Bank account

Posted on 4 December 2012

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Our company has been a client with ABN-Amro for about five years now. Did we ever get anything back? Let’s see: did they order anything from us? No. Did they give us anything really useful? No. Were they there when we needed a loan? Yes, but only with a really high interest and if I would igive a personal guarantee. So: no, not really.

Abn-Amro

What did they do? ABN-Amro charges us for the bank account, for the ‘online banking’ but also for a card, which I don’t really need but I have to pay for it to get access to online banking. In total, this is EUR 10,60 per month. On top of that, they charge 8 ct ‘online banking report costs’ on top of the 14 cent I pay for each received payment and the 7 cent for each payment I do. So the prices really are 22 cent (money in) and 15 cent (money out). I can’t understand how a bank that has been supported with my tax-money is cheating these superfluous additional costs into their monthly bills. I’m interested to see if others do that as well.

Rabobank

So let’s have a look at a bank that is more supportive to their local customers. Rabobank only charges EUR 8,50 per month plus the 7 cent for outgoing payments and 14 cent for incoming payments. That’s better. But what do they do with my money?

Triodos

This bank is founded in 1980 as a pioneer in ethical banking. I like that way of thinking. They only charge 6 per month and you don’t need the EUR 20/y card to get access to online banking. Payments cost 7 cent (out) and 15 cent (in).

To save even more on costs: they also offer a EUR 1,95 per month private account, including the card and a saving account with 1,65% interest. No charges for paying or receiving money. Unfortunately you can’t use these accounts for business.

I gave them a call and that’s a nice experience. You can call a local number (no 0800 or 0900 nonsense), there is no menu or waiting music: you immediately talk to a real person. I’ve tried it a few times now and they have really well trained staff in their call-center. Or maybe even in their own office: those people really know their product but also the things that their management are doing. It feels a bit like you are talking to the owner of the business.

Asn

Another ‘ethic bank’ is ASN. They don’t offer business-accounts, but for private banking they are even better then Triodos: EUR 1,00 per month plus 1% interest on your normal account plus 2,3% interest on your savings account.

So I gave them a call and their service is the exact opposite of Triodos: 0800 number, 4 option menu, waiting music (>1 minute) and then one of those cheap student call-center employees. “No sir, we get this 2,3% interest with green investments and certainly not with mortgages”. Really, what about knowing your own product? This doesn’t feel good.

ANS is just a brand of SNS REAAL. It’s not true ethic banking, it’s just commercial branding. And since ethic banking is hip and happening, ASN is just a way for SNS REAAL to get their share of this ethic pie. Like they also have the brand ‘Regiobank’.

Do I really want a bank that offers 0,65% more interest by not-really-ethic investments they have to do because they have a 848 million euro loan of our taxmoney, and might need another 1,5 billion euro’s to make it to 2013? Yes, I do.

Update 5/3/13: since 1/2, SNS official became a state-bank it’s a no brainer.

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Posted in: Office