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I went to Metro Bank today, had to cycle because of the demonstrations/ riots between my house and the bank. Got attacked there - hit in the head - when I told a middle aged man, English, that he shouldn't **** on the statue of Charles I. Carried on, sat down in the bank.

 

According to what I could see the Credit Check was optional if you had proofs of residence. I had three. Plus my driving license and my passport. The woman was a bit slimy, more concerned with make up than banking, but I didn't really care.

 

The process took forever, over an hour and a half. It was unbearably hot. I'd dressed for winter and cycled. So, it was tough to cope. I stripped down to my shirt and spent as much time outside as possible. When I'd come back she'd still be pecking at her computer like a parrot. I wouldn't have minded going away and coming back you know, why the dishonesty.

 

She keeps on asking me personal questions. I don't see why I have to answer them. I'd been there over half an hour, forty minutes by now and she has taken all my photocopies of bank accounts and passport and things. They have all my data.

 

But she wants to know my marital status and my employment status and this and that, I'm polite mind, but it's stupid. It's embarrassing having to answer these things to a human being, I don't like being labeled by these stupid categories which don't apply to me. I would rather have just ticked boxes.

 

I only want the account to use abroad because HBoS can be trusted to keep my savings separate from my current account when I'm in risky areas for data fraud this worries me. But they pry about my reasons uncomfortably.

 

I look at the basic leaflet they have out. It says "no stupid bank rules". I ask about the cash cards. My mum's quaker and feminist principles make her angry about being a miss, or mrs or ms. She changed banks to avoid all that. The teller more or less told me - yes - it's on the card - your name must be as we say (on the old Midlands cards you could make up any name!). I said - that seems stupid. She said, more or less - no - you're stupid. Nice. I was just asking! But, I digress...

 

After an hour and twenty minutes or so she starts going on about credit cards. I've told her I don't want that stuff or overdrafts. I avoid credit cards. I prefer to spend what I have. My parents have a card which I use if I need to buy things for them (my mum's been unwell) but that's it. But the teller witters away on the credit card thing "do you have a credit card". No, no I don't. None of her business.

 

I noticed they had dog bowls of water. Maybe I could drink some of that. Water for dogs, huh? At least in Bank of Scotland they give you a coffee and water when they tout their products.

 

Eventually she says "computer says no". I say why, she says the credit reference, I say what? I've got good credit, she says, no, it's the SAW REPORT, you can't have an account because of money laundering. I say what? She says that there is a credit card in my name in my address but the birthday is off 6 days. So. This is worrying. Different issues need to be discussed no. 1)what do I do about that 2) what do I do about this account? Is it held for me, or do I deal with it and start it again 3) what do I do about my personal data?

 

She's sort of indicating that there wasn't much to say. I'm sitting, quietly, trying to think of the right questions, when the bouncer who has been moving closer and glancing at this woman for some reason comes and stands a foot in front of me and says "is there is problem?" you know how, like a rent-a-cop. I look at her and just like shake my head a bit confused and she looks back with same "I'm a bit of a tart clenching my pelvic floor muscle" look that she has been doing the whole time. Then he's saying "the lady's asked you to leave".

 

Christ! What is this? A strip club? Some sort of booze den? I don't know. Please remember - I'd been assaulted and I'm a little concussed. I've been treated - literally - worse than a dog and this man is standing over me with his arms folded as I am sitting in the chair.

 

I just look over my shoulder and shout "I need to see the manager". And then I scream at this bouncer. I'm just not taking it. I can deal with abuse and violence on the street. I can deal with a lot of things, but I just can't cope with being intimidated in a bank.

 

So, I screamed at them. Then I told the manager. He didn't seem inclined to make the bouncer apologise. They'd probably called the police for 'breach of the peace'. Luckily the riots were tying them up. But why, why do they behave like that, it's not fair.

 

Anyway. They didn't tell me any of the rules. They did the credit reference check without consent. They have all my personal data, they have my passport photographed, my driving license, my bank accounts, everything. I mean - I handed it to them, but I signed nothing.

 

What duties do they have to protect this data? What are they talking about, money laundering? I don't get it, they had all my proofs of ID, they had my other bank account details. How could this be money laundering? It makes no sense?

 

Why would they refuse my account? Why wouldn't they say first, in their leaflets that this was the case?

 

It seems they're a useless bunch. It was the worst experience I've ever had in a bank.

 

 

=======

-for the search engines -

Metro Bank is bad. Metro Bank is very bad. Metro Bank is crap

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Hi hikk

 

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If you only needed it as a parachute account you could have got the basic bank account, why not now try Halifax online, they do a good online account with no credit checking.

 

Sadly Metro use Experian now (they didn't when first opened) and Experian's data at best is questionable.

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ah, well HBos is my primary bank. I just want to give them a chance, you know, to do something different. I spend quite a bit of time in the third world and wanted a card which was charge free abroad and not linked to my savings.

 

I complained online and was phoned by the manager. He said that the girl thought that it was very 'suspicious' that I should walk out in the middle of a 'business meeting'. I don't know why people use stuck up marketing speak, but, I had been sitting there like a lemon for 10-15 minutes while she occasionally tapped at the key board, I'd told her I was uncomfortably hot. So, I don't see what's suspicious.

 

The manager also said that they thought my bicycle pump was a hammer. It's a mini travel pump, it says bicycle pump, it's about 14cm in length and I left it on the table while I was on the phone outside.

 

So, either it is nonsense or they are incredibly dense. It was so strange, the way for the whole of the last ten minutes she was looking up at this bouncer and smirking, glancing at him over my shoulder. And only then did the no result come through. Which was also nonsense. Then she didn't explain herself or what it meant, then he is there to throw me out.

 

I thought it was obviously some sort of [problem]. Certainly the whole "it'll just be 15 minutes" "just another few minutes" things was [problem] like.

 

The manager has said to me that he has shredded my personal details, which is somewhat reassuring and that FSA rules mean I would be on file there. But, I thought it was possible she hadn't even put my details in the computer - after all - who are these people? If anything happens I'll know who it is.

 

The manager says that there is no such thing as a 'saw report' which is what the teller said. She said I'd failed my credit report. That's nonsense I've got 10,000's in savings and I'm a homeowner with a history of responsible debt payment without default. So, I said it was nonsense and she said "It's a Saw report. For money laundering". She denies it.

 

The manager said the it didn't exist, but that it was just my word against hers. Which is equally insulting. I realise he can't action anything, but what is my reason for making it up? It seems he was placating me without going into apologising or making changes.

 

As far as I'm aware Metro Bank gives performance related pay on Customer Service, maybe that has something to do with it. I don't know.

 

I really don't get it. The founder of Metro Bank - Vernon Hill II - said he founded this because going to a bank in the UK was like getting your teeth drilled. But I have never been treated like this in a bank. I don't mind the refusal - it's the dishonesty I don't like. I always though, well, maybe they are just marketing shysters. But I didn't expect the slimy dishonesty.

 

1) it doesn't take 15 minutes

2) they won't treat you well while you wait or tell you that you can go away and come back or get you a tea and newspaper

3) they won't listen - I didn't want the master card - I didn't give permission for the credit check

4) they will patronise you

5) they will not make you aware before the wait that even someone with excellent credit might be refused

6) when that occurs they will just kick you out

 

I think MetroBank is setting up to be 'poverty-bank' - when I look in the windows of the one in Fulham it seems the only people who want an account there are desperate. Remember - 0% interest. Why bank there? Only if you need to deposit lots of petty change and don't have access to the internet and have to deposit cash at odd times of day.

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