I have recently joined Santander as the latest offer to switch bank accounts to their prefered account seemed too good to be true. It wasnt. It does exactly what is says on the tin. If you switch and deposit £1000 a month into the account and set up at least 2 direct debits they will give you a £100 welcome bonus. They promise to match your existing overdraft and they take care of everything. I didn't realise how simple switching would be. The only think I had to do (Once I had applied and supplied the necessary information) is close my current account and inform my boss of my new bank details.
After recieving your application and your authorisation Santander will contact every company you have a direct debit with and arrange for it to come out of your new account. The only issue I had during the signing up process was when it came to negotiating my overdraft level. With my previous bank I had access to a £1000 overdraft that was pretty much constantly maxed out. Unfortunately Santander were unwilling to match this and would only give me a £450 overdraft. I enquired as to why it was so low when it advertises it would match my overdraft, this is when the wonderful thing that is small print surfaced. They will only match your overdraft if it is in line with their lending policy. I was a little disappointed by this but after 2 or 3 emails they offered an alternative in the form of a loan or a credit card with zero % on balance transfers. I was pretty happy with these alternatives and consequently took out the Santander credit card. Although I rarely use a credit card I found it the simplest way to cover the difference and allow me to close my other account.
As with most banks they offer a wide range of services including investment, credit cards, savings, loans and mortgages. It took me about 2 minutes to apply for a £5000 loan which was accepted. I would thoroughly recommend this service to any one. They seem to be making a real effort to satisfy their new customers. Only time will tell if they will continue to impress but for now I am not worried and can see this being my main bank account indefinitely. As for my old bank..... Not even a phone call to see if they could improve their service to match my needs. HSBC's loss is Santanders gain.