Who is your traditional bank of choice?

This is motivated by this post in an ongoing Starling customer service thread and the subsequent discussion, and also by this Starling vs Trad banks thread.

Who is your traditional bank of choice?

By traditional I don’t just mean bricks & mortar bank. I mean any bank that was established as a bank in the UK prior to Starling and Monzo.

I’ll leave it to you to decide what “bank of choice” means to you.

For example, it might be your current primary bank. For Monzo/Starling users it might be your current secondary bank. It might be a bank you don’t currently use but like the look of more than your current bank/s. For those who use Monzo/Starling exclusively it would be the bank you would switch to if you ever decided to move away from Monzo/Starling.

I recognise most/all on here probably will always have more than one bank. So vote on what would be your bank of choice as primary bank if it already isn’t or wasn’t in the future Monzo or Starling.

Poll based on banks in the CMA banking customer satisfaction survey

  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclays
  • The Co-operative Bank
  • Clydesdale Bank
  • First Direct
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Metro Bank
  • Nationwide
  • Natwest
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Santander
  • Tesco Bank
  • TSB
  • Virgin Money
  • Yorkshire Bank
  • Other

0 voters

1 Like

I’m using Starling currently…
Thinking about moving back to Nationwide or NatWest.
Voted for Nationwide

I haven’t voted yet because I don’t know what I’d pick!

Primary bank is Monzo and I have Santander and Nationwide as backups. But don’t think I’d use either as a primary. Have also used HSBC and TSB. Think I need to try Barclays and Lloyds.

Edit - decided it would probably be Lloyds due to combination of instant notifications (so I understand), monthly in-credit interest, best regular saver from a national bank (with club Lloyds account), and mobile cheque imaging. Would use Santander as secondary bank for bills cashback and fee free overseas credit card. Perhaps ditch Nationwide.

1 Like

Choice is a strong word! I’ve got an account with NatWest, though.

I mean I did make that choice - but I was ~14 at the time and that account is still open as a result of laziness!

1 Like

I’ve got Nationwide in the background but with no instant notifications, they’ll not figure any larger for me. I’ve kept them only for the credit card (which I’ll likely never use :face_with_raised_eyebrow:).

They don’t make a drama out of anything - they’re just a tad too old school.


How come your thinking of moving back @Dimon

I want to tick one of the boxes but the problem is, I’m not really loyal to any one particular bank

In the last 10 years, I’ve been a customer of Lloyds, M&S Bank, Halifax, Nationwide, RBS, TSB, Santander and Starling. I’ve CASS’ed regularly, mostly for the switching bonuses.

My main joint account is our Nationwide Flexplus account which deals with all of the household bills/food payments. Nationwide have not given us any problems at all, but their mobile App which is functional, is pretty crap compared to Starling’s.

Lloyds, well we still have a joint account with them but it isn’t used for everyday banking as we’ve moved all of our direct debits to the Nationwide. We’re trying to close the account but have one remaining direct debit with a life insurance company who we’ve asked multiple times to change our banking details but seemingly it is either too much trouble/work for them to do or they really just can’t be arsed. We’ve made the decision now to just CASS the Lloyds account to our Joint Nationwide account and that will deal with the outstanding DD.

And then there’s my RBS account. To be honest, I’m liking it. The mobile App is much better than Nationwide’s but not as good as Lloyds (no cheque imaging).

Starling, still my overall favourite for everyday banking, but I wouldn’t ever switch all of our household bills over to a joint account with it. My Wife and I discussed it, but since off loaded the idea.

M&S Bank mobile App, truly awful when I had an account with them. I wouldn’t ever go back to them.

TSB, NEVER AGAIN! 'nuff said.

Halifax, unremarkable account in my eyes.

Santander, well I was an Alliance and Leicester customer before Santander swallowed them up. I made a considerable amount of savings interest from Santander back in 2009/10, but after I’d locked my savings away for a year with them, I withdrew it all, shoved it into another bank and left Santander.

I think if RBS became much more Starling in terms of instant notifications etc, I’d definitely bin Nationwide and use RBS for all of our joint household stuff.


It’s just a thought, I’m not a customer of either but I believe there is at least one forum member here who has a Danske Bank account and Triodos Bank have been operating here in the UK for at least 25 years, so might be worth including those two as well?

Triodos Bank although Dutch, now has a full UK Banking licence since Brexit and is now covered under UK banking protection rules.

It was convenient (and probably will capture almost all the votes) to create the list based on what the CMA includes in their survey results. There’s an “Other” option for those whose banks are not listed.

Also can’t edit polls on Discourse forums without deleting prior votes…

1 Like

Is there not a law or something in place to prevent switching to multiple banks to gain money. Can this not damage your credit file opening and closing so many accounts in short periods of times?

It’s never once harmed my credit file, ever.

I’ve made about £700 out of CASS’ing. I have no guilt or shame.

If banks are dumb enough to offer switching bribes, then that’s up to them. At the end of the day, free money is free money and I’ll take it when it’s on offer.


Why would there be a law against it?

The banks are setting the criteria for joining, and what hoops you have to jump through to get the bribe.

They could easily drop something into the terms which require you keep the account active for say 12-months with a minimum of 1 card payment and 1 direct debit during each month.


Would you use them if FlexPlus didn’t exist?

I voted Nationwide because despite them being a bit behind the times from a technology point of view they’ve never given me bad customer service when I’ve needed to contact them. I also value the mutual aspect despite them being a lot more like traditional banks than other building societies. I still think they offer better value for money than most other options but that’s been decreasing in recent years and to get some of that value back I’ve had to look elsewhere, particularly for savings.

If it wasn’t Nationwide I would vote for Lloyds and I do have a secondary account with them. The app makes up for what the Nationwide one won’t do and they’ve never given me bad service either.

I’d like to see The Co-operative Bank make a come back and invest more in their systems, and it would be good to see Triodos Bank develop a bit faster. The current account from Triodos took a long time coming and when it did didn’t really tick enough boxes for me to go with them.


Me too, in addition to virtually every other bank (I know, I’m very atypical).

I’ve always thought I would keep my FlexPlus account (which is now past the first year of promotional interest) in case it ever became advantageous for me to want a FlexPlus account in the future as I assume I could easily upgrade it.

I like having the credit card as backup for fee-free transactions abroad on the Visa network. My favoured card abroad would be Aqua Reward (which is a Mastercard with 0.5% Cashback).

It’s nice that both support Apple Pay and both instantly update available credit in the app (Aqua also shows full pending transaction details, I don’t think Nationwide do yet, but I hardly ever use them so not sure?)

I voted Bank of Scotland as I still use them more than Lloyds, which is due to legacy reasons really as I think the interest terms and conditions were slightly more advantageous with them than Club Lloyds at one stage so I starting using them for my current account “spare money”. Direct Debit bills are then paid out of that account, which is why I keep a float balance in it. My other current accounts have no significant funds in at any one time, except for Virgin Money who I use for interest and Co-operative which I use for the Everyday Rewards.

1 Like

I picked NatWest as the group bank as RBS is functionally identical.


Well yes, I admit that my Wife and I originally opened the account for the FlexPlus benefits, mostly for the Travel Insurance aspect. We own our own cars and so the breakdown insurance aspect is useful if we ever need it. Mobile phone insurance, pretty pointless if I’m honest.

So, would I still use them without paying the £13 a month? probably, yes because of the reasons dave.b mentioned. Nationwide aren’t at all bad, just their tech lags behind. Sort that out to modern fintech standards, they’d probably win loads more customers.

I like Lloyds too, but since they cut their in credit interest to the bone in line with all of the other banks, there’s now little reason for us to keep that joint account open. Shame really because their mobile app is far better than Nationwide. Another reason we favoured Nationwide over Lloyds, is because our mortgage is with Nationwide and it just seemed easier to keep all that in one place.


Am a bit surprised at no votes for Barclays after 19 votes. Thought they were quite popular.

Can anyone whose used 2 or more of them comment on Barclays vs Lloyds vs Natwest?

I haven’t used any of them but from forum chatter get the impression that they’re more modern than the traditional banks I have used (HSBC, Nationwide, Santander, TSB).

1 Like

Throughout my entire adult banking life, I’ve personally never even considered Barclays as a banking provider. I have no idea why!

Don’t they already have instant notifications? I haven’t tested it, but I saw in the app updates that they have instant notifications for debit cards, on iOS