First off, please look at my shiny new icon! It's much more fun than banking. Note that the words are a direct quote, and the picture is not manipped in any way. I adore Green Day - they're sexy as hell, the lyrics are intelligent, the music is fantastic, and they slash themselves all the time.
And now back to the banking.
Over the years I've had a number of bank accounts, for various purposes, with a number of different banks. The situation now is that if you don't have much money, you daren't close down any existing current accounts. That's because most new current accounts demand a certain amount of throughput every month, and some of them insist on an actual salary going in every month. Ah, salary - I remember those.
Anyways, so I have current accounts with several banks, including Barclays. I recently stopped using Barclays for most of the bills etc, because when they took over the Woolwich, they closed the Woolwich branch that was right in the middle of the High Street and kept the Barclays branch that was way up the top of the town. I never seemed to have the time to get there, and the little branch in the place I actually live in (large-village / small-town) would close at 4pm and I just never seemed to make it.
Barclays Fail Part 1
So I got a letter recently from Barclays saying that in the interests of giving their customers what they want - I paraphrase, obviously - they would now be changing the opening hours in my little local branch from 9:30am to 4pm at present to: 10am to 2pm. Nice one. I think we can all agree that, whatever our jobs, life would be easier without the bloody customers, but Barclays appear to be determined to test the theory pretty hard.
Barclays Fail Part 2
In the course of gathering together the information for OH's accounts recently, I realised I was going to have to track down some payments that we may or may not have made to a particular company about five or six years ago. At that time such a payment would have come out of any one of four accounts: a Barclays current account, a Nationwide current account, or passbook accounts at a third bank, whose degree of fail I simply don't have time to address here.
So, having recently transferred most daily activity away from Barclays (see Fail 1 above) to the Nationwide, I am registered with both for online banking. So I spent yesterday at the Nationwide website downloading monthly statements going back to December 2003 (they have exactly six years on line). Today I went to the Barclays website to go through the same exercise. It took a while to get started, because there's no History button. Eventually I discovered you have to Search instead, and I entered the date parameters. This is the message I got:
"This is the detailed view of all transactions from 01/01/2004 to the latest available entry. They are presented in reverse date order. Please note, not all transactions may be shown as there is a limit to the number we store online."
And that limit would be? Eleven, apparently.
Or, being generous, because I'm like that, perhaps the limit is six weeks. Yep, the earliest transaction my bank can be arsed to show me online is October 19th. 2009.
I think I'll go and listen to some music now.