This post was published in September 2008 and may contain facts or opinion that are no longer current.

Student Banking

I’ve opened (with difficulty) a student account with Natwest - anecdotally, it’s incredible to see how well they’ve done just by offering a free student railcard (which gives one third off train fares). The guy in Barclays tried to sell me on free cinema tickets… faced with a choice between cheaper travel between York and London (which I actually need to do) and watching the latest and greatest in a cheap cinema somewhere - well, it was obvious for me.

Also, we’re not allowed more than one student account, but nobody can really put their finger on the exact reason why. The (same) guy on the reception in Barclays was under the impression that the banks were doing it for our benefit; by not allowing us two interest-free overdrafts (which could get up to £3000), they’re not letting us financially ruin ourselves yet. After he consulted someone else, I was told it was for “tax reasons”. How… specific.

Lastly, I’m no longer sure how this ‘one account only’ policy is enforced. Barclays said it was through direct communication between the major UK banks, but my Dad wonders whether that raises some interesting Data Protection Act problems. One of those things we’re not supposed to know.

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From 09PM on Monday September 08, 2008

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