Wednesday, August 31, 2016


CAF Bank - not brilliant

We're a few months into using CAF Bank for our village hall.

The basics are good - the ability to follow Good Practice by having all payments authorised by two people, including online payments. Many other banks fall down on this.

But it's been a pretty miserable business. I forgot to send copies of bank statements with our application form - so the whole package was sent back. Not only more expensive, but slower too as they didn't bother to email or phone to ask for the info.

Setting up secondary users was miserable. Despite setting them up online, you then have to phone CAF Bank to have them activated (I didn't see any sign of this on the website). It is meant to take two working days for this to happen, but it took longer for us ("pressure of work": done while we waited when I rang to complain). And when you do get a user activated, they must log in and change their temporary password before 9am the next morning or you have to start again.

And don't expect them to instigate collection of the balance in your old account at another bank (which some banks apparently do) - that is left to you.

Transferring Standing Orders and Direct Debits - didn't happen: they had given us a list, we had agreed it, then nothing happened. When I complained, they said it was now sorted: no apology or explanation. When I asked why, the answer was, again, "pressure of work".

Paying in - at a Post Office if you ask nicely for special envelopes. In our case, their first attempt involved sending a letter with a covering note but no envelopes.

All in all, a pretty sloppy outfit. It's nice that they are a non-profit, but that doesn't excuse poor service delivery.

Just wanted to add a few comments. We moved our organisation's banking over to CAF at the beginning of the year and although we'd had similar issues, we were convinced that once everything was set up we'd have banking that met our needs much more closely needs. In August we received a letter that explained a new £5 charge being introduced in October and worked out that we would be £420 a year worse off - having seven cash accounts and a Gold deposit account (Gold accounts are exempt from the charge). So not only did we spend nine months moving everything manually and many hours contacting the bank, we now find we are faced with a huge bill or finding a new banking going through the transfer process again.

Not brilliant.

Such a shame too - they clearly have the not-for-profit/voluntary/charity sector as their sole focus and had been recommended to me by another group as well as having many online endorsements. Very disappointed and would not be able to recommend to anyone.

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