Many of us have current accounts with more than one bank. Some have several. Because we can.
Just for fun imagine we lived in a world where no one was allowed more than two personal current accounts. Assuming you’d want one to be with Monzo, who would the other be with?
Or maybe you don’t need a second current account and your Monzo account on its own would be enough for you?
Or maybe Monzo wouldn’t be one of the two you’d use?
Vote in poll below
- If you use a joint account, in this scenario it would have to be with one with the banks you’d use for your personal current accounts. So if you have personal accounts at bank A & bank B, joint account would have to be at one of those banks.
- You’d be allowed to have as many prepaid/emoney accounts as you want (Revolut, Dozens, etc).
- You can use more than 2 banks to access financial products other than current accounts. So savings accounts, credit cards, and insurance for example could be accessed from banks other than your current account banks. But not where the product is dependent on having a linked current account with the bank. For example if you want HSBC Regular Saver you’d need one of your current account banks to be HSBC because its dependent on having a current account with HSBC.
- I don’t know if banks who provide both mortages and current accounts insist on you having a current account with them to provide a mortgage. But for the purpose of this scenario, I’m going to say banks won’t be allowed to do this so mortgage provision removed from considerations.
- Monzo wouldn’t be one of the current accounts I’d use
- I’d only use Monzo. Wouldn’t have a second current account
- Allied Irish Bank
- Bank of Ireland
- Bank of Scotland
- Clydesdale Bank
- The Co-operative Bank
- Danske Bank
- First Direct
- Metro Bank
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Ulster Bank
- Virgin Money
- Yorkshire Bank
For me the second bank would have to be a branch-based bank. So this rules out Starling.
I’d mainly use Monzo, with the second bank as a back up. So high quality app wouldn’t be important. Most important for me would be presence of a local branch and some kind of perk. This leads me to select Santander due to the perk of cashback on household bills.
I voted other because Nationwide isn’t on the list
Will fix that
Edit: Fixed - but unfortunately editing broke the poll. If already voted please vote again.
I went Lloyds, largely because I find their online banking the most aesthetically pleasing.
And there’s a branch close enough by to be useful for other banking services.
Are the products and services exactly the same at each brand?
Zero differentiation other than branding?
At the moment the different brands still have differentiation of products, but yeah I know everything will eventually merge into a single entity.
After 45 votes Starling have a clear lead (even taking into consideration comments in previous post).
It’s a bit of a surprise to me that so many would go for a combination of two mobile-only banks (Monzo + Starling) over what in my mind is the more useful combination of a mobile-only bank and a traditional bank.
Anyone who voted Starling care to weigh in with your reasoning?
Genuinely interested in why a branch network matters. I’ve used a range of trad banking products from High Street banks over the last decade – credit cards, mortgages, savings and loans – and I’ve not stepped in a branch for as long as I can recall.
I’d use Starling in your scenario, and probably first direct as a backup.
I wouldn’t say it’s the most important factor for me in wanting a current account at a traditional bank (that would be ability to get useful customer support in an emergency situation - which I have more confidence in at traditional banks compared to mobile-only banks). But if I’m going to have an account with a traditional bank I might as well have one with a reasonably local branch.
Probably used branch counter services once or twice a year for the last few years. Simple stuff like cash in/out and paying in cheques, but enough to make me value access to a reasonably local bank branch. I suppose the main thing I’d want to retain access to is potential to withdraw large sums of cash in one go (several thousand). I’ve done a couple of times in relation to used car purchases and I can envisage doing again.
Post office for cash deposits
Both mean Starling is a branch type bank - well suitable alternative that meets more needs than Monzo.
Yep what @Drew58 said. Starling is basically a high street bank (via the post office) without the queues.
You could save one of those trips to the counter and pay your cheques in while watching Netflix.
Whenever I have needed to speak to someone at starling, they have been contactable immediately via the phone or within minutes via the chat system.
They seem to be doing a good job of integrating with other systems too like habito (mortgages) investments, pensions, insurance etc. Basically starling covers all the bases of the OP’s rules.
Edit: I just clocked that you ARE the OP
@Eden @o99 to my knowledge Bank of Scotland don’t offer a version of a current account that is similar to Club Lloyds or Halifax reward.
Also the pricing is different between the packages that offer Insurance, Breakdown cover, etc…
For example Lloyds Platinum is £21 vs Halifax Ultimate Reward at £17
Voted ‘other’ because while I would have another account, I have no strong thoughts about who it should be with. If there’d been a option for ‘whichever account offered the best joining/switching bonus’ I would’ve voted that, as that’s the main thing I’m looking for with my non-Monzo account. If there’s an advantage to be had from switching, I will (though I got caught out with my last intended switch as I had to wait for a linked savings account to mature first, and in the meantime the switching offer was taken away )
A couple of concerns I would have limiting counter services to post office
- I don’t think you can arrange large (over £1k) cash withdrawals via post office. Even though this is something I’ve only ever used a couple of times, I wouldn’t want to not have access to this option that proper bank branches provide.
- I don’t think post office can provide emergency cash in event of lost cards
On the queues - this will vary from person to person but queues are no better at my local post office than local bank branch. They can be quite a bit worse at times.
What if switching/joining offers don’t return for several years (due to a lasting impact of covid-19)?
I’m similarly surprised about Starling being in the lead. Not because they’re a bad bank (far from it) but because (in my head at least) Monzo and Starling are broadly substitutes and I’d choose Monzo.
If I could only have two current accounts, I think my criteria would be:
- Decent branch network with the ability to pay in cash and cheques, withdraw cash, speak to someone about my account if necessary.
- Not essential, but a packaged account for phone and travel (lol) insurance that helps me save money
- Not essential but a mutual or other customer-focused, non investment banking organisation.
- Not essential but cheque imaging.
On that basis Nationwide is the closest fit and my choice. If they had cheque imaging then I’d be over the moon. Starling doesn’t really tick any (not a mutual but I suppose you could argue bullet three at a stretch) except cheque imaging. On branches, I think having a representative of the bank there who I can talk to about my account is equally important to just being able to pay cash in, which you can’t do with Starling.
Hmm yeah you’re right. To be fair I kept a nationwide account for those two reasons. Maybe I should have put nationwide… If it was going to be any high street “bank” then I would choose them. I just like the ease of not messing around with card readers etc. Plus when I first got monzo nationwide froze my account which annoyed me and I had to go in on a Saturday to show my ID. I’ve still not really forgiven them.
Regarding queues, you’re right the post office can be a pain, although some of the more rural ones are normally pretty quite. I meant more from a point of view of, you can manage your money from home and don’t really need to go into branch at all.
I guess most people here like Monzo, and if you do, then Starling is a good companion bank. You get the advantages of Monzo (instant notifications etc) but also the ability to easily pay in cheques and cash, receive international transfers etc.
Ah, OK. It’s just that you did say that.
I appreciate that large cash withdrawals might be difficult from Starling via the Post Office, but I’ve never had the need to do that.
I have found Starling surprisingly equal to its High Street competitors, and its customer service and product has improved immensely compared to Monzo over the past two years.
I guess by choosing first direct I was also going for good customer service, and HSBC branches are available.
Geography is a big factor in this poll, as I work in central London with a lot of choice for a ‘local’ branch. In fact, the nearest branch is the world’s third oldest bank, Child & Co.