Let’s face it: Online banking is now the norm for a huge proportion of the population. Its importance is only going to keep growing, despite the fact that mobile banking isn’t developing quite as quickly as expected, given the recent fraud cases seen in this new sector by the major banks.
Most people however spend more time planning a night out than they do their financial future. Going to your own bank as an established customer to open an online account is an easy option but with all the resources of the world wide web at your disposal, it pays to do some research. To help you with this, here’s five great banking websites to have a look at.
1. Moneybasics UK
Moneybasic UK is joint venture between the credit advice charities and credit providers and is a great place to look for clear, unbiased information on money management. It includes advice on banking and saving, along with useful tools such as budget calculators. The focus is on financial planning for life events and avoiding debt. All of these features and facilities make this a great place to start when thinking about your long-term finances.
If you’ve never had a bank account before the options out there can be a bit daunting. Gov.uk (formerly Directgov), the UK government website offers simple, easy to understand advice and information on opening and running a bank account. Make sure you read the section on how to prove your identity so you can get the required documents together before trying to open an account.
So now you’re ready to open a bank account. Uk250 is the best place to find links to all the major UK high street banks. Its basically an online directory and web guide and its listing in the banking side will take you to straight to the main players websites. A useful resource to help you access and compare the accounts and services that are out there.
4. Financial Services Authority
Unfortunately in the banking world things don’t always go smoothly and with the history of miss-selling, deception and poor practices that seem to have abounded in our banking industry in the last 10 years it’s important to be aware of your rights. The Financial Services Authority website has a great, easy to understand, summary including a downloadable guide on your rights and what to do when problems arise. This includes how to deal with common banking problems and how to complain if necessary.
Our final and favorite source for up to date advice and information on a huge variety of financial issues, including banking is Moneysavingexpert . Be warned this site is a bit addictive, especially if you visit the forums (and there is one specifically related to banking). But for downloadable guides, best buys for basic bank accounts and credit cards and general unbiased advice and recommendations it really can’t be beaten. The topics covered include banking, savings and investments and pensions. They’re generally first with all the news and are well worth bookmarking.
William Masters specialises in writing about the advent of new finance technologies and their impact on consumers, uncovering upcoming banking trends and the continuing globalisation of personal finance.