Found out today that Icanonline is closing its doors. After my post on open source and banking it’s now even more urgent to find a decent bank! In a way it’s a relief, another opportunity to leave Nedbank. I’ve always disliked them. To me, they have a reputation as being expensive and inefficient. Twice they’ve bought my existing bank and made the experience worse. My first ‘bank’ account was with the Permanent Building Society, then Nedcor took them over and moved me to the People’s Bank – horrendous charges, useless interest and bad service meant it never lived up to its name. I also had to move to a branch miles away from where I lived. I never understood why anyone with lower income, which is supposedly the target market, would choose such an expensive bank.
So, I moved to Icanonline, then owned by NBS (part of the efficient NBS/BOE/Pep group), which was great for a while, until Nedbank came along and took them over too, immediately upping the charges (this was also around the time of 20Twenty’s hiatus). Nedbank’s strategy then lurched into deciding to use only one brand, which meant they closed the superb Cape of Good Hope Bank which my partner used. She also refused to stay with Nedbank and moved to FNB. The FNB branch next door to the Cape of Good Hope branch apparently told her that 80% (an exaggeration I’m sure) of COGHB client’s had moved to them. Nedbank, not content with alienating one segment of their customer base, are now in the process of doing the same with NBS, moving them to People’s Bank. Last time I was at the friendly NBS I use when I need to do some physical banking, a customer was having an argument at having their account summarily moved to a distant People’s Bank. The staff could only shrug and blame Nedbank management for the policy decision. So, now I have another chance to leave Nedbank! They’ve bought me twice, and twice I’ve had the pleasure of leaving them.
The problem still remains though, where to go. In South Africa, bank services are not great. I’ve applied for a 20Twenty account on a Windows machine, after the hopeless code wouldn’t allow me to submit using anything but Internet Explorer – not a good start, but what are my options? Does anyone have suggestions?