Consider carefully before making commitment
With the prevalence of banking fraud and identity theft, nothing about opening an account with Charter Savings gave me confidence that my money or personal data would be safe. They appear to have a hole in their FCSC coverage and are unable to provide...Read more
With the prevalence of banking fraud and identity theft, nothing about opening an account with Charter Savings gave me confidence that my money or personal data would be safe. They appear to have a hole in their FCSC coverage and are unable to provide assurance that private and personal data is purged from their system when an account application is cancelled.
On applying for an account I received an email describing how to make an initial payment, and how they would send a User ID by post to allow online access to the account. There was however a little rider tucked neatly into the middle of the email advising that funds sent to the bank wouldn't be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) until the account was opened; this caught my attention.
A couple of days later another email arrived stating the bank would be in contact in due course to confirm the next steps; which I assumed would be a letter through the post containing the User ID mentioned in the previous email. This I further assumed would allow me to confirm that, before making a deposit, the new account was active and covered under FSCS. I also wanted to confirm the account interest rate and maturity date before proceeding.
Three weeks later I received an email, containing no reference ID, asking me to call an 0800 number so they could have a "quick word regarding [my] recent enquiry". On calling the number, customer services had some difficulty tracing my application as I couldn't give them a reference indicator from the email. I was also troubled by one of their security check questions asking me to provide the account number of the bank from which I would be transferring funds; which I refused!
It was then explained to me that my application had been processed and required an initial deposit to open the account. This raised an issue as I was not comfortable transferring funds to an unknown entity until I had confirmed (online) that the account was open and active. I was unable to do this, however, as the account firstly required a deposit before they could provide online access!
The issue I have with the above is that it creates a transaction hole where funds are not covered by FSCS. This FSCS hole seems irregular as haven't experienced a similar difficulty with other financial institutions. Having no desire to deposit my money into an online entity with lapses in its FCSC coverage - I chose not to proceed.
Having decided to cancel my application I asked for written assurance that all my private and personal information, submitted as a prerequisite for opening an account, would be purged from their records and database. They were unable to provide this assurance, and couldn't even put me in contact with an individual or department that could.