the third day of a very stressful saga – they rang us because had had a problem with cash transfer. My husband tried to deal with it as I was at work and uncontactable, they then rang in evening accusing him of trying to contravene the data protection act as the account in my name! I had authorised him to act on my behalf over and over again and we had even had an apology from one manager the previous evening for appalling service. Apparently a lot of the staff are new and need to ‘bed in’! I think they need to use some of this money they are making from ridiculous bank charges to provide some intensive staff training. (Apologies to the one manager who we managed to speak to who was polite and helpful – but that doesn’t make up for the rest of the staff). I am still seething 2 hours after the last phone call and my stress levels are through the roof. Needless to say we are closing all accounts and I would strongly advise everyone to steer clear of the Alliance & Leicester.

  47. dave says:

    i agree with everything that’s been said here.

    they are absolutely the WORST BANK out there.

    i would like to know has anyone managed to get a fee (even a small one for £25) overturned by complaining about it?

    i’m guessing it’s unlikely so it looks like taking them to court is the only option.

    most banks will,as a goodwill gesture, will usually waive your first charge but not A&L it would seem…………

  48. Mrs lake says:

    We were told with no notice that we had to pay back overdraft or else and that our account was shut and direct debits cancelled!! We did and then got a letter telling us that they were taking us to court for the amount £0.00p. Impossible to contact by telephone and they stopped my internet bank account so couldn’t see what was happening. Very angry!

  49. Rachel Allen says:

    Had no problems in early stages of account – and even gad first £25 charge waived. Now nightmare charges being placed on account on a daily basis despite money going in on same day as going out to, I thought ensure positive balance. Because I pointed out that the customer services lady to whom I was put through wasn’t actually taking on board my problem she said I was being rude and that she refused to speak to me. Beware direct debits going out on day/date salary goes in gain £25 payment charge if there aren’t sufficient funds in account prior to Bacs transfer.

  50. Carly says:

    I have banked with Alliance and Leicester for about ten years with no problems – I’ve always been very good with money, no overdraft and only one credit card I had to set up to allow me to actually get a credit rating (apparently being good enough with money not to require overdrafts/loans equals a bad credit rating!). I attempted to open a joint account with my partner with them, and was rejected without explanation. We sought advice on the matter, and were told that it was most likely to be my lack of debt that meant we were unable to open an account together, because they wouldn’t make any money out of me. If that doesn’t prove most of your points, I don’t know what does!

  51. Andy says:

    Oh Lordy! I just Googled Alliance Leicester and ripoff, and came across this page. It both disconcerts and heartens me to discover that I am not alone.
    My main beef is, of course, with the usurious charges that A&L imposes for having even a tiny overdraft for just a day or two. I thought I was unfortunate, but I appear to have got off lightly (£60 in daily fees plus the £25 payment review fee), compared to some of the rest of you. Please accept my commiserations.
    This, and the absolutely moronic customer service staff of this alleged financial institution, accessible only via a premium-rate phone number, has inspired me to write them a stinking letter, CCed to the Financial Ombudsman Service, closing the account forthwith. I really do hope this bunch of bankers (misprint) shrivel up and die in miserable penury. The rating should be zero stars, but I had to click at least one to post this comment.

  52. clare bowen says:

    They paid a cheque out I hadn’t written, I found out cheque book was missing and they said they would put a stop on it. Guess what, next month they paid out another cheque making me overdrawn and charging me for their mistake. I have rung the Ombudsman.

  53. amol tekade says:

    I want the status of this account no
    ALCBNK-TEMP/ACC 73065461

  54. D Glen says:

    Alliance & Leicester really have to be one of the worst banks on the high street. For exceeding your overdraft they charge 155 pounds per month as well as review fees of 25 pounds for every transaction that takes you further overdrawn. This starts a vicious circle in which you are overdrawn every month in a strugggle to pay back all of the fees which will spiral out of control. Customer service staff are unsympathetic and frequently rude. Letters are ignored. Take a tip and don’t even consider opening an account with alliance and leicester

  55. Donna from Sheffield says:

    We were told when applying for our mortgage that if we opened and A&l account we would get 250 cash back so we did, it didn’t take them long to recoup their charges. I have noticed that most banks have taken on a very bad attitude since this unfair fees court case, but Alliance and Leicester is by far the worst I have dealt with, when the customer service woman answered I thought I had called the Council by accident. Actually that’s unfair the Council staff are much more helpful.

  56. Donna says:

    I have noticed that people who are no happy with A&L are giving it a five star rating, Why? Maybe it’s not clear what the star rating is for and people are voting for this website?

  57. Fiona says:

    They do not deserve a single star. A&L commercial bank has caused me so much misery, they are a disgrace. They have no respect for their customers, their staff are rude and not-very-bright, and cannot even carry out the most simple of requests. I urge anyone reading to avoid Alliance and Leicester like the plague. Like many other reviewers, I have never before bothering to write an on-line review but A&L have annoyed me so much I feel I need to let other unsuspecting small businesses know. They do not deserve your business, they are appalling!

  58. adam says:

    Alliance & Leicester are a great bank, been with them for a few years now. great interest rates, customer services are very pleasant to talk to and very helpful. Internet banking easy to use with good security.

  59. Lyndsey says:

    I think Alliance and Leicester are a great bank, they offer the best rates of interest around. As far as the comments on customer service are concerned, I cannot praise the staff highly enough for the job they do, I should know I work there!

  60. simon says:

    Transferred to A&L a few years ago, attracted by the good current account terms. So far they have been efficient and helpful and no problems.

  61. Ed Bertoni says:

    This is what they do – they charge illegal fees every month until you get overdrawn, then charge overdraft fee on top. These Alliance & Leicester people are animals.

    02 OCT 2008 EXCEEDING OVERDRAFT LIMIT FEE 16AUG-15SEP 15 DAYS AT £5.00 £75.00 £-79.99
    01 SEP 2008 UNDER-FUNDING FEE 01JUL-31JUL £5.00 £-4.99

  62. Tristan says:

    Absolutely agree with the majority here. A&L are absolutely awfully organised, their records are not kept well, telephone banking staff give conflicting advice. When I asked about moving/amending direct debits I was told they couldn’t do anything, they could only change amounts, they could only change dates, and that they could actually do what I wanted and switch from one account to another!
    To top that, the Switching team are even worse. I asked for my DD’s to be transferred to my joint account from my HSBC account, but instead the switched them to my personal account, and decided it was a good idea to send my employer a letter telling them to send my wages into the joint account!! that could not have been further away from my request, and seven phone calls later, and now my third (with still no response) I am £225 down with failed DD charges, and god knows what else from my mortgage company etc for late payment charges! Customer service is terrible. Do not bank with A&L, absolutely useless. Yes, great rates, but that’s the pull…. Unless you have money to burn, stay well clear!

  63. Jay says:

    Extortionists masquerading as a respectable bank (although that term is increasingly looking like an oxymoron). Stay the hell away from these rude, arrogant, provocative, manipulative bastards unless you like being fined £5 a day for an o.d. caused by their sneaky fee and fine timing policies.

  64. Steve Silver says:

    A&L = Best bank for credit interest, best bank for overdraft interest and a reasonable daily rate if I go into my overdraft. People whinge about fees for this and fees for that, and they are excessive etc etc. simple answer – don’t take out more than you are supposed to, keep a decent check on your account and if you sign up to an agreement stick to it. If you have £500 o/d, why should you be able to take £100, £200 or more out without permission. You wouldn’t do that to a friend if they lent you money, would you? If you would, what kind of friend does that make you?

  65. Ed Bertoni says:

    Update on Alliance Leicester fees:

    Due date Description Charge
    01 Nov UNDER-FUNDING FEE 01SEP-30SEP £5.00

    They hung up on the phone each time every time I rang, they forcefully transferred positive balance from PlusSaver account to this Premier Direct account with negative balance and closed PlusSaver account:) They are lawless.

  66. sandramallon says:

    Worst bank, worst customer service, worst managers. DON’T GO NEAR!

  67. sarah hayward says:

    I wish I had seen this forum before I transferred my salary to A&L. They have been absolutely, unequivocally, frequently, regularly, thoroughly awful since I’ve been with them – and that’s only been for 9 working days. They decided to close my account – yes CLOSE it – on the day that my wages got paid into the account. This meant that they returned the payment to my employer. I was so upset (had £4 in my purse to last for the month!!) and when I was on the phone to A & L to try to understand what I could do, was told I’m not going to argue with you Madam, your account has been closed. They were just so awful, and I would strongly urge anybody reading this to think very carefully about what’s important to you when you choose a bank. If it’s accessing your money, talking with vaguely intelligent people when you call them, withdrawing money from a cash point whenever you like, not waiting for 20 minutes on telephone banking before you can speak with someone – then do NOT choose A&L.

  68. Sophie Docherty says:

    I transferred to A&L from HSBC two months ago, attracted by the 0% interest on overdraft. I wish I’d never bothered! The overdraft may be 0% interest for the first year, but the fees charged (hidden away in the small print) amount to the same thing. They promised to match my overdraft limit with HSBC at the start then refused later on due to not being in credit for a certain amount of days. I made it clear to them from the beginning that I have recently had a student account and so have a relatively big overdraft limit. I complained and got nowhere. Each time I’ve rung, I’ve been passed from pillar to post and spent an average of 15 minutes on hold before getting through to anyone.

    Most customer service advisors don’t seem to know the bank’s policies and procedures and I’m constantly given conflicting advice. When challenged on this, I always receive the same reply, I’m sorry you’ve been given incorrect information, but I can confirm that…

    HSBC credited bill payments or payments to friends and family within 2 hours and update their online banking facilities instantly. A&L credit in 3 working days and seem to update their online banking details sporadically. All in all, I wish I’d never switched.

  69. Ettiene says:

    Was the BIGGEST mistake ever to move to this bank! BEWARE and don’t change to them! A standing order was allowed to go through which exceeded my overdraft limit by £1. I was penalised £25 for this and then another £5 per day for 17 days until the £1 was paid. They refunded the £25 as a gesture of goodwill but refuse to refund the £85. This effectively means that I originally got charged £110 for being overdrawn £1 for 17 days. Surely this is CRIMINAL??! The Customer Advisor said that this is my problem and that I should know how to manage my finances! Does anyone know what can be done about this???!

  70. Bernadette McCluskey says:

    Terrible bank. I have just closed my a/c with them. Charge 50p per day for even being 1p overdrawn. Wrong advice given re closing account. Will never deal with again.

  71. chris says:

    Bank robbers are the bank themselves! Seem good at first A nightmare to deal with. They introduced a flat fee of £5 a month recently for using the overdraft. Of course, to get value for money this encourages people to utilize their overdraft fully, rather than dipping slightly into it, which in turn increases their odds in favour of you slipping up. Inevitably, one day you will. They will then suck you dry with extortionate charges. 79p cost me close to £100 in fees. BE WARNED!

  72. Rob Davies says:

    I am appalled with Alliance & Leicester. I have twice tried to close my premier direct current account with them as I was being clobbered with under-funding fees of £5 per month. On TWO separate occasions, I have tried to shut the account only to find it continues to operate. I am now £20 overdrawn on an account I do not want, have twice tried to shut and have twice been told has been shut – only it remains and each month, I am forced to pay under-funding fees and overdraft fees. It’s an absolute disgrace.

  73. Alan says:

    I knew about the 50p per day fee for either overdraft usage or underfunding. When a charge for £3.58 put my £2.00 over I assumed the max fee I’d get was £5, didn’t realise the small print with £5 per day for up to £20 days. The person who says you should just manage your money is missing the point, it does not cost A&L that much to do their Admin, £100 is extortion!!! I too switched for the overdraft zero percent deal and tried to get them to switch from Halifax who I though were bad. Switching just did not do their job. I guess due to the banking crisis the bank will get away with the test case anyway, but in the vain hope they don’t I’ll be after the money they robbed me of.

  74. Andrew says:

    A&L are an utter disgrace. Due to a change in the value of the pound against the dollar, I went 40p overdrawn for 12 days on my very infrequently used A&L account. Just for the record, £5 per day for a 40p loan = 450,000% APR. Their telephone support (and I use the word very loosely indeed) staff are rude, arrogant and don’t seem to know their own organisations policies. If it were possible to give 0 stars, then I would, but I need to click a star in order to leave this comment. I don’t usually post complaints/reviews, but I am so angry and want to help other people avoid becoming involved with this brood of vipers that I am posting this rather than watching Star Wars with my children. AVOID this band of brigands at all costs.

  75. lynfa says:

    They do not deserve a star. DO NOT get a mortgage with this bank, at the moment they are trying to shed existing customers by not passing on the interest rate cut, even though they are now part of the Santander group and all the other banks in this group have, and are undervaluing homes to up their LTV percentages. Well done Alliance and Leicester, I just hope the group as a whole realises that badly treated customers have long memories.

  76. Mary Gardner says:

    I am facing difficulties with logging in to my online account with A&L, it’s nothing to do with my pc, it’s only since they have joined Satander.

  77. Allianceripoff says:

    Extortionate charges if you go overdrawn on an overdraft, charges are usually incurred by their system that makes you go overdrawn, would advise you steer well clear of this rip-off bank with their high charges. Will certainly not be placing my inheritance funds with them. Not even worth 1 star rating.

  78. m greenslade says:

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much bad the attitude of this bank is. The complaints procedure is non-existent. You write letters to complain and you get some computer printed out garbage in return. Trying to get to speak to someone on the phone who can actually deal practically with your problem will just end up helping more capitalists like BT get richer at you expense as well.

  79. Mark says:

    This banks policy is utterly disgusting.

    I asked them to close an account down a month ago, they failed to do that and charged me an ‘under-funding’ fee of £5. This took my account into debit and theyve charged me £5 per day – now I owe them £140 in charges thanks to the fact they employ dumb staff and theyre oh so clever automated system.

    Is there anything we can do?

  80. Angela says:

    A&L are Bank Robbers in the true sense of the word!

    I wrote to A&L to cancel a Standing Order and close my account. They ignore my request and processed the standing order of £10.00 taking my account £1.42 over drawn.

    When I got my statement and noticed they had charged me £5.00 a day for 4 days for being overdrawn I thought in good faith I would pay it and claim it back when they sorted it out. I tranferred £21.42 into the account. Emailed asking for them to close the account.

    The response: Thank you for your email.

    I was sorry to hear of the difficulties which you have been experiencing however, in order to resolve this matter you will need to contact your account servicing team on 0844 800 9000.

    I called them to be told you will need to pay us a further £60.00 to close the account. It is your word against ours you wrote to cancel the standing order and we are charging you £5.00 a day for being overdrawn. The charge will continue on a daily basis until you pay us?

    How can they justify charging me this I have no idea and it looks like I will have to pay it. However I will take it further and if they do not refund the money I will out of sheer desperation report them to the finance ombudsman and maybe even take them to the small claims court to get my money back.

    I am going to print off all the reviews on the various sites to produce as evidence of all the people who write to them and get no action so that they can make charges. This is daylight robbery on a huge scale!

  81. Chris says:

    I have been with A&L since July 2008 and first first seemed good now i can’t wait to get rid of them.
    All started when my mobile broadband was advertised at 19.99 with O2. I left £23 in the account to cover it. Some reason VAT came to £23.78 pushing me over my overdraft by 78p. They charged me £25 payment fee for 78p not in account. Then cos my account was overdrawn till end of the month another £35. I asked about getting refunds but they said yes we can do the £25 as gesture of good will, then i had to wait 2 weeks before they did it when they advised me 3 days before hand. they took the £35 a day before i get paid each month knowing money wasn’t goona be there. So in turn they charged me another £35 the following month :O(
    Even though they gave me back the one £25 i now have had charges totalling £125 for just 78p. The strange thing is O2 have told me it is only £19.99 per month and last 2 bills show this, i cant help thinking A&L have added on the VAT themselves so it pushed me over my limit.
    From 78p they just seem to shove charges on when they feel like it and im getting confused about which charges are which, i asked them to move the charge to 28th of month last two months and they have said NO both times, knowing they will get a further £35 the month after

    STAY AWAY FROM THESE COWBOYS, i have just been accepted for a Natwest account so gonna go with them

  82. Anthony Bailey says:

    A&L are quite sickening.I went overdrawn when the card protection plan they sold me automatically renewed. They took the decision to pay it but didn’t tell me about the decision and didn’t tell me I was overdrawn as a result. This meant that I incurred the £5 a day ‘unathorised’ overdraft fees – the first of which I heard about was when I got my statement 3 weeks later. Their stance is that I should keep a better eye on my account – so apparently I should be checking my account every day. Criminals. I hope they sink in the credit crunch and the fat cat ****s who agree these policies rot. Has cost me hundreds for a going overdrawn by £8 and then £17 – both of which I was unaware of. One star is too many

  83. Giles Robertson says:

    I agree with all the coomments. Bad customer service, wont deal with complaints and the departments dont reply or communicate. Save your self the hassle!

  84. j boardman says:

    This bank should be re named Shut Up and Listenit seems to be their customer service dept. favorite phrase. I am disgusted.

  85. Simon B says:

    I am appalled that Alliance & Leicester have barely changed their variable mortgage rates – this bank should be utterly ashamed of itself. They have offered less than 0.25% reduction over the past 6 months resulting in a reduction of £50 month on my £180,000 mortgage – I will move as soon as possible and Santanda will pay in the long run – I urge anyone else not to get a mortgage with them or to move their mortgage as soon as possible

  86. simon baines says:

    These guys are total crooks, completly agree with most others things said on here but hte worst thing is there confrontational call centre staff who are easily the worst i,ve ever encountered in any organisation.
    I have a loan with them where they charge interest up front and when i decided to settle early they only wanted to refund half of the interest due back therefore pocketing almost £300 for there fat useless Directors.
    To think we baled out these bloodsucking leeches is incredible !!
    Now use Cahoot part of Abbey and they have been ab brilliant and would also recommend Natwest who i regret leaving 4 A&L.

  87. DH says:

    Applied for an online tracker account back in October 2008 and was sent a letter asking for ID. Took copies of passports into one of their own branches to get it checked and verified before sending it off. Heard nothing for weeks so phoned them. Said they couldn’t read the details. Went back into branch and they faxed the id details through again. Still heard nothing. Now Jan 2009. Branch staff were great but they don’t seem geared up for online business, they’ve just wasted my time so far – and in the meantime the Online Tracker account seems to have gone from their website.

  88. Daniel says:

    The internet site is slow and often inaccurate, the call centre staff are often from Liverpool which is bad on its own.

  89. nicola riley says:

    Have to say that it was the worst decision that I made to go with the a and l for the mortgage. The customer service is bad .They just dont seem to care about their customers at all. In the branch they willl only deal with money and taking on new contracts for other financial deals.On the phone all the want to do is make it difficult for you to leave ..Dont join them ,find another star for managing to get my money!

  90. Neelam says:

    Personally I find the branch staff as being very rude, rather than the call centre people. At least they know what they are doing and have some form of training. I had travel 30 minutes to my local one in west London to be told by some young girl to shut up. All I wanted to do was take out some money which I had pre-booked 24 hours earlier. I was disgusted and requested I see the manager who could care less and was more interested at looking down my top!! In branches, they only care about sales and often the company employs children to work on the tills who have a rude manner and attitude problems. It is difficult to tell who works as the bank as none of them wear uniforms or ID badges. The service in that particular branch is appalling and I go out of my way to withdraw my money in a city branch. For that branch, which I won’t name, one star is far to nice. I’m going to NatWest.

  91. Ritz says:

    Alliance & Leicester? AVOID THEM LIKE A PLAGUE! A word is enough for the wise.

  92. LJ says:

    This bank is just a joke, poor management backed up by crass call centre staff (they can’t be paying them enough to work there), no in branch service of any kind. They let 12k in savings walk out and they couldn’t be bothered. Then whilst I was trying to close my account down they put a £1 charge onto my account and charged me for going overdrawn on the charge. I wouldn’t even give them a single star and would advise all customers to leave them ASAP.

  93. Brod MacIvor says:

    I am sick of getting unsolicitated e-mails from their security telling me of the risks of on line fraudsters when I keep telling them that I do not and never have had an account with them

  94. Darren Williams says:

    Worst customer service I have ever experienced. Thankfully I’ve not been overdrawn or been in a situation where I’ve incurred charges rightly or wrongly, but simply my complaint is about transferring money between two of my accounts, one with A&L and the other with HSBC. Both banks subscribe to faster payments, but when I have sent money from A&L to HSBC on two occasions, one for £52 and one for £1000 it has gone via the 4 day BACS system. No explanation offered for this, other than not all payments go via faster payments sir. They will not say their criteria, just said on the occasion I tried to send £52 the system wasn’t working correctly and that they wouldn’t send £1000 via fastpay as it’s over the limit. I asked what the limit is but they refused to say. I asked to speak to a manager but all were busy so I requested a call back, which the CSR explained would be within 48 hours. I had one missed call on my mobile while I was on another call. I then received a letter from A&L saying we have tried to contact you on several occasions – a downright lie! I will now operate my A&L account keeping my balance at £2500 which should attract the full 8% interest and simply make one £501 transfer in and out of my account per month. I recommend people do the same but do not make the A&L your main account, where their customer is always wrong.

  95. Vic Williams says:

    What has happened to this bank? I have been with A&L since it took over Girobank and the service is now just appalling. Today their internet banking site is down, so is the phone site and when I rang them I was told tough!! They have no idea when it will work again and no interest in their customers. The Service centre used to be really helpful and polite now it’s rude and curt and totally uninterested. I have found the staff at the branch as disinterested as the call centre too. Looks like it’s time to change banks. They get one star because this site won’t let you enter none at all.

  96. Greg Smith says:

    I have just found out they will not be lowering their variable rate from 4.99% therefore passing none of the 0.5% base rate cut in March. This is a total rip-off. Look at all their competitors – all lower rates – Nationwide and Lloyds are now at 2.5%. Abbey a sister bank also part of the Santander group are at 4.29% – why the large difference? I have contacted the BBC about this in order to get some media attention – I urge anyone else reading and affected by these cowboys to contact the media.

  97. D. Kaur says:

    Dreadful bank. Avoid at all costs. Sting you with charges after putting payments through at the last minute. Even take 4 days for your funds to clear! Customer services are appalling. Better off sticking the money in your mattress. I’d give a minus figure if that was possible but will probably have to give a one star.

  98. Irene says:

    Could you help me. People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news.
    I am from Denmark and also now teach English, tell me right I wrote the following sentence: Time finding cheap airline tickets than they.

    Thank 8) Irene.

  99. Al says:

    This bunch of nobodies want employees to go through money laundering checks to allow them to operate their employers’ bank accounts. They never said this when we opened our account and now try to treat us like idiots for wanting to operate it the way they promised we could.

    Here’s hoping they’re the next bank to go under and that no Government will help them.

  100. steve cuthbertson says:

    I rang yesterday to try to find two cheques that have gone missing. It was a nightmare trying to speak to a real human being and then she was rude and terminated my call. Disgusting!

  101. Simone Allen says:

    I have just found that a cheque I wrote at 3pm on Monday cleared yesterday!!!! 1 Working day???? Alliance and Leicester say that this is normal????

  102. dt says:

    My internet ac has been blocked, no idea why. Their phone is constantly engaged. Their secure e-mail does not work. How on earth am I supposed to contact them to unblock my ac?

  103. mand says:

    I agree with all of the below. This bank is shockingly awful! We switched from HSBC as the overdraft fees were lower and there was a £100 incentive. If I’d have known there would be this many problems, I wouldn’t have been enticed by a £1000 incentive!!! The online banking is god awfully slow – we transferred money from our joint account to our current account (both A&L accounts) on a Sunday night ready for our mortgage payments to go out Monday morning. Off went the DD’s in the morning – then we noticed they had been recalled. Why was this? Because the DD’s went off in the morning and our credit didn’t hit the account until the afternoon!! WHAT?????????? What kind of bank works on a morning and afternoon basis rather than a daily basis??? I am SO angry you would not believe! So now I have a load of money sat in the bank for my DD’s which have been recalled and £50 charges!!! Absolutely disgusting. Going to Watchdog with this one. They should not be allowed to get away with it. Ridiculous. DO NOT USE THIS BANK!

  104. Elda says:

    Hi everyone. When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy.
    I am from Guatemala and also am speaking English, give true I wrote the following sentence: It cannot be assumed that anti allergic compounds effective against mast cells in one tissue site or organ will be equally efficacious against mast cells in.Offers a function to find the right dimetapp from the complete line of products.

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  105. nicola says:

    I switched to this bank a few months ago and think they are a good bank, I’ve never had any problems but then I check my account everyday and have never gone overdrawn.

  106. Harry says:

    Good afternoon. No man remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself. Help me! I find sites on the topic: Payday loan. I found only this – payday loan online. Because of its anti inflammatory, anti micronbial and anti allergic properties. Atopic dermatitis finds excellent treatment in homeopathy. With best wishes :cool:, Harry from Israel.

  107. Miffed says:

    Four working days to process an electronic transfer! Someone needs to inform A&L that we are currently in the 21st century.

  108. Lynn MacLeod says:

    Having recently switched to A &L I am absolutely gutted I did. After banking with Lloyds Tsb be for 13 years I had never been o/d. After banking with A & L for a few months I have incurred charges twice. They operate in mysterious ways. Their online banking statements are unclear and do not provide the customer with enough information. The cheques take a ridiculously long time to clear, they show available balances on your statement online but that’s their wee joke because there is actually nothing available – beggars belief!!!!! The call centre staff only know their prepared answers and not ones of any actual help. I will be withdrawing my funds and closing this account. Very disappointing. 0 STARS

  109. CHRISTOPHER KAY says:

    A&L have blocked my internet access to my premier account since 4th July 2009. I have telephoned, written to Bootle and Narborough with no result, they have failed to reply I may take them to the cleaners.

  110. Rose Carter says:

    I am so angry I could weep! A and L sent ID codes PIN and cheques meant for me to our old address even though I sent them details of my new address two months ago which they acknowledged by letter. Luckily, the lady who lives there now returned everything to me but when I tried to sort this mess out, the call centre staff insisted that they only had my old address and it was all my fault! I have been trying to get my money out before there is another disaster but there are three days of my life I will never get back sitting by the phone waiting for promised return calls which never came. Why should they call back when they charge premium rate tariffs for you to call them when you get desperate. My dossier for the ombudsman is a foot thick and growing… The star below represents a minus.

  111. Ian says:

    Been with them for years – the service in the last 2 yrs is dreadful. Conflicting advice, staff that don’t know how the accounts work or where the money goes for days. As soon as I can I will be moving my money out to a real bank not what has become a Mickey Mouse organisation. Poor A&L what on earth has happened to a once well run institution!!!

  112. Brian says:

    This bank is the worst bank I have ever dealt with, and believe me I deal with a lot of banks around the world. I am resident in the Republic of Ireland and recently discovered they decided to deactivate my easy saver card, despite the fact I have in excess of £2k in my acccount and have never, ever been overdrawn! I moved address in October 2006 and advised them of my move, and sent proof of my new address to them. The reply I got was NO, we are no longer interested in non-resident accounts, please close your account and open an account with us in the Isle of Man! They refused to change my address, I replied that when I opened my account with them some years ago, they were delighted to see me and now they just want to slap me in the face. I had quite a number of shares in A&L, which have now become Santander shares. I get my correspondence from them to my new address, but the A&L bank have frozen my account as they have been sending parfinalia to my old address, which no longer exists, and getting no reply. Despite letters and proof of address going to their HQ, which they have never acknowledged as been received, my account is still frozen! Tomorrow is the 7th August and I am travelling to my branch in Newry, Northern Ireland and I will refuse to leave until my ATM card is working.

  113. JOHN WEEKES says:

    Disappointing experience with A&L. Their ISA Dept. is uncontactable! Even their Call Centre have to fill in a Form and our local Branch say there are issues with that Dept. We have waited months for a solution to why two ISA investments coming from different directions and with different maturity dates were combined with the result that we have lost interest. Their ‘Lets Work it Out’ section keep writing to tell me they haven’t solved the problem after several months! They are a joke!

  114. Miss Slater says:

    I moved to Alliance and Leicester after ten years with HSBC. WORST move I ever made, I had a fraud on my account, the Alliance Leicester Fraud staff (from Liverpool) said it was my fault, I asked for the contact number attached to the fraudulent payment and rang them up – it was Orange Home Broadband that I’ve never used – they told me they had my card details but a completely different name and address to mine. I rang back Alliance Leicester and a scatty young woman on the phone said it’s ‘wanna my problem miss’! I then discovered another fraud-does this bank advertise our account details or something? I don’t even buy anything online for details to be stolen? When I rang them up about this one I was shouted at by an extremely rude young man but that was only after a woman ‘put me on hold’ twice and cut me off after having me on hold for 15 minutes both times. I don’t think there is any general manager on the call centre to keep staff trained or in-line! I have once again had to do all the digging myself-the payment appeared to go through one of Alliance Leicester’s partner insurance companies – they were extremely helpful and told me someone who had worked there had been stealing money using their company name – so our details must be readily available for people to take home with them. I have now contacted the police who are dealing with this particular fraud to see how they are getting on – they were also very helpful. I went back to Alliance Leicester fraud centre to pass the details I’d acquired on and was told that as I’d investigated it myself and ‘involved’ police that I would never get my money back and that it ‘served me right’. What is going on here???!! I am now over £600 down and they even had the cheek to charge me for going overdrawn due to them giving free reign to fraudsters. Any advice welcome please.

  115. Keith & Linda says:

    A&L should be voted The Worst Bank EVER. As stated below this bunch thinks incompetence and bad service are a virtue! I can’t even begin to tell you how much bad attitude the staff at this bank have. The complaints procedure is non-existent. You write letters to complain and you get some computer printed out garbage in return. Trying to get to speak to someone on the phone who can actually resolve issues is practically is non existent. My wife and I can not wait to close all our accounts down as soon as we can – the only hold is transferring our ISA’s out as far from this bank as we can get. How to a bunch like this get to run a bank!!! One star is far too much but is the minimum that can be given!

  116. matt says:

    I’ve been with the Alliance and Leicester for 18 years personally and 13 years running my business account? Why? I have no idea. They are sometimes, frankly, useless to belligerent. At best mediocre. I must get around to changing… one day.

  117. Paul says:

    A&L are the worst bank I’ve ever been with. I went overdrawn by 10p after they withdrew £5 for the account underfunding monthly fee I was then charged £5 per day unauthorised overdraft fee. I only realized this when I got a letter informing me I had gone overdrawn! £130 in charges later I had managed to go from £4.90 in credit to £130 in debt in the space of a month. I tried to claim the money back by complaining the charges were out of proportion to the amount overdrawn but was politely told to get lost. After being forced to payup or else incur more charges I have the distinct feeling of being robbed. A&L are the wheel clampers of the banking world. One star is too much!!!!

  118. Brendan says:

    I opened an A & L Online Saver version 4.0 in May 2009. Due to their own mistake, they asked me to provide proof of identity even though I already had a current account with them, in which case you don’t need to provide this. Not knowing that at the time, I duly provided copies of my driving license and a utility bill, witnessed and stamped by an A & L clerk in my local branch. A & L then sent back the same form, asking for ID again, saying that what I provided was not good enough since I did not provide UK driving license or passport. I am an Irish citizen, resident in the UK, and I do not have a UK passport or driving license. I informed them of this. I phoned Alliance and Leicester up on a number of occasions to inquire why the account was not opened yet, in June, July and August. There were various phone calls and correspondence, with the result being the same – the account was not opened!
    I phoned them up again at the start of August 2009 and informed them that their not opening the account for this reason amounted to discrimination against me as a non-UK citizen. I was told to submit another utility bill. I asked to speak to a manager. I was phoned by someone from the complaints dept. in Leicester at the start of August. He informed me that no ID was needed from me in the first place because I already had a current account with A & L !! He assured me that my online saver account would be opened immediately, I would get backdated interest back to May, and I would get £25- compensation gesture in my current account. It is now the 25th August 2009, the account has not been opened, no goodwill compensation has been
    given to me, and backdated interest has not accrued because they have not opened the account. They sent me a letter near the end of August 2009, saying that the account has been opened, and they trust the matter has now been resolved to your satisfaction. In fact, the account has NOT BEEN OPENED, and the matter is NOT resolved. I also attempted to open a premier direct joint account with my partner and the branch staff girl failed to tell us that they would not open it because I already have a premier direct account opened within a year in the past. She said that the account would be opened in 72 hours, however a week later it was not opened and I asked her in branch about it, at which point she said that they would not open it for that reason. They didn’t even bother to send a letter telling us this – I had to go in branch and chase them up myself!!
    Alliance and Leicester’s incompetence and lack of customer service is staggering, the complaints dept. is not much better, they send letters to me each of which contradicts the last one, I could go on… AVOID AVOID AVOID the good interest rates are not worth the hassle – what will you get over a year anyway in interest? max. about £160 – not worth the hassle. ONLY ONE STAR BECAUSE I COULD NOT GIVE 0 STAR!!!

  119. JayBolo says:

    It seems to be a standard and practice from the easy saver complaints to get some actual interaction. Good thing to look for when building a complaint comparison.

  120. daniel says:

    Agree with the majority here, I owed them £180 on the 24th October 2009, by the time I made it into the branch on the 28th October 2009 that had gone up to £325! I used this account for two direct debits at £25 each, so £275 of the £325 is payment fees! The £100 they pay you is not enough stay as far away as possible, branch staff have no access to your account so cannot help and the number to call is premium. On top of that when you speak to someone on the phone they do not care.

  121. Alan Holman says:

    I opened a 3-year fixed term deposit for 50k with A&L in 2005. The rates offered at that time were competitive. The following year I changed my address and was informed by A&L that I would have to visit the branch with my passport and fill in the relevant form. My passport details were on their records as my main identification and I didn’t mind going the extra mile in the interest of security.

    However in August 07 I received a letter from A&L advising that a cheque for 35k ‘issued in April in accordance with my instructions’ and sent to a bank in London had not yet been cashed. I immediately contacted A&L to advise that I had never issued instructions for this transaction and it should be blocked immediately. Their response was that ‘as they couldn’t see me (I was in SE Asia) they could not act on my phone call’. I asked if it was necessary for me to fly 8000 miles to the UK to sort out their mistakes? I also mentioned that I strongly suspected this was internal fraud. However I was talking to a brick wall. I checked my own records and called the staff member that had opened the bond for me. She remembered me well and investigated the matter. She was one of the more efficient employees and I thank her sincerely. She called me back in a couple of hours with the information she had been given. The explanation was that somebody with the same name as me had walked into another branch (about 100km away) and requested a 35k cheque be sent to a bank in London for collection. However the story my branch contact had been given is full of holes for the following reasons:
    – My passport (required identification) is Australian and was with me in SE Asia;
    – My name is not a common name;
    – Additional documents would have been asked for including the original bond certificate;
    – Transactions of this nature are unusual and could only be carried out at the branch where the bond was issued (not 100km away on the South Coast);
    – Early withdrawal of funds from a 3-year fixed rate bond would have involved a lot of questions and an early withdrawal penalty.
    I wrote to head office and asked how it was possible for this to happen and what were they doing to improve security and customer service. As expected I got the usual "we’re looking into it" delaying tactic. After a couple of months I put the Financial Ombudsman onto the case and by the end of November A&L finally admitted that the particular branch had made an error and had been asked to address their security situation. The balance was restored, however I no longer use this bank and give it a maximum rating of one star. Furthermore I hope the new owners ‘Santander’ are smart enough to filter out the unsuitable elements from the organisation.

  122. Amit says:

    Alliance & Leicester
    Office: Carlton Park, Narborough
    Leicester LE19 0AL.

    Fax: + (44) 870 769 9008


    At Alliance & Leicester Plc, our goal and mission is to provide quality logistical solutions which exceed our expectations at competitive price. Our aim of providing global excellence in banking system is provided by our staff members who are here to serve your requirements through the next century.

    Thanks for your understanding and co-operation. Your account has been opened and activated in this bank and below is your account details needed to access your account and make transfer of 1,500.000 {One Million Five Hundred Thousand Pounds} to your bank account in your country, You are to open our secured website below and click LOG-IN you can log on/access your account from there.

    Below are your account login details needed to access your account and make transfer of your Grant fund from Alliance & Leicester to your Bank account in your Country, below is your Account Number, Pass Key and Pin Code needed to access your account from our secured section of our website…

    ACCOUNT NUMBER/ID: 25006726
    PIN CODE: 239390
    COT CODE: 129083

    You are advice to change your Pass Key and Pin Code on first access to your account for security purpose..

    Thanks for banking with us, we hope to serve you better your email is important to us.

    Caution: You authorize to access your account and transfer your fund alone. Make sure your account login info is kept from unauthorised individual regardless of His/Her personality, this is a measure to avoid double claiming as this Bank would be liable for any double claim or lost of fund.

    Note that approximately 10crore will be credited in your account once transfer is completed.

    We fully assure you that we shall transfer your fund as well as satisfy your needs.

    Please be guided accordingly.

    We await’s your prompt response.

    Mr. Peter Hopkins
    The Director Foreign Operations, International Remittance Department.
    Alliance & Leicester Plc

    Alliance & Leicester plc. Registered Office: Carlton Park, Narborough Leicester LE19 0AL. Alliance & Leicester plc Members of the British Bankers’ Association. Alliance & Leicester is part of the Santander Group, one of the world’s largest banking groups.
    Transfering Funds And Saving The World-Wide On Time, Every time.

    So sir Help Me This is Rigth Available My Account Please Send Me Your Email ID So I send All Details or I Going News Channels and Help.

  123. Kazza says:

    I have had an account with A&L for around two years with no problem. The only thing I find very frustrating is the time delay with a transaction happening to the time it takes to show up on the statement although the balance figure has changed the details take too long to show I’ve had no real problem with them as a company. But I do keep a careful eye on my account as any one should do with identity fraud etc going on these days and don’t spend more than you have, stick to a budget.

  124. Alan Powley says:

    My experience with Alliance & Leicester has been so extremely poor that I am now being forced to take my own legal action against them in addition to making a formal complaint to the Financial Ombudsman. I also intend to request the home addresses of the Directors from Companies House so that I can copy them in on my complaint and I shall be doing the same with all available national media sources. They have mislead me, the staff are not properly trained, they have made countless false promises and they have levied charges on my account for an overdraft which they themselves created. Alliance & Leicester then subsequently charged in excess of two thousand five hundred percent interest on those charges. I shall not rest until my whole story has been fully publicised on a national scale and I shall not go away until I have been re-paid and fairly compensated. Stay well clear of this bank. Their service is so bad, it is bordering on criminal. My experience with A & L has been so appalling, it is almost surreal.

  125. Andrew Hanson says:

    I have been banking with A&L for 20 years and in light of the Supreme Court decision this morning (25/11/09) I will be moving my account within the next few days. Everything everyone has said is true, they have an appalling customer services attitude. They take longer than any other bank on the planet to clear funds and trying to find out how much you have in your account is hit and miss to say the least. The amount shown as available funds is completely different depending on whether you access your balance by phone, online or at the cashpoint. Go to a cashpoint and check your balance and it will show available funds of X, if you then withdraw money you will find the next time you check your balance that the figure stated as available funds was in fact a payment into your account which A&L did not consider cleared therefore incurring charges if you exceed your overdraft limit. This is deliberately misleading but when you point this out to a member off staff by calling the (premium rate) customer services number you get the response many people on this site have heard" "you should learn to balance your finances better". As I have a reclaiming case on hold in court I will be gathering evidence to change my claim to one of deliberate mismanagement of my account to generate revenue from charges. Please post more instances if anyone else has encountered this cynical form of robbery.

  126. Tom Winskill says:

    Alliance & Leicester are a terrible bank. I have had the most awful experiences with thesm and they have caused me untold stress and anxiety. They claim to be a bank yet they behave like a bunch of school kids. They have no sense of loyalty towards their customers and their customer service is awful. They are rude and unsympathetic people – I actually lost my job as they would not lend me the money for my train fare. I only wanted the credit for a week but they refused and so lost a 40k a year job. They are evil and nasty. I am amazed these people are allowed to trade as their banking services bear no resemblance to banking services at other banks. If you value your career or your peace of mind, do not ever go near the Alliance and Leicester as you will end up going through a living nightmare.

  127. David Hancock says:

    In over 30 years of banking I have never come across a more incompetent and unprofessional bank than A & L. I am at the end of my tether with their sheer incompetence. The people in their call centre at Bootle are rude and untrained; they haven’t got a clue in how to deal with customers and every time I call them, they leave me feeling like a criminal. I shall be leaving A&L and opening a new bank account at the first possible opportunity.

  128. T McGregor says:

    If it were possible to rate A&L with NO stars, I would. They are terrible. Appalling customer service – staff couldn’t care less about customers problems, and make their apathy obvious when they speak to you. They lost £100 I’d paid into my account, and took 5 weeks to find it. I had to threaten to get the Police in before anything was done – I’ve received no apologies, no acknowledgments to my letters, nothing! They charged me £25 for going overdrawn for 2 hours (something that wouldn’t have happened had my £100 been in the account in the first place)!! This bank is rubbish, I’m closing my account and am recommending to everyone I meet that they steer clear of A&L. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!

  129. Lisa F says:

    I was lured to A & L by their financial incentives – that will teach me to be greedy! Countless incidents of ineptitude – stopping my card on numerous occasions while travelling overseas even though I’d advised them exactly where I was going, stopping my card (on another occasion) when I withdrew a large sum of money (which I think I’m entitled to) because it looked ‘dodgy’ – leaving me high and dry at Sainsbury’s tills. But it was the recent incident of them taking TWO months to send me a form to use the switching service – at least 10 phone calls on my part to try and sort this – and then they simply transferred all my DDs (without my permission) to my new account where there was no money!!! So it was only by chance I happened to go online to see all my ‘bounced’ DDs and a long list of fees accruing! More lengthy phone calls, rude staff – I can’t be bothered. Alliance & Leicseter – you’re pants. I’m moving my accounts – yes all 3 of them – to another bank, pronto.

  130. Richard Brooks says:

    Thanks to the alliance and leicester transferring money to the wrong account… My house move has screwed up an hour before the van arrived… and it could well fall through. Surely if you about to transfer a large sum of money to a Solicitor for the next day… you would do a thorough check and not send it to the wrong account!

  131. Neddy says:

    A & L took £550 from my account and on my statement it is a CHAPS INWARD, they said it was a duplicate payment to which I have proved it was not. Money back in my account…. no way they are to investigate…. THEY ARE CRIMINALS. Once my money gets returned I am putting my money under my pillow 🙂

  132. Ali says:

    I’ve just found out from Alliance and Leicester that I’ve been charged £5 a month in bank charges for two years on an account I closed 2 years ago. I only found out I still had an account with them because they sent me a new debit card. They are a truly horrible bank to deal with and will squeeze every penny they can from their customers. I advise anyone considering opening an account with them to avoid them, and don’t be fooled by their offer of £100 to open a new account – they will get that back from you with interest!

  133. Joe Totale says:

    Really great bank.

    p.s it’s ran by Nutters.

  134. Kris Bradbury says:


    In April I found I had an old savers account with A&L and so got in contact with them about how much was left inside. To my shock there was £400! score! – But that’s where things go down hill…. It took 6 weeks, 17 phone calls and an ID check that they just sent back saying ‘we don’t know whats its for’. In then end I did get the money in an Current account I opened – BIG MISTAKE. Soon after I was on Job Seekers allowance 🙁 So ONCE every 2 weeks I would be paid a whole £100 which was to cover me for fuel to interviews and living like food. Late July I did the worst thing, I brought some food. I became overdrawn by £5.86. I wasn’t going to be paid for another 2 weeks. 2 weeks later £100 when into my account from JSA only then for them to charge £110 in fees. I wrote to them at once saying this was an outrage and aid I couldn’t afford these charges (there were more over the 4 months) They didn’t reply. I sent another letter, as their contact staff on the phone are useless, they can’t even be arsed to spell my name right. No reply again! until 6 weeks had gone. They said they would ‘investigate’ and shock! they said ‘meh, pay up’ by which time the charges were over £260 which I couldn’t afford. I sent another letter demanding some help and I wasn’t happy with the outcome. No reply. I complained to the banking ombudsman, they said they would contact A&L and to look for a reply from A&L ‘within a few days’. This was in October… It’s now December! No reply nothing and guess what? The fees are now over £400 and they are threatening to take me to court… bring it on! DO NOT USE this bank!

  135. Mrs S says:

    Appalling attitude to customer service, are slow, do not respond to complaints. Final straw is they have just charged us for going overdrawn because of the order of transactions on our statement with funds going in to pay the mortgage on 29th December (normally goes in on 25th but due to 4 bank holidays for Christmas went in on 29th) and mortgage payment going out on 29th. Must have been overdrawn for a second. To make matters worse all accounts and mortgage are with A&L! Can’t imagine what happens to people who don’t play close attention to their account. Talk about catching us out on a technicality.

  136. Martin says:

    First of all I want to apologize for my English but I will do my best and try to tell you what happened to me with this bank.
    I’m on JSA more than 6 months and my payments always were going to my account at A&L. So they could see where I have money from. I was a few days on overdraft £2.98 and they applied bank charges to my account 70 pounds and keep charging me £5 a day so at this moment it is £110 DR. I spoke to them a few times and asked them not to do it because we struggle with my wife and have no money. They simply said they don’t care and we have to pay back. I cancelled each direct debit, phoned Job centre and ask them to send me a cheque. There were money to cover this overdraft so we didn’t lose any money but how are we supposed to live with no bank account?? We can’t but anything over internet etc. On top of that A&L said that we are going to have bad credit score until we pay this back. Is it a true??

  137. msbethk says:

    I have just been put through yet again to a bunch of people working for the A+L, I am sick of their lazy attitude and needless bank charges, STAY AWAY FROM THIS BANK!! They treat you like a criminal where it is you who is funding their disgusting behaviour. I have to give them a star but they deserve none!

  138. Brian S says:

    Customer services are not nice, ripped off by £25 through a PAYMENT REVIEW FEE-DD RETURNED
    Do not bank here.
    Should be ZERO star rating

  139. T H says:

    Mr Pym,
    Is anyone with any business management employed by this bank or are they too busy getting fat on bonuses conned out of us scummy customers?
    I have tried to get a transaction paid using online ‘facilities’ – this has not happened. I have tried calling the correct number many times for current accounts – this is a charged service and advertised as such until 11pm – a 5 minute call laboriously listening to options and eventually getting to the required option simply states a technical fault (STILL FOR OVER A WEEK) and hangs up – another excellent con guys – advertise a service and give nothing.
    I have written in and received no response in over a week – so much for ‘next working day’.
    I have now risked repeating this transaction request though fully expect the banks systems now to pay both and charge me extortionate rates for going over overdraft. I am sure the £35 per letter system is fully functional and without any technical faults.
    I expect also there will be absolutely no response to recent communications or that I will be patronized by an insincere automatic apology and will be joining the masses of customers such as at the Banking Guide. Evidently customer service is no longer required in banking procedures as ‘profit problems’ can be gained from the taxpayer instead.

  140. David Douce says:

    This bank badly needs to learn to respect its customers. We placed a large sum into a deposit account, only after wrestling with contradictory demands for ID (my wife is an EU national). Eventually we went into a branch, in spite of it being an internet account, where they also could not understand the demands. Finally this account was opened. I have just tried to open another account, and after four weeks of no communication from them, was treated to an incredibly rude response when I phoned them. They basically want all of the ID again, in spite of the fact that it will all be identical to the last set. The person on the phone just kept saying ‘Regulations’ each time I asked why things were needed, then developed an ‘I’ll ask my colleague’ tactic. I asked if I could talk to the colleague – No, regulations. I am trying to place money with them, I already have an account, and yet I feel that I am begging them for a favour. Do I believe that they sent me a letter, which has been lost in the post? No, they are seriously incompetent. Can one give a no-stars rating?

  141. S Bmth says:

    DO NOT trust Alliance and Leicester !!!!!

    I encouraged my son to open an account with them. He had his first large payment paid in mid December 09. Someone in London has spent all of it whilst down in Bournemouth he had to get authorisation for every purchase. He reported this several times and was told that ‘the account updates itself overnight so we can’t tell you anything till tomorrow’ NOT TRUE – some fraudster in London had all the money out of the account – and all Alliance and Leicester can say is that ‘we cant monitor everyone’s accounts 24hrs a day’. NOT one phone call or letter has been made or sent. They say you should check your online banking????? He would of if it hadn’t been locked !!!!!! 15 phone calls and 7 visits to branch and still NOTHING – a disgrace!

  142. KH says:

    I entered the wrong number when trying to change my pin online and was locked out. I was lost as I’d forgotten my pin. I rand the call centre for help but failed their security questions. I was told you’ve failed I’m not here to help go to your branch, I was then cut off! I rang but to complain and was told that because I use call ID blocked they couldn’t race the call handler! The bad mannered person knew what she was doing when she told me where to go!!! I’m out of this disgusting bank!

  143. Philip says:

    I’m sorry Alliance and Leicester have the worst service I have come across.

    It took 4 months to transfer my ISA to them, despite multiple chasings. Which therefore made a mockery of their increased (temporary rate, note it went down to 0.88% after 1 year). You cannot close your account in branch. You cannot close it online

    So you have to phone. Transferred from department to department to fax machine until you finally get the unhelpful dept.

    Ask you every question under the known sun. I think inside leg measurement was the only one they missed off. But in the end they decided because I couldn’t give them my opening balance. I’m sorry I a)can’t remember that long ago and b)didn’t have the paper work with me. Refused to help, refused to put me through to someone else.

    When I close this account A&L will not see 1p of my money again.

  144. Kavita B says:

    Don’t even contemplate banking with them! You will get an ulcer or high blood pressure.

    I cannot express my rage and frustration with the Alliance & Leicester enough. I phoned the Customer Service number this morning to arrange for a CHAPS transfer to my solicitor’s account (I am trying to purchase a flat so needed to transfer deposit monies). Needless to say, I had tried calling a couple of times before but was unceremoniously cut off. I was very explicit in my instructions to the person I spoke with (A), stressing that the monies needed to get into my solicitor’s account today. This was at 10.00am. A said that Alliance & Leicester would give me a call back for security reasons. I explained that I was at work so there was no point in calling my home phone number. I gave my work phone number and my mobile phone number. A assured me that they would try my work landline and if they couldn’t get through, they’d try my mobile. I even volunteered to go to an A&L branch around the corner from my office and give my driving licence and any other evidence required. I was told there was no need, and someone would call me within the next 2 hours.

    Two hours came and went. Midday came and went. I called back at 12.40pm and spoke to someone else (B). B explained that someone would call me anytime between now and 4.30pm. I again emphasised that I should be called either on my work number or my mobile. I wait. I check my online account at various intervals throughout the day.

    I try and call at 4.20pm as I note that the money is still in my account. Of course, after waiting for 5 minutes I get a message saying that there is a problem with the line and my call cannot be taken. I call again, wary of the clock ticking away relentlessly.

    Finally I get through to a human being (C) at around 4.40pm. I explain what has happened and express my distress. I am told the following (i) A&L cannot call a number which has not been noted as a client’s number for the last 3 months, (ii) someone had called my home phone and left a message. I managed not to have a stroke but I was as apoplectic as I ever really get. I’m sure I turned slightly purple, a difficult thing to accomplish if you’re Asian. I digress. I again explained the situation and reiterated the fact that I had already informed A that I was not home and I relayed the (false) assurances I was given. C was sympathetic but there was nothing he could do as the 4.30pm cut off was passed, but he would lodge a complaint on my behalf and get a team manger to call me at home this evening at 7.00pm.

    I left work early to ensure I did not miss a call. I even called when I got in (at around 6.30 or so) and spoke with a woman (D) who was again sympathetic. By 7.20pm no one had called, so (yes, you guessed it) I called them back and spoke to another woman (E) who I can only call a brash computer says no type of gal. I really should have made a recording of my story to save me having to go through it again, but alas. Anyway, E says, let me have a look at your file…. oh you wanted a transfer. A team manager is supposed to call you. There’s no one here who can do that. I’ll check and see if anyone’s available to call you. By this point, I’ve lost all faith in humanity and no longer have the energy to get annoyed.

    Finally, about 5 minutes ago, I receive a call from a team manager (F). Result: they’ll try and expedite payment into my solicitors account tomorrow and waive the £30 fee. My reply: fine, but I think I’ve spent double that on your premium rate number. Anyway, back to the essence of my nightmare day: don’t bank with Alliance & Leicester. It’s really not worth it. Ever. I also agree with the other customers who have left reviews about the misleading account statements (when viewed online).

    I’m going to try and switch to a bank that actually has a policy of employing competent staff and of genuine customer service (a little too much to ask, I fear).

  145. Anon says:



    STAY AWAY!!!

  146. Andrew says:

    DO NOT EVER GO NEAR – more hassle in 6 weeks, more bank charges in 2 weeks than my preceding 20 years with another bank. ZERO care, ZERO customer service, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED, DAYLIGHT ROBBERS and you’ve nowhere to run.

  147. Andrew says:

    DO NOT EVER GO NEAR – more hassle in 6 weeks, more bank charges in 2 weeks than my preceding 20 years with another bank. ZERO care, ZERO customer service, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED, DAYLIGHT ROBBERS and you’ve nowhere to run

  148. Ben Price says:

    AVOID this bank. I cannot express in words (apart from very offensive ones) how disgusted I am with them. After 3 weeks I am still waiting for them to do something that they said would take 1 to 2 days! Seven faxes, two letters by post, countless telephone calls, hours and hours of our time wasted, and not a single response from any of it. My house purchase is on the verge of falling through because of their incompetence. Scandalous.

  149. phil says:

    It’s about time somebody stood up to these bullies and closed them down…

  150. Dave Wells says:

    As soon as Tesco or the Post Office open a current account I’m jumping ship. Alliance Leicester are totally useless, just like all the other big banks.

  151. mike says:

    Bank overdraft £500. Overdrew for one day by 11pence. Appealed in writing. No mercy. Deaf ears met. Bank now suing me. Claiming I now owe £1015.14.

  152. Daniel Yetton says:

    I must say I’m glad to see so many complaints, I was worried it was just me. A standing order for rent that should have been set up in December wasn’t till the 5 of February. They have now informed me that the previous two payments will be coming out even though I have already made them already. When I called to complain I was informed I cannot talk to management because there is nothing more they can do and that it was my own fault for failing security in January, even though they did not set up the Standing order December, a month before! So far it has cost me between £150-£200 and they haven’t even apologised!!!

  153. Dave Harris says:

    Unbelievably bad bank. Please do yourself a favour and use another bank. My kids toy post office gave better service.

  154. John Fisher says:

    It is interesting to read to comment by Dave Wells because a lot of the A&L bank accounts were previously Girobank from the Post Office which was sold off by the previous government. So it could happen again. I joined Girobank when it first started in the 60s because of the stuffiness of the high street banks. I am now in the process of changing banks because the customer relations at A&L appear out of control and ignore their own terms and conditions.
    I am taking with me my latest $100 compensation award via the FSA.

  155. ohsoangry says:

    I thought A & L were OK when I opened an account with them – should have read the reviews first. Have just been charged £100 for being £3.50 overdrawn!!!!!!!!!! When I contacted Customers Services (that’s a joke for a start because they have no customer service and are about the most unhelpful, supercilious bunch of people you could come across). I am going to the Ombudsman, but don’t bank with them. It’s a pity you can’t give a minus rating.

  156. Anon says:

    I think you are all just moaning old b@£ta$s, just beacuse a bank expects you to have some faint knowldge of how to bank and looking after your own secutiry automaitcally makes them a bad bank. Some actualy put that they would not lend them moeny for bus fair, you are not 12 and they are not your mum and with money management like that, i dont think you are on 40k a year and dont think you should be allowed near a bank. Everyone get a grip of yourselves, it is due to whinging moaning people like yourselves that this country sturggled to drop out of a recession

  157. amanda coltman says:

    Bunch of incompetents.
    Have a mortgage with A and L and merely want a transfer of equity into my sole name after a divorce. Simples you might think. Applied in July 2009 and after thousands in expenses and countless calls, letters etc it is now March 2010 and I am still waiting. There customer service is non existent, they really do need to change their ways. Would not recommend anybody use them.

  158. Victoria says:

    How do you get to talk to a human being ? The number I’ve got has no options to talk to someone, and the branch locator on the website doesn’t work. I’m also going to jump ship.

  159. May B. says:

    I’ve had 3 A&L accounts, Instant access, Direct Saver, Online Saver, dating back 19 years. I have ISA’s with them. I have always found their Leeds City branch (my local) very friendly and helpful. Their website has always been quick and efficient, a good way to send money, direct debit my bills, and my visa debit card with them is always accurate and efficient. When I had a very serious accident in South-east Asia, they actually returned my call on their own cost, for 30 minutes long distance to complete th transfer of funds from my account to the hospital. They have been everything I want from a bank.

  160. Jesma says:

    OMG don’t ever go near A&L bank… I’m really really angry at them!

    I am currently out of the country and guess what I have found out that I owe them a lot of money???!!!! Why???!!!!!!! Because of an overdraft, outrageous! Imagine having a young working account and whenever there’s an overdraft even just a single penny they will charge 25 quid??!!! I didn’t get a lot of money that time I was relying on my EMA and they keep on taking money out of it. I decide to take them all out before they take my money. I went out of the country and now planning to go back and guess what??!!! They will take me to court…. I have never seen a bank like that, a rip off even to young students. I am so ashamed that I opened an account with that bank!

  161. paul Harrison says:

    This bank has ruined my health and life. has decided to gather info to bring this bank down a little. Good for them i say.

  162. Claire says:

    AWFUL BANK!! My husband took out a loan with Alliance & Leicester a year ago that we have recently paid off as we are moving house and this was a condition of our new mortgage. My husband went into 2 different branches of A&L and 2 Santanders with the cash to settle the loan to be told that they could not give us any sort of balance on the account or proof to show that the loan had been paid. The customer service representative behind the counter was sat reading the newspaper and was the most unhelpful person my husband had ever met. Eventually my husband paid off the loan in full and was given the receipt (which was filled in incorrectly). Now 3 weeks on we have STILL not received confirmation that the loan has been paid off and Santander have taken a Direct Debit payment from our account for a loan that we have already paid. NOT HAPPY at all to say the least. AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

  163. Mr Smith says:

    Recently had to get my debit card replaced. Was told it was posted special delivery on Thursday 11/3/2010. It wasn’t. It was posted on Friday 12/3/2010 and arrived here on Saturday 13th. Phone bank same day to verify receipt and was told that the old PIN was still good for this card. Bought petrol on Monday 15th. Payment refused because PIN not valid. Told by A-L that new PIN was required and that this was posted 1st Class 12/3/10. Later told that it was posted Saturday 13/03/2010. Still not received 16/3/10 so asked that this be sent special delivery today. They refused to do that, but would send it out Wednesday 17/3/10. I’ll let you know when I get it.

    I’ve left a 1 star rating, because I had to. It is not deserved.

  164. Angelos Taplatzidis says:

    I have never been treated with respect and customer care from this bank. They seem to be interested only in adding unlawful charges to my account.

    I retain accounts with two major banks and although their rates aren’t lucrative I choose to stay with them because they are humane. I will not advertise them, but I have to say. Stay away from the promising packages and incentives of Alliance & Leicester if you aren’t a millionaire. In case something goes wrong they will suck every penny out of you. It’s a pity I have to give them one start, they deserve minus ratings.

  165. Angelos Taplatzidis says:

    As far as online banking is concerned Alliance & Leicester is hugely complicated. Like they don’t want you to check your account online.

  166. Tom says:

    After received my pin No. tried to access a/c and all I get is pin not recognised. If A/L gave me pin No. how come it is not valid. I give up.

  167. AJB says:

    Terrible customer services.

    My account was charged a £25 payment review fee because I transferred money into the account, from another A&L account, but also set up a bill payment. A&L claim that they had to review my account to make sure there were funds because I should have left one clear day before arranging a payment after the deposit. They point to their Terms and Conditions. Only, their Terms and Conditions make no such reference to one clear day being needed on anything other than a cash deposit which I did not do. 8 weeks on and they still can’t show me where in their T&C I would have been able to know about the one clear day, and now avoid talking to me at all. I am off to write to the board members again.

  168. Gemma Westmore says:

    OH MY GOD!!!
    I honestly thought I was the only one going through this situation with A&L. But after reading all these comments I now know I’m not alone. A&L are complete utter useless idiots and know how to make there profit by charging you for ridiculous bank charges. I never get to see my full income as I am always somehow overdrawn by a couple of quid!! Also there time scale is ridiculous paying by card is not worth it as it doesn’t show until 3 days later.
    I could go on but I think everyone is getting the gist of how rubbish A&L are. My advice is stay away there are so many better banks/facilities out there to try, needless to say I’m in the middle of closing my bank account at A&L and setting up somewhere else.

  169. edward says:

    DON’T ever bank with A&L they can not be trusted, I have had countless amounts of fraud on my account and they never do nothing to help, countless calls, emails and letters. I ask for monthly statements but to help the environment they don’t do this no more!! I work away a lot and don’t have the time to check my online banking and can’t always get on cos of problems one reason or another. This has been on going since Nov 09. I have changed banks but can’t close the account as they say I owe them money even though there are transactions on mine that have nothing to do with me!!! Quick to get money owed but not as quick to get the money back to you.

  170. John Woodward says:

    Absolutely useless. I left Abbey to join this bank. They are both owned by Santander – need I say more. Kept blocking our internet access and took weeks to send a replacement PIN which wouldn’t work because they had set up multiple IDs. They even would not transfer our DD and SO details when we decided to leave them. Eventually got some action when we Emailed their CEO direct.

  171. Janette Strike says:

    Strung along our son for a mortgage (a mortgage for £60000 when he was putting down £52500), thank you A&L for stringing him a long for a month. Accepted by phone then declined after a month. They will no doubt be pleased to know (if anyone in your organisation actually DOES give a hoot) that if necessary we will be funding his house (partly with the money we get out of their hands as we intend to cease all business with A&L).

    Will be making an official complaint. We were quite disgusted with the poor service provide to our son. Our business is going elsewhere and we will be communicate the failings & poor performance of Alliance & Leicester to all our friends, work colleagues, internet blogs and anyone else prepared to listen.

    AVOID ALLIANCE AND LEICESTER! (Given one star as the site will not allow zero stars!) Incompetence bordering on arrogance.

  172. Diane says:

    A&L told me to close my account three years ago after they paid back my charges. I did. Two months ago I found out that they had put bad payments on my credit file. When I contacted them after endless wild goose chases and irrelevant letters they told me that they had no record of me closing my account. The account was still in credit and there are no standing orders or direct debits against it but they still won’t remove the slurs on my credit report. When I complain they say the subject is closed. They are a dangerous bunch and should be avoided at all costs.

  173. Jackie says:

    Avoid this bank at all costs! My whole family used to bank with them but have closed five accounts with them due to bad attitude and customer service. We first banked with Leicester Building Society and had been with them ever since. No account of customer loyalty!!

  174. Tracey Brown says:

    Been an A & L customer for 7 years and never missed a mortgage payment. Had an existing portable mortgage for £135,000 and wanted to move house and reduce my mortgage to £80,000. They told me I no longer fitted their criteria. They charged me £4000 in early repayment fees and waiting until two days before completion (the application had been in for a month) to decline the mortgage. Totally disgusted and currently seeking professional advice.

  175. ladybirdscot says:

    Wow! I am astounded at the complaints on here! I must be one of the few lucky ones. I’ve banked with them for ten years and chose them because I live in a remote area and have to bank through the post office and online. I find the online system easy to use, very efficient, low bank charges for my authorised overdraft and any telephone calls have been to polite and friendly staff. Someone asked how you get to speak to a human. This is one of the best things about calling them – I always speak to a human, with an easy to understand accent too! It may be that the poster hasn’t registered for telephone banking. I’ve had a few problems over the years, sometimes my own mistake and once a cheque that got lost in the post. Each time A & L have helped me resolve my problems successfully. They even dropped a bank charge that was caused by my mis-calculation. I hope that switch to Santander doesn’t change the great service I’ve had so far.

  176. Judith Wilkinson says:

    So glad to see so many adverse comments about this bank – I thought it was just me. I’m surprised though that it is not possible to vote in black balls. You cannot apparently register a comment without giving at least one star – please read no star at all for my review.

    I paid a deposit on a new car ( bought in Bradford) on 11 April 2010, with agreement that balance would be paid on 30 April 2010. As I was going to be on holiday in Devon on that date (I live in Warwickshire), I rang A&L customer services on 13 April to find out how to transfer the money. I was assured that so long as I rang before 11 am on 30 April and was prepared to pay a fee of about £30.00 there would be no problem. I rang at 9.05 am on 30 April – after going through excruciatingly long-winded service selection and security checks. The adviser brightly advised me that the easiest way to pay for my car would be to ring the branch and make a payment with my debit card. Oh, I thought – why did the person I spoke to last not suggest this? However, no way – car dealers not interested, so back to long winded process and different adviser… I need to make a payment today I said (10.10 by this time). OK she said, and took me through further involved security checks. That will go through today? I asked, anxious about what would happen if it didn’t. Oh yes she said – but we’ll be calling you back on your home number to make further checks. I’m on holiday in Devon I said for the umpteenth time. Could you not go home she said… After we’d established that I would not be going home, she reluctantly accepted my mobile number, but was unable to say when I would get the call. I arrived at a wonderful pub by the sea for lunch to find I’d missed a call, so rang back. Through long-winded process, etc and spoke to – a different – adviser, who confirmed (several times in response to my now somewhat desperate scepticism) payment would be made today.

    Arriving at 3.15 in a pretty village and ready for tea, I saw I had received a further call. I rang back – through same long-winded process – and spoke to probably the most insolent customer services assistant I have ever come across. Had I specified that I wanted to make a chaps payment? No, what is chaps? I’d asked for payment to be made today I said. Oh well, that could mean two things she said – either that process is set up today and goes into the other account at a later date or that payment is actually completed on the same day. (In fact, A&L had failed to set up either of these processes.) Baffled and getting annoyed, I attempted to explain (yet again) the circumstances, only to be told to stop interrupting her, she could tell I was getting frustrated that we were going round in circles and that I could not speak to the person who had confirmed the transaction at 12.30 (he might have gone home and anyway she could not tell who it was) and that I could not speak to a manager they did not deal with this sort of problem). I hung on for an hour at which point her nerve gave up before mine and she agreed to transfer me to a manager.

    I only had to listen to the aggressively bright, scratchy soundtrack for seven or eight minutes before I eventually got to speak to Terry. Terry was a bit more polite – but as stoically unhelpful as his lady subordinate. However, I didn’t get long to talk to him, because the money ran out on my phone. (Tip to others – talking to A&L on the mobile is cripplingly expensive.) After topping it up I (foolishly) tried again. Same long-winded process, etc and through to yet another adviser. Could he put me through to Terry? No he couldn’t do that – he didn’t know the number… managers did not deal with that sort of thing, etc. – and oh yes, Terry had written a note on my file – could I go to a post office and draw out £9000+ (in rural South Devon!!!!) and take it to a Nat West branch (car dealer’s banker) and pay it in. Time now 4.20.

    Absolutely desperate by this time, I drove into Totnes to look for an A&L, only to discover that it had closed at 4.00. Followed grovelling and humiliating apologies to car dealer.

    Saturday 2 May – back to Totnes to try again. Branch assistant took lots of security details, including my driving license (that was new) and rang Head Office to see what could be done. They would authorise me drawing money in cash (if there was enough in the till.) Could this process not be short-circuited by them transferring immediate payment to car dealer? I asked tentatively. Sadly not – but I could use branch phone to speak to dread Head Office and arrange chaps payment. Slightly shorter long-winded process followed – hello Phil, who was very surprised to hear about my problems the day before and was absolutely certain he could arrange payment today for fee of £30. Agreed! I only needed about ten firm assurances that payment would go through before I was confident enough to leave the branch.

    Imagine my surprise today (now back at home) to discover money still in my account… Phone call to customer complaints who assured me that chaps payments are definitely not made on Saturdays, but it was OK – the arrangement had gone through and would definitely be paid on Monday. NO I said – it’s a Bank Holiday on Monday. Oh yes, she said, it’ll go through on Tuesday, as though I’d be pleased. After all, I’m supposed to picking the car up on Monday and I’m sure the dealers won’t mind me driving it away, with my assurance that payment on Tuesday is a dead cert.

    Yes she could see they had made mistakes she said and she would be getting someone to contact me about it – but only probably in the next five days and probably on my home phone. I’ll be staying in especially for that, I’m sure. Next on my list for today – looking for a new bank.

  177. Linda Jones says:

    Alliance and Leicester wrecked my credit rating. I exceeded my overdraft limit for one week by £35 for the first time ever. This was due to a silly oversight on my behalf. I expected to be charged for this which I was but I didn’t expect them to enter a 2 on my credit file! A 2 means that I was over my limit for 2 to 3 months. I asked them to rectify it to a 1 but they refused. A 1 means that I have been overdrawn by up to a month. I went to the Financial Ombudsmans service and an adjudicator ruled in my favour, said they were being unfair and asked them to change it. Again they refused and said that it was their own system and they put a 2 on anybody’s credit file who has ever been overdrawn. I now, for the first time in my life, am unable to get a loan, credit card or anything else. This matter is still going on and has been referred to the Financial Ombudsman himself for a final decision. I have told them that I am telling Watchdog and Which magazine about this story and I have now got my MP involved. They need to be stopped. They seem to think they are untouchable. I will let you know what happens. Also they lost very sensitive personal information of mine. Totally ruthless and incompetent. Deal with them at your peril! I wish I could give a minus instead of a star as an accurate marking.

  178. Ian Petrie says:

    I have £40,000 retail funds from an inheritance to invest in an Alliance & Leicester Online Saver Issue 7 account quoted as a recent ‘Best Buy’. Alliance and Leicester have been unable to provide me with a PIN since March 2010 that will enable me to check and operate this Internet account. I have been kept holding on average for 15 minutes at a time on their premium charge ‘Customer Services’ number. When I get through, I am assured a PIN has been ordered ‘that will be with me within 5 to 6 days’. On a security issue – who are they sending this personal information to? Certainly not me. The only assurance I have had is verbal that my £1,000 initial investment is in the account. I have successfully split up this estate between Nationwide, Halifax and Tesco (just received confirmation of first £300 interest earned since December). Leave anything with the name Santander alone!!! I has similar issues trying to open an ISA with them last year. Apparently, according to their security system I don’t exist!

  179. Barny says:

    I opened an Online Saver account back in March. It has taken 2 months and countless calls to them to get access to it. AVOID at all costs.

  180. Sammy says:

    Worst bank I have ever dealt with. My story is too long to go into and I am worried I might be carted off in a straight jacket if I think about it again. Could everybody on this page who has had trouble please send complaints to, their head of commercial banking said he will look at this page because of all the poor reviews.

  181. aileen robertson says:

    Customer Service – a joke. Have been given wrong information on several occasions – trying to get it rectified – customer always in the wrong. No customer respect. To speak to a manger you are promised a call back but it will take days!!! that is if you get one. Don’t deserve any stars.

  182. Willam Laidlaw says:

    Alliance & Leicester is the worst banking service I have ever encountered. The staff are extremely incompetent. They were unable to tell me whether an account existed or how to even open a new account. 3 staff working together could not open an ISA account for me. They are only interested in selling you rip off investments. I am closing my accounts with them and will never use them again.

  183. Dave says:

    I’m shocked this bank is allowed to trade, they won’t even let me transfer my money out of this kip, I have been charged twice for them not being able to do an international transfer (Global banking humm). Rude Rude Rude young bags in the office shouting over me, complaints dept. what a joke they know the ship is sinking… Honestly it’s time to get to the life boats before they take a boat each. Please note I’m not trying to case a RUN ON A+L BANK.

  184. John Richardson says:

    It is difficult to put into words how incompetent this bank is. Nothing can describe the frustration encountered in trying to solve event the simplest problems. Several months ago I was delighted to be able to find enough money to pay of my overdraft and close the account. Of course even this has proved impossible. Despite three visits to the branch and the intervention of the branch manager the accounts remains open. I have a bottle of champagne in the fridge waiting for the letter that says I am finally rid of these people, I just hope it’s opened very soon!

  185. IjB says:

    These guys are a perfect demonstration of total incompetence.

    My father died in January, and absolutely everything with A&L has been a disaster – from the local branch not canceling his DDs and SOs for two weeks to being ‘three weeks behind with our work so have not got round to writing the cheque for the account balances’ (still only one out of three received after four weeks of chasing…).

    Worst of all – even if you finally do manage to speak to someone, it is impossible to find anyone that can do anything for you. Oh – and the complaints department are the worst of the lot.
    They tried to convince me to open an account – not a hope!

  186. C Brown says:

    I am so glade to have stumbled upon this website and to know that I am not the only one having such an outrageous time with A&L. They have charged me hundreds of pounds over the year I have been with them, once for being £3.50 overdrawn. This is less then the amount they charge for being overdrawn per day!!! whilst I have complained and they have admitted I have been lied to… They record calls so they could only admit the truth, they still will not refund the full amount. They are the most terrible bank and I would never ever give them my money ever again. If anyone is thinking of banking with this bank, no matter how attractive the offer is DON’T. I will be the first to compliment companies on the services they give but have had nothing but trouble with this bank from the off. They want your money and will be very accommodating when getting it but when the tables are turned it is a very different story. TERRIBLE BANK!

  187. Richard Taylor says:

    I clicked on a link promising £100 reward for opening an account, which I did. After 3 months and several calls I have still not received the reward. Finally I was told this morning that I opened a direct, not a current account! The funny thing is that the word direct suggests easy access, but it is anything but. They take 10 mins+ to answer the phone, the website is impenetrable, and despite being based in central London, there is no branch around here. I left First Direct after 15 years to join A&L to punish them for not rewarding my loyalty. Now I am going back with my tail between my legs!

  188. Chris Steiner says:

    I’ve had several run-ins with A&L since opening an a/c with them in 2006. They are noticeably cavalier with their customers in-branch – staff will push you to examine your finances when you’re quite content with how things are set up. They act like car sales staff! The bank seems to me to be focused on optimising profit rather than keeping a balance between customer satisfaction and profit. Very greedy, very poor systems, very poor customer interface – relying on big interest rate on current accounts to keep accounts. You need to be tough with them – they’re not oriented to seeing their clients as individuals so need reminding when they screw up.

  189. emma Hubble says:

    The worst imaginable business in every possible way. I should have turned and run when they accidentally closed my account. Two and a half years later I am still paying unpaid direct debits and standing orders that ware all stopped when my account was closed. Today I have had enough and will never go into the Bath branch again I am transferring my account to another bank. I waited for thirty five minutes to be served and then the awful woman behind the counter was rude as usual, no apologies for keeping us all waiting and asked me if I wanted a mortgage with them, she asks me every week and she knows the answer and that I do not wish to be asked every week. TERRIBLE TERRIBLE bank. Avoid at all costs

  190. J s says:

    Absolutely, the only bank I have ever had problems with. On two occasions, clients have used their Fastrack service to make payments to my account. Both have taken ovewr 4 working days. Completely unacceptable. Every other bank transfers funds far far quicker.

  191. Avril Williams says:

    All I would like to do is speak to a person regarding my internet bank account. I have been blocked from my account on line; I rung the internet help line but had to put the PIN number in to get any access – which again tells me I am blocked – I left work early to go to my branch and ‘lo and behold’ they close at 4pm. All emails have a NOreply; The branches cannot be accessed unless you put your pin number in (which they have de-activated) – I am at screaming point. They have my money and I cannot access it – I will now take more time off and remove my £36,000 savings – they obviously don’t care whether I bank with them or not – so NOT is my option.

  192. stephen trett says:

    alliance leicester are the wost company i have known. staff are rude. nobody takes up your complaints phone number for norwich is 01603 765399 head office is 0116 201 1000 but if phone them your be wasting your time as they are a joke

  193. stephen trett says:

    alliance leicester are the wost company i have known. staff are rude. nobody takes up your complaints phone number for norwich is 01603 765399 head office is 0116 201 1000 but if phone them your be wasting your time as they are a joke

  194. merseygirl says:

    OMG! I have NEVER received such poor service from ANY company. It is possible I will be insane by the end of today thanks to Alliance and Leicester! I am unable to use my bank card despite there being plenty of money in my account – they keep not authorising my card when I use it to pay. This has been a problem for two days now, I have phoned them four times already today and the useless misinformation ranges from ‘there is absolutely nothing wrong on your account, no blocks in place, it’s the retailers fault’, to ‘we have a system where our card can’t be used on Tesco’s website because it’s untrustworthy’, to ‘yes, there was a block on your account but it’s absolutely been lifted now’ (it hadn’t), to ‘i promise your card will work next time – the computer says it will. The last three colleagues you spoke to might’ve said that, but they didn’t mean it. I really mean it’ (the card didn’t work next time). I really don’t know where to go next, they suggest that I’m imagining my card doesn’t work and the retailers are conspiring against them, because their ‘system’ is absolutely sure there is no problem on my account (obviously there is). Grrrr. And don’t get me started on their outrageous;y disproportionate charging system, and incorrect and delayed calculations of your ‘current balance’. Please, please PLEASE avoid this bank like the plague. Utterly incompetent. p.s. I have NEVER posted on a forum like this before – never felt the need to protect my fellow consumers as much as today.

  195. Felicity Gelder says:

    A llce and Leics closed wrong fixed rate bond, we have two – when queried at branch husband got put out on street for saying sort it out, I took load of insolence and more errors still waiting for explanation of money paid back as compensation for lost interest – now 3 months on. they threatened to close all our accounts but we are doing that anyway. Also closing old Abbey now Santander account. Some helpful and apologetic staff but generally awful customer service. no stars

  196. Natasha says:

    Absolutely avoid Santander. The staff have no understanding of the new processes and after complaining that repeate the same mistake, and not just once! A completely incompetent bank. Just going through their final complaints farce now and don’t expect much – it’s been going on since April and has been the most stressful process I’ve had to endure. I’ve tried leaving a zero rating but have to give them at least one star – they don’t even deserve that.

  197. Jill says:

    Have had two really bad experiences with this awful bank. Their staff are rude and unhelpful and the lot of them have a completely Jobsworth atitude. In the process of winding up my mothers estate which they are not helping by delaying replies to the sols. Visits to the branch have only casued me more stress and high blood pressure. I would never ever dream of investing any money into this Mickey Mouse organisation. They are beyound dreadful. Lets hope the CEO reads all the reviews. Not even worht 1 star rating.

  198. Les Belcher says:

    was unknowingly £3 overdrawn for 2 weeks and did’nt receive any letter. i found out when i deposited some money into the account, bank clerk said there’d be no charges because the accounts not over £10 overdrawn. the money i deposited was for my mobile phone and something i bought off ebay, but they used the money to pay their charges which left me in more dept. charging me another £50 for not paying my mobile phone and my item off ebay, plus another £65 for the £5 a day because my accounts in the red.
    i need to pay £145 tomorrow so i can close the account……

  199. Margy says:

    If you value your sanity – do not bank with Alliance and Leicester – they do not have a clue what they are doing and are extremely unpleasant people. From their useless customer call centre in Bootle to their complaints departments; they are all useless and very rude people who do NOT help you. I moved over a year ago to them and have now had to open a proper bank account with another high street bank and NOT a building society masquerading as a bank. Alliance and Leicester will quite happily ruin lives and destroy your fuuture. PLEASE do not bank with these incompetent fools, otherwise you will regret it!

  200. mr Davvis says:

    As a school leaver i took up an apprenticeship, during these two years i was earning just over £100 a week. A+L pushed a big overdraft on me and then over the course of the two years charged me nearly £1500 of associated fees. Four years on and i still have the overdraft after being told that if i settled the account i would lose my right to claim the money back (as there charges were in CLEAR violation of the law). i have recently become unemployed and now A+L are charging me over £100 a month in overdraft fees because i slipped £3 over my limit and didnt notice, allowing there £5 a day charge to snowball despite the fact i have ABSOLUTELY ZERO income. DO NOT involve yourself in anyway with these people, especially if you are young _ they will exploit you in order to fund ther own bonuses.

  201. Altaf Hussain says:

    I requested Alliance and Leicester to open a standard current account for me but instead they opened a premium current account. I put about £50 in the account and forgot that i had an account with them. Because i wasnt topping up my account with over £500 each month Alliance and Leicester decided to charge me £5 a month. After about 10 months i got a statement from them and realised what was happening. I decided to ring them and due to not having a landline i had to ring of my mobile. Firstly i waited in the que for about good 10 minutes. Once i got through the rude guy on the phone told me that he was going to transfer me to someone else. Once he transferred me thorugh to another line all i got was a recorded voice message saying we sorry were very busy at the moment please call later. Since that i have tried my best to find the email address to contact them but can.t find it anywhere. I have wrote them a letter to close my account down and sent it recorded delivery. I am totally annoyed with them and would not recommend them to anyone.

  202. K Miller says:

    AVOID this bank. In 2008 I opened what I thought was a current, I decided not to use it never activated the cards nothing, didn’t receive any statements. The problem arose 6 weeks ago when I received a letter from a&l stating I’d gone over my overdraft and now owed them £280 plus any additional charge for sending out a letter and £5 per day until I paid the amount. So I got on the phone explianed my situation and was told it would be logged and passed on to a manager, 1 week later….nothing so called them again and was told they couldn’t speak to me as I didn’t have a customer security number. So I went to my local branch…spoke to the manager she was so helpful, she phoned up someone for me to talk to as i was informed that the account I’d opened was a £5 per month premium account??? and could only b dealt with via telephone and e-mail. Anyway I yet again the people on the phone were unhelpful and RUDE. My frustration was showing and so the lady at the branch advised me to pay the amount to prevent a&l handing it over to another firm to deal with (debt collectors). After discussing with her my options I decided to do this as I didn’t want my credit rating to be affected. The lady in the branch gave me details of the financial ombudsman, of which I contacted that day. Within 4 days I received a letter from a&l basically saying it was my fault the charges were incurred however they would refund the money that I’d paid. All fine and well except i’ve been waiting 4 weeks now for my cheque to arrive! If it goes to 8 weeks I can contact the financial ombudsman again and they will investigate further. The people they have on the telelphone need retraining!

  203. L BUGDEN says:

    Lost my cheque payments, no help until I contacted fsa for some help, charges on my account when it was the banks fault, and to top it all direct debts from my account that don’t belong to me, zero customer service, very unhelpful, I have now left this bank for another, the worst banking service in the UK,

  204. Joanna Edgar says:

    I feel unjustly treated by the Alliance & Leicester. They advertise to switch to them and you get a reward of £100 I never received this and I was told I didn’t have funds in my account between October to March when I was having my salary paid into the account and direct debits were leaving the account?? (I was told to take it up with the switching team). I add to no avail and no help whatsoever.

    Staff in the branch were rude & unhelpful.

    Also I had a direct debit that they had paid out after I was switching everything back to Barclays to which it should have been cancelled by the other company admittedly. Even still I received 25 charge & 5 daily charges occurring I received a letter stating I had gone over but no mention of the daily charges!!

    I closed the account down and paid £173 – Direct debit payment £36, £25 fee for honouring the direct debit and for being overdrawn for 17 days £5 daily. I make that total to be £146 so I am unsure where the other £27 comes in to effect.


    If only I had seen this site before opening an account with A&L I would never have gone there.

  205. Lee wants to leave says:

    I have been with Alliance and Leicester for 2 years and have had too many problems to list them all (most are covered below).
    Alliance and Leicester are worse than loan sharks and will never let you go once they see you as a target for their scam. Any time an issue occurs with this bank (and it happens a great deal due to their inconsistent time scales and inappropriate and disproportionate fees) they pass on details to the credit reference agencies to hit your credit rating. As soon as I realised how ruthless their charging system is I tried to switch back to my old bank but was turned down due to a bad credit rating as a result of my dealings with Alliance and Leicester. I had to get a basic bank account (feature and facility free accounts for the desperate) out of desperation to leave and am pursuing complaint all the way through to the ombudsman to get some justice. ONE STAR IS TOO MUCH … AVOID!

  206. Kayleigh Rooney says:

    Mixed feelings really, the bad point twice in six months my card has been blocked i rang customer services for an explanation both times the reason was they needed me to verify a few transactions these were wat i considered not suspicious a few in asda and 1 to itunes how is this suspicious? on one hand it is good that they are on the ball but a simple phone call would be ok not just block my account and not tell me, although i do find the internet and call centres easy to use and can understand the people on the other end of the phone. I however am looking elsewhere to open a new account as im scared to use my card incase they see the transaction as suspicious i would bet my life that if my card had been stolen they wouldnt notice. Not impressed.

  207. Gillian M says:

    Been with A+L 6 years and overnight they’ve proved themselves completely incompetent. I have had no access to my own bank account for 7 days due to their error. I have now been told it’ll be another 10 days because they ballsed up AGAIN. I am actually amazed by how badly wrong they get things. I’m out first chance I get.

  208. Fizz says:

    They transferred ISA before maturity in error.
    Closed bond in error- 6 months on still in dispute.
    Multiple transfers on phone and just pop you on hold!!!
    Minus rating would be good.

  209. Lesley Fraser says:

    I’ve been an Alliance & Leicester customer for over 10 years. The service seems to be going rapidly downhill – very quick to apply disproportionately large fees, very slow to respond to complaints, they don’t apologise for mistakes and it’s pot luck what standard of service you get if you ring the call centre. From my experiences with them I couldn’t recommend them to anyone.

  210. Susan Cooksley says:

    Do not bank with this bank. their customer service is absolutely non existent.. The fact they have 1 star and 171 comments says it all – in fact 1 star is incredibly generous. It took me 3 months to access my account online! And the branch never returned my calls. They just do not care about their customers – please go elsewhere.

  211. Olivia Brown says:

    I wish I had read these comments before I so stupidly opened an account with them. I am still waiting for my customer number, pin number, sort code etc. which have not arrived, despite repeated phone calls, and yet have come home today to a letter saying I am £10 overdrawn! It has taken me 30 mins (yes!!!!) to get through, three lots of 10 mins on hold, only to be cut off automatically after 10 mins and then having to go through the whole rigmarole of the recorded voice and pressing buttons and holding and listening to daft music…. And then, which I finally got someone, I was told that I will have to go into a branch and pay the £10 before they will close my account. So they have made £10 with their incompetence, and I have not had any use out of the account whatsoever. No wonder bankers get richer…

  212. Marilyn Brown says:

    My son has an premier21 account with alliance and leicester which is a online banking account. He told them that he did not want on line banking so they said they would send him statements, which he received once in two years. All was ok until Nov 09 when he removed £50 cash from a cash machine from his account, this was the first he had taken out as he was using it as a savings account. From this day money went missing without his knowledge, he did not find out until end Feb 10′ when he went to withdraw his savings, he then put in a further £200 to cover his phone payment he had just set up, A&L did not tell him he had wracked up bank charges. He told them his money was missing and they took his card off him but didn’t close the account, the bank charges then went up to £265 when I went to sort it out. He closed the account with a voluntary closure and they are now looking into fraud. The bank manager did not seem to care but by these reviews my son is obviously not the only one. Hopefully he will get his money back but it totals to over £800 all from scams on the internet where HE had NEVER USED HIS CARD.

  213. Abby says:

    Have just been waiting on hold for over 40 mins to speak to an advisor (at 21:15) as my debit card keeps being declined even though my balance is in credit….enough said I think…

  214. Abby says:

    Have just been waiting on hold for over 40 mins to speak to an advisor (at 21:15) as my debit card keeps being declined even though my balance is in credit….enough said I think…

  215. nananalad says:

    As I used to work for Alliance and Leicester I can see both points but I don’t agree with the bad customer service everyone in there have a limit to what they can do and most customers like to threaten you if they think you are just passing the book but there are people who can’t be bothered helping people but there are people that try there best to help their customers even though they have a company like a&l that they are up against because they do not care about customers they want profit and it was horrible trying to help customers and coming up against brick walls. I agree that a&l are a bad bank but some customers just called up to argue and reading some of the reviews there are some people complaining about things your bank can’t help you with but overall I totally agree with the fact they are awful but not the majority of customer service.

  216. Nick atkins says:

    I am an A&L customer but only for as long as it takes to cancel my account. It is wrong that you are charged between 5 and 10p per minute to call them and then you are left on the phone for up to an hour before speaking to anyone. I cannot leave a 0 rating so to be posted I must leave 1, I give them no ratings whatsoever. Main complaint is my friends who are living in France and have the purchase money with A & L for their new home. A & L refuse to send it to them now for over a month. Lengthy phone calls get nowhere letters of complaint do not get a reply. They are about to lose their new home and deposit of some £25,000. Yes £25,000 because A&L will not release their money. I am disgusted with them and will never use them again and advise everyone else to look else where.

  217. Daniel says:

    1. Whilst shopping in Asda, I discovered that my Alliance & Leicester debit card wouldn’t work.

    2. Had to leave my shopping in customer services while I tried the card in all 3 cash machines outside, but service was denied so I couldn’t even see my balance.

    3. Abandoned my shopping (sorry Asda) and drove across town to visit Alliance & Leicester branch. I explained the problem to the staff and was put on the phone to customer services, who didn’t answer the phone. I asked the staff if I could make a withdrawal to tide me over until the problem is sorted. Do you have your driving licence? Unfortunately not. Do you have your passport? I wondered if SHE had HER passport. Withdrawal denied, weekend ruined, week ahead with no money.

    4. Called in at local branch (now Santander) and explained the problem. Again I was put on the phone to customer services. After listening to a loop of "your call is now in a queue", thank you for waiting for 10 minutes, someone finally picked up the phone and told me that I need to visit an Alliance & Leicester branch.

    5. In the presence of some fellow ‘valued customers’ I gave the branch staff a little customer feedback, and informed them that I would be closing my account (just as soon as can access my money!).

    6. Drove ten miles to the nearest major town and asked directions to the local branch of Alliance & Leicester, only to discover that it had become Santander. Explained my predicament all over again, and waited ten minutes to be told exactly the same thing all over again.

    7. Opened a new bank account with the Halifax, and currently in the process of transferring all details across and closing my Alliance & Leicester account.

  218. Kieran says:

    A & L are jokers!!!!

    They took away my overdraft facility because I don’t use it.

    What’s next – my insurers take away my car insurance because I haven’t made a claim?

    Or will cricketers have their boxes removed because they haven’t been hit in the nuts by a 90mph cricket ball yet?

    Madness, idiocy, short-sighted buffoonery.

  219. Nigel Heys says:

    They have blocked my debit card. When I ring up they say they can’t remove the block, because they don’t know it was applied. The proceeds of a house sale were recently transferred into the account, so the block is preventing me getting a higher return on the money than 0.1%.

  220. Deborah M says:

    The switch to Santander is proving to be a nightmare!! No access to internet banking for 3 weeks now and no one can tell me how long it’s going to be before I can get back online. No other way to view my accounts, unless I wait on a paper statement. Noticed a £25 charge due to fund not being available, even when I explained my wages had gone into my account the same day to cover payments they refused to refund the charge!

    If things don’t improve A&L/Santander are going to find themselves without a lot of customers!!!


  221. Steve Miller says:

    Rip-off charges from the Alliance and Leicester. I was charged £5 for being overdrawn £7.16 for one day. Customer service have never replied to my complaint about it. Unfortunately with this review system, you can’t give zero stars.

  222. Anon says:

    Customer services have gone out the window, they leave you on hold for an hour, pass you from one person to another, as they don’t have a clue what your problem is, the third person sorted my problem where I wasn’t allowed to deposit money where I wanted to. I then ask to order a new card so bang they put you on hold for another half hour and counting!

  223. Sage says:

    Haven’t used my account in TWO YEARS just got informed at my branch that I owe them around £200. FOR WHAT?! They can’t even tell me that, but for some reason I’m expected to pay up?! The customer service is abysmal – I work for an investment bank and they tried to tell me that international routing numbers did not exist so I couldn’t access or transfer my pay from abroad. Closed my account today they can go suck a fat one if they think they’ll get another penny of my cash.

  224. Jon Tack says:

    How dare any company refuse to allow their customers to speak to anyone in management. I have been told lies by 3 people in their call centre and each one has given a different excuse. Bottom line is they have my money and I can’t access it until they get around to issuing a new debit card, despite there being nothing wrong with my current card. Think they get their staff from the dole office and it’s obvious they never give them any training. According to the latest person I spoke to, my card can expire any time in the month, despite it being printed with expires end of….. Where do they find these people? According to the switchboard they have a huge complaints department and according to the person I spoke to they don’t have a complaints department at all. Their written complaints procedure claims that a senior manager will write to you after 56 days if the complaint hasn’t been resolved – I’ve never had a complaint resolved and never heard from a senior manager so I suppose that’s just another lie.

  225. Kath says:

    The change to Santander has resulted in me losing access to a couple of my accounts online. When I called the helpdesk I was told I failed security and would have to go to a branch. Branch has no idea why I failed security except that these two accounts have been transferred to Santander but I had phoned A&L helpdesk. Only way to get access to my accounts is to re-apply for internet banking which will take several weeks. Meanwhile I will not be able to check balance, pay bills etc etc. Nothing they can do they say.
    As soon as I can get hold of my money I will be transferring to another bank.

  226. Philip says:

    Lies, more lies and more lies, how long do customers have to suffer. Can anyone like directors explain. Managers go away from the desk and and they say call back and they don’t tell staff. If the manager does not do her job I am sure someone is out looking for employment that can do her job better than she can do.

  227. Janice Bull says:

    If you are considering opening an on-line account with Alliance and Leicester/Santander PLEASE READ THIS FIRST

    OMG I thought I’d be the only person with a complaint against this awful company, but it appears not to be the case. Still I have what appears to be a ‘unique’ problem (or is it?)
    I have on-line banking and a hefty overdraft. Early last week I checked my bank account to make sure that there was sufficient money to cover the remaining direct debits. The balance on my accounts was in the region of 1475 overdrawn with a balance available of 2.79. Quick calculation in my head that there was a 22.52 direct debit due to go out and that this was included in the difference between the balance on the screen and the available balance. As my agreed overdraft is 1500 and with only one 7.99 direct debit going out on the 23rd the same day as the salary was paid in I arranged for my partner to pay £10 into the account on Thursday (this was the earliest we could do it due to partners working hours and my inability to drive due to badly sprained ankle). Thought I’d covered it this time, but apparently not. Received a letter on Saturday saying that I’d been charged 25.00 for them allowing the 22.52 to clear. OK thinks I, maybe hubbie has made a withdrawal from this account by mistake – online system unavailable over the weekend, so lets phone up find out where it all went wrong this time. Rang unhelpful CSR explained situation asked for details of any other withdrawals. Told there weren’t any additional withdrawals but that account was 1497 overdrawn on the 16th July – before the 22.52 was withdrawn. Er no I said – the screen clearly said that the balance on my account was 1475 o/d – add to that the 22.52 direct debit and that brings you up to the 1497, after which I put in £10 to cover the last d/d. No said the CSR it was overdrawn by 1497 before the 22.52 was withdrawn. So why did the balance on my account – which you would expect to be accurate – not show the true balance of my account?
    Sorry Mrs Bull our system is undergoing essential maintenance and I can’t look that up for you at the moment. Oh and by the way you’re going to be charged another £25 for the 7.99 we’ve allowed to clear on the 22nd! So I’ve received £50 in bank charges for twenty pounds worth of overdraft for less than 2 days BECAUSE THEIR ON-LINE SYSTEM LIES. It occurred to me later that evening that this isn’t the first time I’ve thought that there were sufficient funds in my account – based on the balance they displayed on the screen – only to receive unexpected charges. In total I’ve probably had to pay this bunch hundreds of pounds in unnecessary charges either because I’ve relied on this false information or because the bank charges I’ve received based on this have made my account go over the limit in subsequent months. Wish I’d taken a screen dump of the account details at the time, but you don’t think to do that if you don’t foresee a problem.
    I KNOW with 100% certainty that the information on the on-line system on Monday was EXACTLY as I’ve described above. When I mentioned that I believed Alliance and Leicester were falsifying information the CSR became extremely nervous – I’m sure I’m not the only person who has been conned in this way. Please – are there others of you out there who’ve experienced this? was advised by the CSR to write to the Company, which I shall be doing. However, judging by previous comments made on this site I shan’t be holding my breath for this to be resolved. Like a previous post I would like to give this Company a zero rating, but have given them the lowest I can possibly give instead.

  228. Janice Bull says:

    If you are considering opening an on-line account with Alliance and Leicester/Santander PLEASE READ THIS FIRST

    OMG I thought I’d be the only person with a complaint against this awful company, but it appears not to be the case.
    Still I have what appears to be a ‘unique’ problem (or is it?)
    I have on-line banking and a hefty overdraft. Early last week I checked my bank account to make sure that there was sufficient money to cover the remaining direct debits. The balance on my accounts was in the region of 1475 overdrawn with a balance available of 2.79. Quick calculation in my head that there was a 22.52 direct debit due to go out and that this was included in the difference between the balance on the screen and the available balance. As my agreed overdraft is 1500 and with only one 7.99 direct debit going out on the 23rd the same day as the salary was paid in I arranged for my partner to pay £10 into the account on Thursday (this was the earliest we could do it due to partners working hours and my inability to drive due to badly sprained ankle).
    Thought I’d covered it this time, but apparently not . Received a letter on Saturday saying that I’d been charged 25.00 for them allowing the 22.52 to clear. OK thinks I, maybe hubbie has made a withdrawal from this account by mistake – online system unavailable over the weekend, so lets phone up find out where it all went wrong this time.
    Rang unhelpful CSR explained situation asked for details of any other withdrawals. Told there weren’t any additional withdrawals but that account was 1497 overdrawn on the 16th July – before the 22.52 was withdrawn.
    Er no I said – the screen clearly said that the balance on my account was 1475 o/d – add to that the 22.52 direct debit and that brings you up to the 1497, after which I put in £10 to cover the last d/d.
    No said the CSR it was overdrawn by 1497 before the 22.52 was withdrawn. So why did the balance on my account – which you would expect to be accurate – not show the true balance of my account?
    Sorry Mrs Bull our system is undergoing essential maintenance and I can’t look that up for you at the moment. Oh and by the way you’re going to be charged another £25 for the 7.99 we’ve allowed to clear on the 22nd!
    So I’ve received £50 in bank charges for twenty pounds worth of overdraft for less than 2 days BECAUSE THEIR ON-LINE SYSTEM LIES.
    It occurred to me later that evening that this isn’t the first time I’ve thought that there were sufficient funds in my account – based on the balance they displayed on the screen – only to receive unexpected charges. In total I’ve probably had to pay this bunch hundreds of pounds in unnecessary charges either because I’ve relied on this false information or because the bank charges I’ve received based on this have made my account go over the limit in subsequent months.
    Wish I’d taken a screen dump of the account details at the time, but you don’t think to do that if you don’t foresee a problem.
    I KNOW with 100% certainty that the information on the on-line system on Monday was EXACTLY as I’ve described above.
    When I mentioned that I believed Alliance and Leicester were falsifying information the CSR became extremely nervous – I’m sure I’m not the only person who has been conned in this way. Please – are there others of you out there who’ve experienced this?
    I was advised by the CSR to write to the Company, which I shall be doing. However, judging by previous comments made on this site I shan’t be holding my breath for this to be resolved.
    Like a previous post I would like to give this Company a zero rating, but have given them the lowest I can possibly give instead.

  229. Janice Bull says:

    I don’t know who this site is operated by, but my post 2 hours ago still hasn’t appeared yet. Are these banks able to filter what does/doesn’t appear?
    Anyway, just in case I’m simply being a little bit impatient – here’s an add to my earlier post! According to the incredibly useless CSR at A&L direct debits are taken from your account at either 1 minute (or it may have been 1 second) after midnight so even if you place a cash payment into the account as soon as the bank opens it doesn’t matter – You will still be charged for being 9 hours overdrawn. Questioning him on whether this would apply if I placed money in the account at 2 minutes after midnight he said ‘yes – it’s in the terms and conditions’ therefore – you could conceivably be charged £25 for being overdrawn for one minute!!
    Just a word of warning to any potential customers out there – avoid this bank at all costs. They are the only bank I know who don’t take the balance at the end of the day – and of course you have only got their word for it that these transactions happen when they say they do!
    Extortionate charges from an untrustworthy bank !!

  230. Ms W says:

    If I could rate this bank minus 5 stars I would. It does not deserve 1 star!
    I have now been 3 weeks without internet access or telephone access to my accounts! So every time I need to make a transaction or check my balance I have to call them and speak to a rep. Tonight I was holding for 20 mins and the person I spoke was incredibly rude and then just hung up on me! So I was holding for a further 30 mins to speak to someone just to check my balance and make a transaction!!!!!
    I made a formal complaint 3 weeks ago which was only passed to the correct dept after 7! Yes 7! phone calls. Of course they promised to call me back the next day and surprise surprise – NOTHING.
    As a bank they are horrendous, their customer service is abysmal, their complaints procedure is ineffective. They are a very poor bank and as soon as I can I will be closing my account with them!

  231. John Gaynor says:

    Customer Service !!

    I have been a A&L customer for over 26 years – the level of customer service is, to say the least, dismal. Held in a telephone queue for 22 minutes one day. I tried again the following day, got an adviser after 11 minutes who passed me on to another adviser I was still waiting 20 minutes later.
    It’s a joke, wake up before you lose my substantial accounts. Rating less than 1.

  232. Mrs D Parsons says:

    Just before leaving the country for one month I paid a cheque into my current account and transferred money from my online savings account. Two days later I wrote two cheques that would then leave approx. £16 in my account. A&L decided to charge £25 as I did not allow 4 days for a cheque to clear. This left my account £8.72 overdrawn. As I was out of the country and unaware of what had happened, my account remained £8.72 overdrawn for 31 days, resulting in further charges of £165!! After my first telephone complaint the £25 was refunded as a ‘goodwill gesture’ by a very unfriendly, bordering on rude, call centre staff member. I went through the complaints procedure but received 2 letters from two different ‘Complaint Resolvers’ who tell me that the fees have been correctly applied and enclosing a Financial Ombudsman Service leaflet. Their Customer Service is appalling and they take no consideration of the fact that my account has never been overdrawn before and would not have been overdrawn for more than one day (if you believe that it takes 4 days for cheques to clear!) had it not been for their £25 charge. There was also considerable funds in my online savings and ISA accounts.

    I am in the process of taking up my complaint with the Ombudsman and my husband and I will close all our accounts with A&L. It is noticeable that the complaints on this site have considerably increased this year. Anyone who wants fair and efficient banking DO NOT BANK WITH A&L. I would give them a minus rating if this site would allow.

  233. AT says:

    I’ve now been without internet banking for a week. When I rang up the first time I was told it would be fixed within 48hrs. That passed and still no joy. So I phoned again and was a security question that frankly astounded me. I was asked to name a recent transaction. Well how could I, that was the whole point, I couldn’t see any transactions !!! So the stupid woman who I have to say was as helpful as an ashtray on a motorbike, refused to carry on the conversation rather than ask me another question to confirm who I was. Consequently I am now leaving A&L, they are the worst bank I have dealt with, and their staff not only over the telephone and in branch are rude, unhelpful and as far as I’m concerned no better than bank robbers themselves.

  234. georgina bamford says:

    I’ve had a online account with Alliance and Leicester for almost a year now, I noticed on a few occasions that I would check my balance and go back next day and my balance had changed, however it never showed any reason that money had been deducted from my account. I went into my local branch and was told they had limited access to account and I would need to ring up. I rang and was told I had obviously bought something with my card, which I had but when you check you account you have your balance and available balance in view, I always go by available balance as the other one is what is held to be paid out for card transactions. I got nowhere with the advisor on this occasion.
    A few weeks later I logged on to find I had been charged £15 for been over drawn when I knew full well I had not been,rang up again this time was giving the same story about card transactions I explained my situation about the 2 balance and threatened to close my account, they agreed to refund the fee but made it clear they wouldn’t do it again.
    Yesterday I withdrew £200 from my account, which left £143.66 balance and an available balance of £61.11. I just logged on now to check my account as I had to withdraw the rest of my funds and surprise surprise I am now £13.51 overdrawn, I haven’t bought anything or used my card, pending payments of £86.00 have been taken and I understand that but in no way should that make my balance right I should have £56 still in my account.
    Will ring up tomorrow but no doubt I’ll get nowhere yet again.

  235. Jamie Hinks says:

    No point detailing my catalogue of woes but these guys set a new standard in lacklustre substandard service.

    Like others here I feel 1 star is too good and that I wish I had read these reviews before taking the plunge.

    They tried to scam me on my £100 bonus, were unable to send me log-in details and I spent months trying to reason with people that, quite frankly, didn’t seem to care.

    One former employee tries to defend this by saying ‘customers just want to fight’. Actually they don’t but nobody wants to call about the same problem more than once only to be fobbed off or held in a hellishly long queue at great personal expense. All this just to get very simple administrative things done such as acquiring the right to access their money.

    Oh my god these guys are horrendous. The fact that there are hundreds of complaints here all rated 1 star and that nobody from Alliance and Leicester has even batted an eyelid or attempted to mend their reputation smacks of arrogance and complete disdain for their customers.

  236. Joyce Reed says:

    I had an online saver with A&L a couple of years back and found no problem. However, this time I had opened another Online Saver 7 account as they were transferring over to Santander. For two months this account has been registered online but with funds showing as unavailable. Telephone help takes forever and has not resolved the issue. They say the money is there but is not showing Online. So how am I supposed to use this money then? Am still awaiting resolution and failing this will be taking it to the Financial Ombudsman. To be fair assistants have been courteous and tried to help but A&L should be avoided like the Plague at this moment.

  237. Jamie Hinks says:

    Hello, I posted a review yesterday that has not been added to the invective here.

    I put a fake email address to avoid spam, if you still have the review could you post it please my genuine email is here.

    I don’t have it in me to write such a scathing reviw again.

  238. ad says:

    I have a savings account with A&L, and have just transferred a large inheritance into it. The account has since become `unavailable`. When I phone, they tell me it will be available tomorrow – it has been over a week now. When I get access to it again, it will be moving to Halifax online banking along with my current account and ISA.

  239. Nicky says:

    Why is no one reporting on the chaos of the A&L switch over??? It must be affecting thousands of users – I’ve sent repeated secure emails over the last week and a half and have had no response – I’ve been hanging on the phone for a total of 65 in two sittings and still never got through, just listened to the same message – no wonder there’s ‘a high demand for this service’.

  240. David Bell says:


    Absolutely abysmal. Can only echo most of the other comments about very long waiting times for customer ‘help’ line, problems with access to internet banking, and apparent indifference of staff to sorting things out. As soon as I can access my accounts, I shall be switching to somewhere else.

  241. mp says:

    Suddenly my online banking was blocked, phoned the dept as instructed, waited ages in a queue, passed from one dept to another, said they’d phone back, they didn’t bother. So now I can’t check my accounts? Nice.

  242. d simmons says:

    Alliance & Leicester are an absolute shower.
    We have been trying since APRIL to get compensation firstly for poor service; then losing our money. We tried sorting the matter out with our local (Cambridge) branch manager – who started off as helpful – but now has either ‘slipped out of the office’ or ‘is with another customer and will ring back’ – but of course never does. Trying to deal with the Customer Complaints line – but every time we contact the 0844 number (at our expense) no-one has any record of previous calls, so we have to go through the whole saga AGAIN – and if we ask for the person who on 21st July promised us a response within five working days, we are told that they are not allowed to transfer us to someone else. Not a chance of speaking to a manager or anyone in authority…! Finally today, when we refused to go through the saga for the umpteenth time, the operator advised us that he was terminating the call and did so. How rude can you get…? Zero stars – but I have to put one.

  243. Paul J-M says:

    My debit card stopped working after the changeover to Santander, I rang them to get it unblocked passed all the security questions and was put through to the fraud team who asked me my dob and address, I told them, and the guy said sorry but I got one of the questions wrong and told me I needed to go to my local branch. I went to the Victoria branch in London this morning, where there was a huge queue most of whom were complaining about bad service, and finally got to speak to an advisor when he showed me the screen my dob had been changed, I said that’s not right and he said it must have always been that way? Then he went onto the Santander system which is where my account now resides and said ‘it’s OK because your dob is correct on the new system.’ Given that I haven’t filled in an application and ‘received’ my new Santander account I questioned how I could be to blame for incorrect date on the A & L system if it was correct on the new system. The adviser shrugged and I said that there was no need to unlock or issue me with a new card as I will move my money and account to bank that manages their data correctly. Simple fact – the changeover is a shambles and the customer service is non existent.

  244. scotsirish says:

    Please if you value your sanity do not deal with these cowboys. The most unhelpful customer service ever, very offhand, talk to you as if you are a criminal. How dare you try to access your own money.

  245. u dnt need to no! says:

    All you customers are ever so funny! In regards to advisors not knowing what they are doing, half you customer call and don’t even know what your own account number is!! We do our very best to try and help you all but it’s still not good enough… you always want something for nothing! Think about things that are more important in your life instead of thinking the banks are always out to get you! As staff we all get the same treatment, the same charges the same time scales etc. it’s part of the banking world… but I suppose you don’t ever think about that, you rant and rave moaning about the time you have spent on the phone, but do you really think we have any control over that before we speak to you, you talk about being loyal customers but then abuse the member of staff you get through to – you say they don’t know what their talking about but yet don’t give them a chance to have their say, how does that make any sense? You always want to talk to a manager but they still do nothing for you!! So you tell me, what do you want??

  246. Mr.H says:

    I have been a long suffering customer for 15 years. A&L are my secondary bank and my local branch have always been helpful. However, since the handover to Santander, the branch staff seem to powerless to help with even the slightest of problems and on several occasions, I’ve experienced the problems listed below of waiting on the phone in the branch… As for online banking there is not enough space to list the problems I have suffered particularly in the last 2 weeks e.g. unable to access account, account information wrong, cheque cleared then bounced when well inside o/d limit, applied for further loan given stupid high rate, applied again online given even more stupid rate. Explained why credit agency had revised my score from poor to good (poor score was due to duff data), I might as well have pissed into wind. If I did my job as badly as A&L, there would be aluminium confetti and body parts strewn across areas of the UK.

  247. Karen Gordon says:

    Previously been a happy A&L customer for 10 years, but since the changeover, I have no access to internet banking, I can’t do simple transactions as only my savings account is linked to my log-in. Have to wait for 25 mins to do a transaction, then find out 4 days later that they didn’t do one of the transactions – so all my money in accounts is out of sync…. then today tried to do another transaction over the phone, they said that I didn’t exist so they couldn’t go through security and carry out my transaction. Been told that internet banking will be fixed over this weekend – we will wait and see if it isn’t then I will be going elsewhere. Not acceptable.

  248. J Saunders says:

    We have been A&L customers since 1973. We cannot access our internet banking accounts now 8 days and causing us problems – getting through to customer service on three occasions resulted in us waiting a total of 1 3/4 hours in a phone queue. Santander are about to lose some more customers!

  249. M J H says:

    I have been with A&L for 12+years.Never had any serious problems with them until this last year, after the Santander takeover. Local branch have always been friendly and helpful, but during the last year have had a few minor problems (sent 2 cards by mistake, used both cards, pin blocked etc). New procedures, id required etc, treated like a stranger and given phone in branch to sort out the mess….
    However, this pales into insignificance to the events of this last week. Picked up phone to simply apply for further loan. Old 3year loan paid off in June10. 8.9% headline rate. Loan offered at 13.4% due to poor credit score! Shocked, I contacted Experian (member of theirs for 4 years) score was poor, previously excellent. No alerts sent. Score corrected up to good, problem due to various spellings of welsh house name. Re-applied thro Experian link for same loan at 8.7% rate! Following Tuesday received second agreement at 13.7%? Obvious mistake. Contacted complaints department Wednesday morning, spoke to a business-like sounding lady called Barbara, understood the problem, would call back in next 24hrs. Thursday 16.00hrs called A&L complaints dept. Told by some other person that the rate would be 13.4%. Escalated the complaint and spoke to the Santander complaints department and spoke to a non-person. All he could do was give me the address to appeal their decision. It was the most inane conversation I have ever had. Comment to Santander? Try providing a service whereby a customer can talk directly to the invisible small group of people who actually make the decisions. Goodbye Santander/A&L very plc. Oh and thanks to good old Tesco… 8.7%

  250. mjh says:

    Customer for 12+years. No significant problems with A&L until this last year(after Santander takeover) Local branch have always been friendly and still are but now are not helpful..I have had a couple of minor problems with my cards causing pin lockouts. New procedures require id etc and ….yes… use their branch phone to try and sort the problem out!
    However, this nothing to the stress they have caused me during this last week. Thursday last week decided to raise another loan. Old 3year loan paid off in June 2010. Made phone application for 8.9% rate. Shocked when offered loan at 13.4% rate due to poor credit score from Experian. Member of experian for 4 years, checked with them why score had gone from excellent to poor with no alerts. Problem due to various spellings of my Welsh housename. Sorted, score revised to good and new application made to A&L online thro Experian 8.7% Following tuesday pm loan agreement arrives at 13.7%! Obvious mistake, call A&L complaints dept. on Wednesday morning and speak to a business-like souding lady called Barbara. Understands the problem and will call back within 24hrs. Thursday 16.00 no response so call A&L complaints. No Barbara available but politely informed that rate offered is 13.4%
    Politely declined this crass offer and opted to escalate this decision. Spoke to an automoton at Santader complaints dept and had the most innane conversation of my life(my wife, a retired professional like myself, listened in) All that this non-person could do was give us the address to appeal the A&L decision!
    Comment to Santander/A&L… try providing a service to customers where they can speak directly to that small, invisible group of people who actually make the decisions
    Goodbye Santander/A&L or is it adios?

    Oh… and thanks good old Tesco..8.9% rate

  251. Coran says:

    I agree with everyone else, this is literally the worst bank I can imagine. They offer no decent service, and do everything they can to make life difficult and slap ridiculously high charges. They are in the top 3 for levels of charges too. Available balance lies. Transfers take far long than they are supposed to. E.g. 6 days to clear a cheque, 4 days to transfer to another Faster Payments bank. Staff don’t care, do nothing to help you. Had to deal with their mess-ups and misinformation several times. DO NOT BANK WITH THEM.

  252. N Credit says:

    Subject: Welcome to Santander Date: 05 Aug 2010
    Some welcome! Since I received this message I have not been able to access my account, neither have any other current account users. No apology from A&L or Santander. I do not have time to spend on the phone banking that is why I use internet banking. We have been let down.

  253. JOHN J says:

    Between today and yesterday I have been on the phone to the very stupid people that turn up for work at alliance and leicester for ten hours to lift a block they put on my card by error. I have also been to a branch for an hour to resolve the situation, but nobody knows how to do this. I was eventually told that I can no longer use an atm machine or pay for things online with my card and can only go into a branch to get money. To me this renders my account useless. The staff are absolutely the worst I have ever came across, as they can’t work the phones or put you through to the proper department or care about the grief that they are causing the customers. You would think that someone in authority would pick up on this mayhem being created by the people that just turn up for work and do nothing, they are a joke! I’m sure they will get rumbled soon but I for one have had enough of their incompetency and have closed my account.

  254. Joe McMorrow says:

    Rubbish service, almost as bad as tiscali. No internet banking for weeks, no one calls me back, complaints department puts down the phone on me.
    I am off somewhere else as soon as possible. I think leaving even one star is too much.

  255. Commercial customer says:

    CHAPS transfers, for which they charge a hefty amount, are routinely delayed because they claim that they were unable to reach customer by tel and confirm transfer, yet no incoming calls were received or missed by customer. I will demand a refund of the charge for the transfer

  256. Andy says:

    The change to Santander has made A&L the biggest cowboys out there (and there is some stiff competition for the award). As part of the changeover, they blocked my internet access, telling me to call (why couldn’t it be done electronically like everyone else does?). 90 minutes of phone call later (including the classic – to identify you, can you tell me the last transactions on your account? no, you’ve blocked it, so I have no idea what is going through!, I was told it would be fixed within a fortnight.

    3 weeks later I rang again, to be told oh yes, we blocked it as part of the changeover. It does not need a new PIN, just to be unblocked. It will be unblocked by the weekend. Guess what? Still no access.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when I go overdrawn from not having visibility to my account or the ability to transfer funds from my savings account. I have made 5 phone calls, sent 4 emails, written 2 letters, contacted via their websites 6 times, and nothing. Not a sausage has been done. They just ignore me or tell complete lies. I even emailed their CEO and received tumbleweed in return.

    Don’t touch them with a barge-poll!

  257. Tina says:

    I have not been able to access my a&l account for nearly two weeks… are Santander aware of this chaos? I have rung them twice, emailed them twice and called into the bank twice yet no-one can tell me when I can access my money.

  258. TIM JOHNSON says:

    A&L are a load of rubbish. I have a business account with them and have paid both of my companies cheques (different names) into the same account for two years with no problems. In the past two weeks I have had £5000 worth of cheques returned to me because they had the incorrect account name on it – and yet these are the same names that have been on the cheques for two years. I was told that it was because they now had more staff to check the cheques. What a load of rubbish. I went into a branch and repaid the cheques in, which miraculously passed the scrutiny and were credited into my account. Yesterday I had another returned cheque of the second company name returned back because that had the wrong account name. Each time they send one back I get charged a whopping £32.00 for the privilege.
    Furthermore, despite being grown up enough to sign the cheques myself for the past two years I found out by accident that Santander now required two signature on the cheques. Oh and guess what another £32.00 again for not sticking to the rules.
    I am awaiting for an answer to my complaint letter in the next few days and if not I am off to the financial Ombudsman. A&L do not care about their customers, only to make enough money to pay themselves bonuses. I would have scored minus 10 here but unable to.

  259. Paul says:

    At the moment A&L aren’t able to process internal transfers between 2 A&L accounts as expected.

    I complained last Thursday and was told a manager would call back within 48hrs with an explanation. I have still not received a call and after trying again tonight the problem still exists.

    Sadly we both have A&L accounts but are now going to change banks asap. I too have also experienced the inaccuracy of the online balance of my account but I was lucky enough to get the charge refunded because A&L was at fault.

  260. Paul Buck says:

    What has happened to A&L!!?? Since takeover from Santander it’s all gone bad! It now takes 2 weeks to transfer money and open accounts – was only a day or so. I am taking my money out…. Totally rubbish service, but or course as with all large companies no one gives a toss!

  261. Martin Purches says:

    I have not been able to access my online accounts with A&L for about 4 weeks – they are shown as ‘unavailable’. A Guardian article suggests this is connected with the switch to Santander branding. I’ve spent seemingly hours on the phone (from overseas) and sent loads of secure messages. They refuse to answer any questions and simply palm me off with lame holding replies. I have never been treated so contemptuously by a bank. Anyone else having similar issues?

  262. stoo says:

    I went into branch 22 July to request a statement for the last 3 years, they said it will be with me in 10days max, I waited, and waited, nothing. On 2nd august went into bank they were apologetic, and requested another. 10 days later still nothing, I went in on the 12th aug and requested another, even got the branch manager in on the situation and again they told me to wait. I was on the phone to the santander group as part of the process, who could not even find my account. Eventually they said because of this I must answer some security questions and I answer all the best of my knowledge and fail according to them. How hard is it to request a statement over 1 year? Now they say even though I put near 3k into their bank every year I am to wait between 10days and 10 weeks for the statement and I will be charged £10 a page? If or when I receive the statement I will be closing the account down and never banking with alliance and santander again they might have 150years experience in banking but in my books that’s 140 years too much – they totally rubbish at responding to the customers’ needs they will take the money no questions asked but if you want something in return – well you may as well stand in front of a train.

  263. says:

    I went into branch 22 july to request a statement for the last 3 years, they said it will be with me in 10days max, i waited, and waited, nothing. on 2nd august went into bank they were apologetic, and requested another. 10 days later still nothing, i went in on the 12th aug and requested another, even got the branch manager in on the situation and again they told me to wait. I was on the phone to the santander group as part of the process, who could not even find my account. wtf? eventually they said because of this i must anser some security questions and i answer all the best of my knowledge and fail according to them. How hard is it to request a statement over 1 year? now they say even though i put near 3k into their bank every year i am to wait between 10days and 10 weeks for the statement and i will be charged £10 a page? wtf? if or when i recieve the statement i will be closing the account down and never banking with alliance and santander again they might have 150years experience in banking but in my books thats 140 years too much – they totally crap at responding to the customers needs they will take the money no questions asked but if you want something in return – well you may as well stand in front of a train.

  264. Mrs M says:

    They are disgusting, that is all I have to say. My overdraft was stopped for no reason one day it was there, the next day it was gone, was holding on to the phone for 1 hour today, this is after I had been to the branch and spoken to the snooty manager, who was as helpful as my dog. To cut along story short I left the bank in tears being made to feel like I had a appalling credit rating and went and had a chat with another bank to see if we could make any sense of it all. I am going to write a letter to some other lacky to see if I get any joy, if not this will be taken further. DO NOT IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES CONTINUE BANKING WITH THESE COWBOYS.

  265. Steve says:

    I tried to make a deposit online from my nominated bank account into my ISA. Nothing happened by the date that they said it would, therefore I thought it just hadn’t gone through and ignored it. I recently checked my balance to discover that A&L DEDUCTED the amount of money that I was trying to deposit IN labeling it as an unpaid D/D. I called them and long story short, was completely taken aback by the utter disregard for trying to sort this problem out for me over the phone, plus rudeness. Allegedly it should be resolved by Thursday, we’ll see. As soon as they have credit back money that they had no right in deducting in the first place I will be closing my ISA. NO STARS EVEN THOUGH I HAD TO GIVE AT LEAST ONE.

  266. wall says:

    They have closed my account with £400 pounds in it!!!! and don’t know where my money is.

  267. Judy says:

    I have been a very satisfied customer of A&L for more than 20 years…. until the transfer to Santander. So far they have managed to:
    1. Close a savings account and send me a cheque instead of transferring the money to another account as instructed then debit instead of credit the ‘goodwill payment’!
    2. Send me someone else’s account closure cheque (makes you wonder where your own money has gone)
    3. Worst of all, close my current account in error, they don’t know what they’ve done with the money so its showing a nil balance, my card and cheque book no longer work and oh yes – all the direct debits have been cancelled so financial chaos is about to break out.

    I cannot believe that, like so many on this site, I will be making arrangements to move my account. The transfer has been a disaster. There are some helpful staff if you can track them down and if they are ex-A&L they are generally very upset at the way things are going.

    As things currently stand one star is a big overestimate of the service offered

  268. John McGiffin says:


    Account transferred to Santander 5 weeks ago – since then not been able to access it, and multiple calls and emails to bank simply produce a standard, unhelpful response.

    Seems pretty clear A&L have a major problem with the transfer, don’t know how to fix it, and aren’t bothered. Will be moving banks for sure.

  269. L Williams says:

    I so wish I had found this site before I transferred from my previous provider to A & L. I was offered the incentive of £100 to move accounts and stupidly took it. They now are doing all they can to wriggle out of it, making every excuse they can. As soon as I can I will be transferring back as it was an empty promise to lure you in. DO NOT TOUCH THIS BANK AND DON’T BELIEVE THEY WILL PAY YOU THE £100. Wish I could give them no stars.

  270. Tony Fink says:

    There are so many of us who are fed up with the Santander group why not do what I have done and write to the people who count. Here is what I said with names and addresses.

    To Antonio Osorio
    CEO Banco Santander Group UK

    My Ref A+L 2
    Your Ref 2166298

    Mr Emilio Botín,
    Chairman of Banco Santander

    Dear Mr Osorio

    Re – Banking – Complaint: 1223405283953

    My apologies for having to write to you direct but I am sure as the CEO of Banco Santander Group UK you may like to know why my wife and I are closing our four long standing accounts of over 40 years with Alliance and Leicester (formally National Giro) and when matured next May removing all our Bonds and other investments with you.

    Whilst only totalling around £120,000 I am sure the Halifax who will arrange the transfer with you on our behalf will welcome us and treat us like customers and not criminals. Also we will not under any circumstances bank with any of your recent acquisitions, Abbey or, Bradford Bingley and ensure our problems with you get maximum publicity via the net.

    If you feel you do not have the time to read this and address the issues then I suspect that your staff are following the principles of their leader. Think about your poor customer who is also very busy and wishes he did not have to spend the time complaining to you. A personal response from you and not a letter starting “Mr Osorio has asked me to reply etc would be welcome”.

    Before I start the long saga please take time to look at this website. It contains 33 comments about banking services , all directed at the Santander Group of only 1 is complimentary, all the rest are all severely critical of your service:-

    This next website has hundreds of your customers complaining about the terrible service the Alliance and Leicester gives. Are you not aware?

    1. The story starts in June of this year when I had to go to the Philippines. At the end of that month I wanted to check if certain payments had been placed in my account.
    2. When I accessed your Internet Banking I was advised by the system to download new security software. This I did.
    3. Whether it was that (seeing a strange IP address) or me mistyping something, I was locked out. Not knowing what to do I used my wife’s account to send you a secure message asking for a reset. My wife also called you and was told you could not help and I would have to call and give certain information re my personal data. I then sent at least 2 emails to you, each time being told
    Thank you for your email. I have passed this to the appropriate area in order that this may be investigated and a response sent to you. Regards Michaela

    Following my wife’s discussion with you I then sent your Michaela the following message which is self explanatory:

    Dear Michaela

    I believe that Alliance and Leicester have missed the point made.

    1. I am in the Philippines that is 7000 miles away from the UK and has a difference of 7 hours in advance of UK time.
    2. Based on Alliance and Leicester recommendations I downloaded Rapport software at the time I wanted to access my account.
    3. This software did not appear to recognise my new PC or its IP address and requested memorable data from me.
    4. I had forgotten this memorable data and on the third attempt locked me out.
    5. Having no idea as to how to contact you securely I used my wife’s account who is still in the UK to request unlocking. She also called you but was told she cannot do anything for me and I must call 00 44 870 9096060.
    6. This I did to find that your IVRS system sends you all around the houses without the option of immediately being able to talk to a human being.
    7. Eventually I did at last speak to a human being but unfortunately for me having answered a string of questions I was told that she could not help me and would have to be put through to another section.
    8 This she did and I was then greeted with another message saying all your staff was busy.
    9. Finally another lady did come on line and asked me all the same questions the other operator did. Having completed the interrogation and by now had spent well over £10.00 on the call she asked me to get my Debit card. When I told her it was in the UK she said she could not help me.
    10. Please explain why anyone would want to take an Alliance and Leicester debit card to the Philippines it is absolutely no use where I am.
    11. Why your customers are not informed of this requirement when you present the account locked message.
    12. All I want is for my account to be unlocked. I give my wife full permission to give you any information you need and act on my behalf. She has access to my account anyway and uses my debit card to withdraw money if she needs.

    I can understand the need for security but not having an alternative to the debit card detail is quite ludicrous. As mentioned before if this cannot be resolved before I return on the 21st August both my wife and myself will close all our accounts and investments with you and use our Nationwide accounts for all our transactions who has a far better on-line system than you.

    I await your response with interest.


    Having told you that I was in the Philippines and my wife had already informed you I would not be back until the 21st August an interim response from a John dated 12 July was sent to my UK address. You had my email address why not send it to me there.

    A further letter was received on the 20th August from a Ruth (Complaint Resolver????), the arrogance of which is hard to believe.

    At the end of the day, a good company would have called me in the Philippines to explain what I needed to do. I could have contacted my wife for the information etc. and all would have been resolved. The Operator I spoke to was blunt saying there was nothing they could do for me and so the saga goes on.

    Anyway I will not waste your time further although it goes on. Sufficient to say you have lost two more customers. Whatever happened to Helpful and Friendly Customer Service.

    I have attached a copy of which I consider to be a very badly worded letter from Ruth, she needs educating on phrasing letters that are sympathetic, helpful and suggesting improvements for the future.

    Yours sincerely


    CC Mr Emilio Botín,
    Chairman of Banco Santander
    Operational Office
    Ciudad Grupo Santander Cantabria
    s/n 28660 Boadilla de Monte
    Madrid Spain

  271. Mary Jones says:

    Horrendous since they have changed to Sandander because the systems keep going down, leaving you with no access to your money for hours each time!! Your card gets declined which is embarrassing and then you worry about if there is fraud on your account, only to have to abandon your shopping and find out its because their systems are down!! This has happened on numerous Sundays. Awful.

  272. Ian Butcher says:

    This bank has become appalling since taken over by Santander, after years of trouble free service in last few weeks they have lost Direct Debits and risked me losing and endowment I had been paying into for over 18 years, then they lost my online banking so I had no access to my money and now I cannot draw out my money from link machines as their computers have all crashed. I have money and savings in Alliance and Abbey but will be closing these down over next few days unless they agree to compensate all over their customers for their incompetence.

  273. Monti says:

    24 August 2010

    Complaint #1 of 2 August* by 2 telephone calls. Due to extremely long telephone queues (shortest 14 minutes) I had to make 4 telephone calls on 3 numbers. Time on telephone 31 minutes of which 22 minutes in automated telephone queue.

    From the outset I asked to speak to a manager. My request was refused.

    I was asked for the name of a Direct Debit “in the last 10 days”. I can remember all Direct Debits and Standing Orders in the last 30 days, but not “in the last 10 days” (apart from which my Direct Debits and Standing Orders have not been visible in their entirety online for several weeks, the subject of my complaint #2 of 4 August).

    Therefore I provided the bank with the name of several Direct Debits and Standing Orders in the last 30 days including my salary! The bank said I had failed security and therefore I would have to go to a branch with my ID. The nearest branch to my workplace is a 25 minute walk. Therefore, 50 minutes outward/return and 10 (overly optimistic!) minutes in bank = 60 minutes lunchtime exhausted!

    Chased reply to complaint #1 on 9 occasions (4 webmails – 3, 4, 7 and 10 August; 5 emails – 12, 17, 20, 23 and 24 August). No reply apart from automated emails on 13, 18, 21 and 24 August from

    According to the bank’s webmail receipt confirmation – “We will respond as quickly as possible, normally within 24 hours.”

    What a joke! I have been waiting 21 and 20 days for replies to my complaints #1 and #2 respectively.

    I would give the Alliance & Leicester / Santander Bank a zero rating if this site would permit it!

    *(re Standing Order between my 2 Alliance & Leicester accounts and “unpaid item fee on 26 July, a standing order that I have repeatedly – from Jan to Aug 2010 – requested the bank to cancel. It does not appear in the online schedule of Standing Orders. Despite repeated requests over several months that it should be visible in the online schedule of Standing Orders, to date this request has not been actioned and therefore I cannot cancel the SO online!)

  274. Mrs J says:

    I would like to help you but I cant!! that seems to be the favourite saying of the call centre staff. I have been without telephone and internet banking for over 6 weeks now. I ring up they send out a new pin the new pin doesnt work. I ring up they send out a new pin and so it goes on!!! I then try and speak to a Customer Service advisor and I am left holding on for 30 minutes before I finally get through, to be told they cant help me!! I have been with A&L for over 20 years and since the transfer to Santander it has been nothing short of horrific. I have complained twice and surprise surprise no response!! All I want to do is access my on-line banking, shouldnt be difficult, but it is. I will go else where as soon as I can!!

  275. Sophie Al says:

    This bank is the worst ever! I closed my account after having them charge me 100 per month for being overdrawn and thought that was it over and done with as after the supreme court ruling they said they wouldn’t refund any charges so I closed it and said I would never bank with them again. A year on and my sister tries to transfer some cash unfortunately she sent it to the wrong account details so I said I had no idea where it had gone as my account was closed with them ages ago. So we called up to find they had never closed my account and I owed them 361 in charges!!! I have spent nearly 2 days on the phone trying to find out why this has happened only to be told consistently I never closed the account as it isn’t possible whilst charges are outstanding and that in short I am basically lying when I say I WAS told this account was closed and wasn’t made aware of any charges! I have now requested for a year’s statement to be sent which I receive4d after calling 3 times a copy of my log in details also took 3 calls and a copy of all telephone conversation notes which by law you are entitled to recive 4 this was 2 months ago and after 3 calls 2 emails and 2 letters I still have not had that info sent to me. I have had letters telling me my complaint is being looked into and never heard anything again. I have now gathered evidence of all my requests as I am also wanting to claim bk my telephone bill of £144 spent trying to speak to complaints even thou I was promised a call bk and speaking to various depts as they had no idea what they were doing. I have received no communications from them about my complaints until I went to the FOS and then I was told the charges were fair and u can have a refund of £25 which completely ignored the original complaint of why was I told my account was closed if there were these charges, why have I not been contacted by them in a year if I owed this money and why are they so blooming rude and unhelpful on the phone!!! DO NOT USE THIS BANK THEY ARE CON MEN AND WILL IGNORE ANY COMPLAINT YOU MAKE. I WOULD RECOMMEND GOING TO THE OMBUDSMAN AS SOON AS YOU CAN AS OTHERWISE THEY WILL COMPLETELY IGNORE YOU!!!!!

  276. s Buckley says:

    I am about to close both my accounts as I am fed up to the back teeth of being put on hold for an hour plus,yes really, and even then didn’t get through! I had to retry so many times. This is NOT helpful banking, what poor customer service. Disgusting. Do follow my example as its the only way Santander will acknowledge there is a problem.

  277. eileen gates says:

    A&L what a set-up. How do you get a new cheque book? Still not arrived after numerous requests. Letters are ignored – bad manners to say the least! Put you in a queue for ages running up phone bills. Next step is to transfer to another bank, others we are with don’t give problems.

  278. eileen gates says:

    A&L what a set-up. How do you get a new
    cheque book ? still not arrived after
    numerous requests.
    Letters are ignored – bad manners to say the least! Put you in a queue for
    ages running up phone bills.
    Next step is to transfer to another bank ,
    others we are with don’t give problems.

  279. adrian says:

    I dunno why all u people had bad experience, I joined Alliance and Leicester to get 100% and that the overdraft was free, they matched the 6000 pounds overdraft limit I had and it was free for a year, now they are charging me 5 pound a month so glad I did join.

  280. Paul says:

    Have had enough and am transferring my account away from A&L. After being fibbed to then reassured that the service would improve A&L have just botched up another ‘quick’ transfer to a different internal account. Whilst on the phone to an advisor she couldn’t help because the internet banking went down! Atrocious service and a truly terrible handling of the migration to santander – the team responsible for this should be ashamed.

  281. Nic says:

    Alliance & Leicester are completely incompetent to the highest degree possible!
    But – Santander have somehow managed to be even worse!
    Santander have added a third person to my accounts that doesn’t exist, changed the spelling of my surname on one account, changed DOB’s. Staff at call centers are rude, unhelpful and refuse to address the issue as due to Santander staff changing my details I don’t pass security, so they tell me to go into a branch. I go to their branch with full ID and they promise to resolve, but they don’t resolve and fail to contact me as promised. More calls, more rudeness and again told to go into a branch. THIS IS REPEATED AD INFINITE……

    My instant access account is UNAVAILABLE!

    IT REMAINS UNAVAILABLE, despite every attempt at resolving the issues caused by SANTANDER STAFF!

    They constantly lie and cannot be trusted to complete even the most basic of tasks…..

    No member of my family will EVER bank with A&L OR SANTANDER EVER AGAIN.

    My accounts will be closed ASAP!

  282. m0aur says:

    Made to look a fool AGAIN in my local Post Office when my card was declined. Rushed home thinking my a/c had been plundered. Phoned Alliance & Leicester, only to find that despite two large shops being deducted from my a/c today, they were STILL against my a/c as pending transactions, making me appear in overdraft. I am afraid that was the point I lost my cool, telling them that was a stupid way to run a bank, and that they could stuff their account.

  283. CK says:

    I have recently tried to close my A&L Online Saver account and they just don’t want to give me my money. I have closed accounts with Tesco, Citibank and ING since trying to close my A&L account and all have closed the account and sent me my money – I’m still waiting for A&L.
    The only response I get is that they are allowed 10 working days to process the closure – WHY? Everybody else can do it in 2 or 3 days – why are A&L so incompetent that it takes them 10 days?
    Notwithstanding that, I sent my request on 22 August and they acknowledged it on 23 August. 19 days later (14 working days later) I am still waiting for my money so they can’t even work within their own ridiculous time limits! I’ve looked online and the account shows as being closed on 6 September but they still haven’t sent me the money – they just hold onto it for as long as they can and wait for you to call their premium number again to complain.
    I can safely say that, having saved with about 20 institutions over the last decade, A&L are in a different class to all of the rest – absolutely appalling.

  284. Catherine Bunn says:

    I have been trying to transfer my fathers accounts at A&L as I have Power of Attorney to my good old HSBC bank since July can you believe it’s been 2 and half months and still not done. The reason for the transfer? is the staff at his branch are rude and unhelpful. If I ring or go to branch they say its H/O fault, you ring them they say it’s branch fault talk about being fobbed off. I just can’t understand what’s going on and nobody will tell me. My father is now in a nursing home due to senile dementia and blind and yet they still expect me to bring him in, he doesn’t even know his own name anymore so that was really helpful advice. I am having to pay his Nursing home fees out of my own savings which have already amounted to a vast amount. I am a very patient person but I am now going to write to the Banking Ombudsman but have been told this can take months. I was even blamed by the branch that the day I went into transfer the accounts was the day Santander was merging and that’s why there has been a problem, silly me should have known that all along!!!

  285. elettra marziani says:

    I opened up an account with A&L in August last year. I choose them over the other bank because of their offer of no overdraft charges and peace of mind switching service plus the account came with £100.00 incentive. It turned up it was the worst decision ever!! The incentive never materialized until 5 months later I decided to ask for it. Got a stroppy reply not an apology from customer care. The switching service did not transfer 2 of my direct debit. I ended up being charged late payment fees for one credit card and my council tax. Again contacted customer Care no apologies offered only stroppy emails from people who clearly did not even bother reading the actual letter. Bank charges: I think this bank should seriously review their policies. I ended up paying £700+ in bank charges on an account which promised to come without charges. I wrote to customer service and again not joy got several replies from different people and all of them had a different understanding of why I was calling but the one thing no one did was listening. I have knocked at all possible doors and I do not understand how it can be legal for a bank to charge as much as £100 in a day in bank charges. I cannot pay these charges have paid all my outstanding but not the charges.

  286. tanya proctor says:

    I have had a current account with A&L now santander fro 17 years, recently we sold a property and paid a large sum of money into this account which has now had a legal block on the account which cannot be removed for a reason they will not tell me!! I cannot access any money nor will they give me any, everything we have is in this account, they said if it changes they will notify me, what does that mean!! My card was blocked 15 times in 2 weeks and now this, we are in a dire situation, does anyone know why this would happen and what can we do to rectify the situation? I’m so upset.

  287. Scott says:

    They did not inform me of charges that were stacking up against me, only adding them on a monthly basis way after the actual time of the charge. If perhaps they had been a bit clearer or let me know at the time that I was incurring charges instead of much, much later then perhaps I could have done something about sorting it out then. Very poor customer service. This month I incurred £40 worth of charges which I have paid, and next month I find out by ringing up as it is yet to be added to my account that I owe another £85 worth of charges. Money that is not easy to find. This happened because I accidentally decreased my overdraft but was NOT allowed to change it back to the figure it was before and this is I am told because you are changing over to Santander. As soon as I realised what had happened I transferred money into the account but obviously not quick enough to stop the Alliance charging me a killing. The charges are extortionate compared to other banks. It’s daylight robbery and I am utterly dismayed at every part of this service. I will pay off the amount and close my account and warn every single person I know of this shocking system that you have, for if anyone should accidentally go over budget they will be penalised to the maximum accordingly. Give me barclays any day.

  288. angie64 says:

    I closed my on line account with A and L on 13 Aug and have yet to receive my balance of several thousand pounds. I get a different story each time I call and have spent about 76 minutes on 08 telephone numbers so far. I was promised a return call 3 days ago and am still waiting. I will not be dealing with any part of Santander once I get my cash. I’ve never had a problem with any other institution. One star is too good for them!

  289. Dom says:

    I’m really tempted to give this bank 5 stars. In fact I will. But then I have to be on drugs to do that.
    5 Months now my online banking account locked itself out and I just have been getting maintenance messages on the screen. I have called and called there CS line who have been useless.
    I have called nearly every other week and asked for there technical dept and also raised a complaint but still not resolved.
    I’m gonna give it 2 more weeks before closing it down and going to a real bank.
    Seriously this bank is a joke and I think my money is more secure under my mattress.

  290. Paul B says:

    I opened an ISA account in April this year (2010). Having logged into my account at least 7 or 8 times since I have found last week that the online account has suddenly stopped accepting my pin number so that I now cannot access my money INSTANTLY as the account promised. Contact A&L Help Desk via an 0844 revenue generating telephone number and was advised that a new pin would be sent to me within the next 2 WEEKS! No explanation as to why only they could have blocked my pin number. I need my cash urgently but cant get access to it now. I am closing the account as soon as I can get access. There is obviously something ‘shady’ going on here with this bank and my confidence in it has been destroyed, particularly when you read the growing crescendo of complaints on a site like this. And like other posters I have been forced to enter a 1 star rating to post!. Alliance & Leicester don’t even deserve that.

  291. David Round says:

    I have just been a mortgage because of the alliance and leicester, I lost my job 3 years ago and explained to them a bill went out of my account when the redundancy money hadn’t come in, this account was used for bills only. Anyways I get a letter saying I have been charged £25 for going into an overdraft, and £5 per day for not paying into my account. I called them and said your charges are ridiculous and I would not pay them to the tune of £411. I keep getting letters from them asking for the money I said I will pay you a £1 a week for the rest of my life just out of principal. This bank is bordering on illegal.

  292. JM says:

    At present A & L online system is been moved over to the Santander system. For me, this means I am unable to access my online isa account or phone account. To access the account I have to go through some general customer line.

    A & L are unable to say when my account will be available to access as they have no time line for the system change. Could be next week, could be next year.

  293. CF says:

    On 27th August I put 2 cheques into my account – 400 and 300. 5 days later the 400 cheque had cleared but no sign of the 300. They had lost it!!
    It is a very long story and I have spent the last 4 weeks on the phones and visiting the local branch where i put them in. It has been over 4 weeks later and I still do not have the 300 in my account. The local branch staff are totally incompetent and have no idea what they are doing and if you start to complain they become abusive. The ‘helplines’ are totally pointless and all give you different stories. NOBODY CARES! As soon as I get my money I will be closing my account – DO NOT BANK WITH THEM.

  294. John says:

    Only leaving 1 star as I cannot leave 0 stars.

    Appalling customer services who either cannot understand the English language or speak it back.

    My A & L card number no longer works on the Santander phone baking system, they have stopped my internet access for no reason they keep saying go to the branch where you opened the account even though it has closed. Unwilling to help hence I am leaving to first direct. They give an overdraft of £500 the first £250 of which is free Santander flatly refuse purely to make money out of customers who occasionally dip into it.

    A word of caution though First Direct have an easy switch facility brilliant idea except it relies on the other bank to respond promptly to provide details of all direct debits and transfers. So far to date after 4 weeks Santander have refused to provide complete or sufficient details to first direct and it has been easier to change all direct debit details myself than rely on Santander to help. This is a known issue and was informed of this by First Direct with a quote of Santander are truly awful.

    To surmise A&L a brilliant bank ruined by Santander and cannot wait to leave at the end of this month.

  295. mrs j papamichail says:

    I have been with A&L since 1983… am about to close all accounts. I was abroad for 3 months and could not access my internet banking to pay bills despite numerous emails and phone calls… all of which cost me money. I have had enough of lies and false promises and assurances from call centre customer care staff. I am about to close all accounts… would star rate them -5

  296. peebee says:

    I opened an ISA account in April this year (2010). Having logged into my account at least 7 or 8 times since I have found last week that the online account has suddenly stopped accepting my pin number so that I now cannot access my money INSTANTLY as the account promised. Contact A&L Help Desk via an 0844 revenue generating telephone number and was advised that a new pin would be sent to me within the next 2 WEEKS! No explanation as to why only they could have blocked my pin number. I need my cash urgently but cant get access to it now. I am closing the account as soon as I can get access. There is obviously something ‘shady’ going on here with this bank and my confidence in it has been destroyed, particularly when you read the growing crescendo of complaints on a site like this.
    And like other posters I have been forced to enter a 1 star rating to post!. Alliance & Leicester don’t even deserve that.

  297. Sandra Hall says:

    The Alliance and Leicester are unhelpful, and do not stand by their own letters.
    My mother has Dementia and has been in a nursing home for the last year. Her pension is paid into the A & L, which in turn should be paid to the Nursing home… after sending them 2 letters from different consultants plus a letter from her GP, the A & L agreed (and sent me a letter confirming the medical opinion for my mother) to pay this standing order, but because she has dementia, they said they would no longer send out statements – as no other payments are made from this account, nothing should have gone wrong… But since August the A & L who have had my mother’s pension paid in weekly have STOPPED the payments to the nursing home. Will not tell me why, we now have bills of over £2000 because of it… when I quoted the letter they had sent me, I was told that letter did not count anymore, refused to let me speak to their legal dept. (who had sent the letter) and have told me my mother who has no speech, cannot read, cannot write, cannot process any thoughts, cannot walk (and they have 3 medical letters to prove it), must write to them herself or maybe speak to them over the phone… I now have to apply to the Court of Protection, which will take months, and the debt just grows… and the A & L does what with her money?

  298. George says:

    Can invite fellow A&L customers to write a complaint via online support regarding the following two points:
    1. Every time I log on I’m asked to download software I don’t want. I shouldn’t have to do this every single time. A&L should provide a tick box which says ‘Don’t remind me again’
    2. When A&L customers click ‘log off’ they should be logged off, not taken to another log off page so A&L can try and sell us insurance etc.

    Thanks for your cooperation, if enough people complain they might even listen!!

  299. S Smith says:

    Just as with lots of other people I have telephoned, visited branch, sent secure messages and filled in the online complaint form to unblock my A&L accounts but got nowhere. I cannot transfer money and yet each time I am asked to confirm the latest transfer made in the last 14 days! Morons! Any suggestions other than bombarding them with secure messages and online complaints would be gratefully received. My sanity and income are suffering.

    My guess is that a simple fix to my online account is all that’s needed. I am transferring my ISA to Principality and will leave my new Santander eSaver that I cannot access to lapse (they only give you 28 days to make an initial deposit but don’t allow for their own incompetence!). Finally I will close all other accounts once my ISA is safely out of their clutches. My guess is though that the final balance that should go to my linked LLoyds account will disappear into the ether that is Santander!

  300. Ian Milton says:

    Has anybody moved house and has an Alliance and Leicester current and Savings account? Beware, I moved house 3 months ago and STILL cannot use my debit card. My original card kept being registered to my old address, and payments could only be authorised if I used my old address. A+L then issued new cards. 3 sets of pins later and they still do not work. I have not been able to access MY money with my debit card with a pin for 1 month. NO light at the end of the tunnel!

  301. Mr Ebery says:

    I put two cheques into my account with my account number as an extra precaution as well as my paying in slip. After two weeks the funds had still not been put in my account. It appears A & L (Santander) have to do an investigation to find where my funds have gone and they would call me. No call came so I called again and a representative told me I needed to get copies of the cheques off my payee (which is no easy task) I sent off and still no feedback. I contacted again via the main town branch and the representative there said they would pursue it and I was to make the effort to drive into the next town and they would give me some further investigative feedback. I went today and the branch is closed for refurbishment. They take our money – loose our money – don’t care about customer communication – and put customers to such inconveniences. Someone needs to take responsibility in these large organisations to deal with a customers issue from start to finish without just passing things along a line out of sight out of mind attitude.

  302. Charles Finnie says:

    Sadly, I agree with all of the negative feedback. Having worked in the sector and used many banks for both business and personal accounts, I am flabbergasted at the antiquated way this company conducts it’s business. The online facilities fall way short of standard, branch systems are heavily paper-orientated and EVERYTHING takes far too long! They regularly contradict themselves on procedure, are very happy to be very unhelpful and the dogged reliance on overblown and yet annoyingly limited security checking is absurd. If anyone senior in Santander is reading this, I would urge you to send an away team over to RBS to take a peek at how a world class bank conducts itself. Given your partnership with them back in the 90’s, I would have thought you would have already adopted some of their good practices. I am fully aware of RBS shortcomings, but they are very forgivable – sadly, Santander, you cannot be forgiven the utterly shoddy way you conduct yourselves – go hang your heads in shame.

  303. Jamie Hinks says:

    Unapologetically incompetent.
    These jokers have achieved new heights of ineptitude and corporate apathy. So much so that I propose using A&L as a new adjective to describe all things second rate. In my dealings with A&L I get the impression that they have set out to be hapless, bumbling incompetents and are proud of their status as such. Over three hundred negative complaints and not one official stepping in to defend this carbuncle on the already cancerous high street banking sector.

    My experience reflects all of the complaints that have gone before. Basically I can’t get access to my money and have had a host of access problems since February. Tried use the counter service and it took the guy over 15 minutes to even work out where my money was. I was one of three people at the counter there for the same reason! Not even an apology and the staff treated it like it was normal procedure.

    To make an analogy, dealing with A&L is like buying a new car that breaks down coughing and spluttering with wheels falling off and bits of machinery blowing from under the bonnet before I even made it off the fore court whilst the dealer stands there laughing and refusing to give me my money back.

    When my 5% introductory rate is over, so is my relationship with these amateurs.

  304. Jim&Alex says:

    You’ll like this one folks….. but not a lot

    So we have a joint account with A&L and also another separate individual current account. The forms are filled out and sent to close down the individual account but lo and behold the genius at A&L dealing with this simple procedure manages to close the JOINT account. This account deals with all the bills AND our mortgage payments.

    So we explain to A&L what they’ve done, thinking simple error but oh no. Account is closed, that is it, final, no re-instating. Madness! We ‘politely’ rejected their offer to setup a new account with them, their apparent only solution to this balls up. Summary – Avoid A&L. Done

  305. Mr J Burns says:

    I have been with A&L for 8 years. I never had any serious problems with them until this last year, after the Santander takeover.
    A&L has now become a nightmare. Their charges are now one of the highest in England. Their internet banking is a joke. The complaints department does not want to know and will not phone you back. Money transfers from abroad can take up to 30 days to clear and in my case A&L lost the transfer and I had to wait for over 90 days. The transfer was over €2000. They only paid up because I went to the FSA (Financial Services Authority) and the Ombudsman.

    The last straw came when they told PayPal that I had closed my A&L account WHEN I HAD NOT (I was not able to use Ebay for 3 weeks) and then a week after that they cancelled my Visa Debit Card, AGAIN BY MISTAKE.

  306. Rosa says:

    Closed my account with them due to their god awful staff and unhelful inconvenient procedures, only to find out that the money from my accoutns has completely disappeared, strongly recommend avoiding A&L !

  307. Angie may says:

    I am in Bulgaria at the moment having sold my house and deposited the money in my Alliance and Leicester bank account. I had several bills to pay for large amounts. I attempted to do this once and my online banking was blocked for security reasons. This meant a call to the UK to unblock and a 6.00 charge for the call. I have paid another bill and guess what they have blocked my account again. This time took me through a lot of security questions all of which I answered correctly, the last being, have I got any other accounts. I have an online saver account which is attached to my current account so I told the customer service lady. She asked for my account no, I said I didnt know that because I would have to have a look online to access it, but told her the balance on my account and offered to answer even more security questions. She refused, she said if the account was to be unblocked I would need to visit my local branch and take some form of ID. This would mean a trip to the UK I said. She said you can still use your debit card! I am not going to do that as I transfer money as I need it into my current account from my savings account, and I have no idea of the balance she wouldnt tell me that either. All in all I have no access to my money which accounts for thousands and I am in a foreign country. You are total utter idiots Santander, you need to be brought to justice for your crimes against banking. I will be complaining to the ombudsman again about you, having won my case last time you tried to scam money from me, and I will be transferring all my money to another account as soon as I get back to the UK. You will also be paying for my flight back and the fees I have occurred while my money is locked. I would rate you a minus if I could.

  308. Sue says:

    Whilst using the new A/L telephone banking system and trying to bypass the telephone banking code bit (because I didn’t know this was the same as your internet PIN) I ended up being locked out of my online banking. This has created an onging farcial situation where I waited for the new pin only for that not to work. The technical support system tel number given online could offer no support other than keep entering the pin and when it fails a 3rd time we will send out another. No manager was available and despite the fact I asked for an urgent call back from one, I have heard nothing. There is a complaints number given online which, outragiously, changes a higher charge rate for calls. When I almost went over my OD I was told off by an operator saying that I had spent more than I had and she refused to accept that not being able to check the account online had any barring. She attempted to have a ‘Little Britain’ style arguement with me over the phone and then refused to put me through to a manager. I made a complaint about her and it emerged she had provided a false name!
    I have banked with A/L since it started as Girobank, approximately 33 years. Customer service was once their strong point. I too am looking to change my bank now. Wonder it the Directors know (or even care) what a bad time the customers are having

  309. derek meldrum says:

    Worst bank ever! charged me because I went over after beliving the available balance was accurate (they said it always was but their system change was causing issues they wont admit to) My complaints were closed more than once without contact depiste refund being agreed, which did not happen and then also became part of the complaint. Escalated to 2nd line (took 8 weeks, who refunded 1 charge, not the other 3 and made no reference to these despite them being part of the complaint and anyway they plan to charge me more than they refunded anyway in next cycle., shower of thieves, ADVICE TO ALL, COMPLAIN TO THE OMBUDSMAN, ITS COSTS THEM MONEY!! then lets see how they treat people in future!!

  310. Derek James says:

    So incompetent they even managed to screw up the resololution of the complaint at final level.. when it eventually got there.
    I have refunded 40 today and added a further goodwill credit of 25

    Actually they refunded 40 but forgot to add the goodwill credit, that took since late July -14th Oct. Ombudsman next as that didnt even address the entire complaint anyway, worst bank in the world.

  311. Mike_L says:

    I suggest we all bombard BBC’s Watchdog with our horror stories. Lets give them a taste of their own medicine. I have already ditched my RBS accounts after having been with them for 30 excellent years but refuse to have anything to do with Santander whom are taking over all English RBS branches.

    I have been trying to add a ‘Payee’ to my ONLINE savings account for months and they suggest that I visit a branch. NO I don’t want to it is supposed to be an online service.

    • Dilworth West says:

      We are at our wits end with all the problems Alliance & Leicester have caused us. We wished to move 6 ISAs [three each] to a pair of investment ISAs to benefit from their 5.5% interest offer. In order to do this we had to see a so-called ‘advisor’ . We told him at the start of the meeting that we were there together, at the same time, to do identical investments but were to be treated as two separate individuals as regards the investments. This is because we have our own individual financial affairs but, in this instance, wished to echo each other in what we did, plus I wanted to have him there so I would not get bulldozed into doing something I did not wish to do. During this meeting he kept referring to us as a couple and had to be corrected on several occasions. When we finally received the report, instead of the two individual personalised reports reflecting our different finances, he sent one lumping us together as a couple!!!! Also in this report he fabricated information as regards what he said we discussed, the figures were inaccurate and my finances were not taken into account as regards my [two mortgage free houses, investments etc. The whole thing was a fiasco. We both sent him letters to point out his mistakes and have never had the courtesy of any acknowledgment or reply to any of them. We contacted their Complaints Department and have been struggling with them ever since. The ISAs were not transferred until I chased in August [we had been out of the country and could not do so earlier]. The inept ‘advisor’ is now wriggling and making false accusation to cover up for our accusation of ‘wrong advice’. We also had a series of current and savings accounts with them and have now closed them as we cannot work with this company.

      Their muddled and convoluted security proceedures gave us multiple problems when trying to access our account online from our holiday home.

      I advise all who read this to do the same and steer clear of this useless and frankly unhelpful company.

    • Anne Harries says:

      I have a problem today whereby I send my mortgage payment to the Alliance & Leicester as I have done every month since we came to australia via westpac on an international transfer – this month A&L tell me I am in arrears I tell them the payment went on the 13th, they dont believe me and wont look for it. I check with westpac who tell me that Natwest A&L international clearing bank have refused the payment without explanation and will not respond to their communications demanding a reason because until they either confirm the transaction is cancelled and why I cannot have the funds back so I can pay them over the phone by card if necessary. A&L wont do anything until I can convince them I have paid my mortgage and only then will they go looking for my money – I sent it, they wont accept it – no reason and I cant get it back. What the hell do you do in these circumstances. I am due to send another payment do I hope they will accept it or do I just let them keep refusing the payment until they repossess the house, is that what they are after – what can I do???


      • Anne says:

        They are at it again – they have returned three payments in two months blaming me for not using the correct account number. It is the same mortgage account number they gave me three years ago and from which international transfers have been made and 95% accepted during that time. God knows what they are doing because they dont. Each department, customer services, collections and complaints do not share information so you have to relate the whole damn story over and over and all the while it is costing you money. Returning our payments has cost us over $500 in exchange rate differences and fees and they will not pay them back.

  312. eleanor says:

    I use a cheque book every week(sch dinners, etc etc) I have waited nearly 2 mths for 1 to arrive. I have rang every week, called at local branch to ask why cant I have a cheque book? Answer from A & L when they switched from A & L to Santander it logged my account with over 60 chques still outstanding!!!!! I check weekly what chqs leave my account and the last one was paid in Sept? there are no more cheques outstanding. yesterday I rec’d 2 chq books but written all over them and on the back its states in bold not to be used with a guarentee card!!!!!! what is all that about, as I only issue a chq when I have funds in my account , they are making me feel as if I dont have any money to issue chqs, infact I will be looking for a new bank very shortly.

  313. Rob Anderson says:

    Complete imbeciles; My wife & I hold a joint account with A&L and following an unbelievably chaotic (& ultimately futile) series of interactions with A&L/Santander customer service beginning in a ‘security alert'(we never did find out what triggered it), both our cards were declined in a shop transaction, a frantic call to A&L ‘helpline’ later we were told to go into branch. At the branch they were polite but clueless, unable to address the issue & we were told we needed to go home and contact A&L there. Back home, I was told my card was now unblocked but my wife needed to go into branch to get her card unblocked. Another trip to branch, she was told her card was now unblocked & we were up & running again: I tried to use my card – it was decilned. Helpline once again, I was told I needed to go to a branch. Did so, I was told sorry but they didn’t know what was going on & there was nothing they could do to unblock the card but a new card was apparently on the way, but at least we had my wife’s card to see us through. My wife subsequently tried to use her card (at the ATM outside the branch- it was declined-& retained. In the meantime a transfer of funds from our current account to pay off a credit card had been in process for four days, I then found my internet access to A&L had been suspended. By this time I was utterly apoplectic, on the phone to customer service yet again I was told there was obviously a security issue, & they had cancelled the fund transfer I was informed that I should have received a security phone call to check the validity of the fund transfer, I informed them I had received no such call, only to then discover they had tried to contact us that day (four days after the transaction was instigated) while we were actually in a Santander branch desperately trying to sort things out!
    It has only been through the fact that my wife still has her old current account with some funds in that we have been able to continue to function financially on a day-to-day basis during this fiasco. Having still not received a replacement debit card, I.have been unable to access funds in my current account for over a month now. I have sent ‘secure message’ after secure message (as per their recommended approach to complaints) to register my dissatisfaction, they took over a week to respond at all simply stating that my complaint would be fully investigated & if I had anything further to add use the same channels! They have still not responded to my subsequent message as to how I am expected to access the funds in my account & it’s getting on for two weeks now.
    We’ve had more than enough & have decided to close the account & move to First Direct – purely on the grounds that, according to the surveys, they seem to have the highest level of customer satisfaction. No prizes for guessing who appears to be solidly at the bottom of the heap in that respect !
    It is a shame as I have been with A&L for ten years and up until, (surprise,surprise), 2008 when Santander took over, there were no problems but now it’s just a farce. They offer many attractive products but on the basis of our experience of unbelievably atrocious customer service, un-necessarily over zealous security, contradictory & erroneous advice and ultimately complete failure in addressing the salient issue, I wouldn’t touch a Santander product with a bargepole.

  314. Dolores says:

    I have read all the preceeding reviews with dread, as I swtched from Santander to A & L in June 2010. I had lots of over charging of fees issues with Santander, so switched to A 7 L, mainly for the £100 incentive. I am thankful, that the switch was very smooth, and I actually got the £100 less than a month after switching. All of these other reviews have opened my eyes to the fact that I have experienced the calm before the raging storm. I have jumped out of the frying pan into the fire!! But I heartily thank you, my fellow reviewers, as I am now forewarned and shall be on my guard. I have no overdraftfacility as I am currently unemployed (injury due to accident at work), so was dismayed one day when I checked my account online to find it had an unauthorised overdraft, my ex husband kindly paid £20 into my account so that my account could be brought back into credit. What shocked me was that one day later, this unauthorised overdraft had mysteriously disappeared and I was now over £40 in credit, even though the only transactions that had taken place was the £20 cash deposit into my account by my ex husband. Having experience similiar phanthom transactions with Santander, I check my account online several times a day and always leave emergency funds in my account to try and ensure that it always remains in credit. What is even more alarming is that when I receive my monthly paper statement, there is no evidence of any of this! Even though if I get a mini-statement from an ATM on the same day as a phanthom transaction it will be on there, and I will be left wondering who this payment is supposed to have gone to, as I keep meticulous financial records for my bank accounts. I am on my guard now, and will not take any attempts by A & L to fleece me via unfair charges lying down!!!

  315. jacky roberts says:

    £100 Cashback is a scam! I changed my account to Alliance & Leicester 12 months ago, after phoning on numerous occasions to find out why I hadnt had my £100 I was promised they would sort it out. Now 12 months later they are saying that we hadnt paid in enough after 11 weeks of opening the account. We used their direct debit switching service which was incredibly slow and when everything was sorted our wages were paid in. We could not have done it any sooner otherwise we’d have been hammered by the halifax for using the “authorised” overdraft at £2.00 per day. How many people have actually had their £100 ???

  316. Lyndsey says:

    My wages are available for use from the start of trading on 25th of each month. On 25/10/2010 Alliance & Leicester paid, then bounced back £550 which was supposed to go to my landlord. I queried this on the morning of 25/10/2010. I was given an apology. The Alliance & Leicester employee suggested that he should make two ‘FASTER PAYMENTS’ to my landlord’s agent. He did this. However, it is only possible to make one faster payment in a day. Therefore, instead of two payments, one of £300 and one of £250 leaving my account, only one of £300 was paid out. I was told by this employee that the £550 would not be going out.

    On 26/10/2010 the Alliance & Leicester paid £550 to the landlord; even though I was informed this would not be going out. Therefore, the Alliance & Leicester overpaid the landlord by £300. I was very upset and asked to be refunded the money. The Alliance and Leicester agreed to repay me the £300. They repaid me.

    On 26/10/2010 I tried to journey to France to see my parents. At Dover, I needed to fill my tank with petrol, to be able to continue the journey. My card was declined. After a 21 minute mobile phone call to the Alliance & Leicester I was told that I was using my husband’s card; the Alliance & Leicester representative was patronising and asked me to read the name on the card! So I read her my name; as it was my card. She then told me my card had been reported ‘lost or stolen’. It had not been. Essentially I was left at a ferry port with no way of getting to my final destination or of getting home.

    My internet access was stopped for no reason.

    On 29/12/10 I noticed that only £250 and not £550 had been taken from my account to pay my landlord. I phoned the Alliance and Leicester and asked them, ‘Why?’. They stated that they, ‘Had no idea.’ They checked the standing order instruction which was for £550. I asked if £300 could be paid by faster payment to my landlord; considering the problems I experienced in October, I asked the girl to ensure that this was the only payment that would be taken. She paid the £300 on 30/12/10.

    Today I noticed that a further £300 has been taken from my account; it comes under the heading, ‘Transaction Refund’. I immediately phoned Alliance & Leicester [2pm, I have spent hours on the phone]. After speaking with several different people and getting through to the Complaints Department, I have been told that I should be dealt with in about a week. They have taken £300 from my account with no explanation. I need this money for food and fuel for my family.

  317. Elaine says:

    Been with a&l for over 25 years and to be fair even after the takeover with Santander they have always been very good and helpful, that is until now. My debit card was due to expire at the end of Dec 2010. I rang at the beginning of Dec to check when a replacement would be sent and was informed it had been and should be with me any day. Now with all the snow, bad weather etc thought it may get delayed. Move to two days before Christamas and no card. Worried now I rang several times only to be told it was sent and would be with me soon. On Wed 29th Dec I called again and this time spoke to a ‘team leader’ who told me there had been a systems error in Nov and the cards never actually went. They have received a ‘comm!!! on this today’ and apparently all cards where being sent out special delivery to arrive before the 31st. Gues what THEY LIED. Rang on 31st after the postie had been to complain again only to be told that they were sent normal post and would hopefully arrive the following week.
    This was a week ago so several more calls later only to be told last night it must be ‘lost in the post’. a new card needs to ordered which is going to take another 7-10 working days to arrive. They are unwilling to help at all and its there way or not at all. Shambolic service doesnt even come close to what I think. Once card is received I will be making an appointment with the local branch manager and giving him a stongly put piece of my mind

  318. Sam says:

    I have had enough of this bank they are less rational than a single celled ameba.

    I have had numerous fraudulent withdrawals from my account and on each occasion the bank have refused to do anything saying it is my problem as I originally purchased something from a website for £2, then my details were stolen I am now down a few hundred pounds.

    The banks fraud department refuse to acknowledge any issues and hang up on men constantly. I have spoken to numerous departments and made a complaint on every single occasion, this is now the fourth occasion and not one idiot has actually correctly logged a complaint.

    I will never go anywhere near then in my life, I would close all my accounts if I could get my money back…maybe by the time I’m 50 i might

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