Today I closed my bank account. It is roughly 30 years since I moved from my original bank to Standard. I originally had a savings account at the then Barclays Bank Harrison Street Branch because my brother worked for them and I needed the account for when I went into the army.
When I came out of the army and was doing my apprenticeship I decided that I really needed a cheque book, so I toddled along to a Barclays branch in Braamfontein close to where I worked. I was met by a snooty suit wearing banking clone who icely informed me that I needed R500 in my account to open a cheque book account. I used to get paid the princely sum of R195 (before deductions) per month in those days working as an appy, so R500 was nearly 3 months salary! I walked out and went into Standard Bank Airways Centre branch where I opened my cheque account with the 75 cents I had in my pocket at the time. I then went back to Barclays and withdrew all the money out of the account and closed it. I have never liked Barclays after that, and when they left South Africa I did not bat an eyelid. They will not get my business when I go to the UK either.
Standard Bank gave me good service over the years. Their atm’s worked like a charm, their service was reasonably good and I very rarely ever went into a branch. In fact, my current branch I have been in only once, and that was the day I had to close my old account and re-open a new one, and that was in 1999. My ATM card was 12 years old, and I sadly cut it in half today. Sure, some Standard branches did give me poor service, and the last lot of poor service from Clearwater Mall branch was one of the reasons that I closed the account. Apart from exorbitant bank charges of course, but that’s another story for another day.
I do have a long memory though, and when I went to finance my 2nd vehicle I tried ABSA and they declined it. Wesbank treated me like royalty and have financed 3 of my vehicles. I financed my house through the Natal Building Society (NBS) because at the time Standard had a reputation for not approving bonds, and they lost that part of my business.
A few years back I opened a Capitec account and it was dormant for quite some time as I only used to put any spare savings into it. But as we approached the here and now it has become my primary bank. And I get good service and cheap bank charges too.
The only problem I still have is: When I emptied the account out yesterday they charged me 65 cents to sms me. So I owed them 65 cents. However, they reversed it, and have probably charged me R25 to reverse it, and then another 65 cents to sms me to tell me I now owe them R25.65. They will then reverse that and charge me another R25.65. Oh gads, I should have paid them that 65c. But, they would then probably charge me a cash deposit fee of R20 for depositing 65c and 65c to sms me to tell me I owed them R20.65! And, at the way these thing go I may never be rid of Standard Bank after all!
Thanks Standard Bank for the good service over the years.