Review by Marcus2810
submitted on 15 October 2012
Likes: no foreign exchange fees; branches are open on Saturdays and Sundays; efficient call centre
Dislikes: their online banking feels antiquated; international transfers a bit cumbersome
I have had this current account now for 2 years. It's my main account and I highly recommend this bank.
When it comes to banking my biggest pet hate is how expensive it is to use a debit card abroad. Usually, the fee is around 2.75% or 2.99% of the transaction, and if you use an ATM abroad there is usually an additional fee of several pounds on top of that. At Metro Bank, there are no such fees, and this was the one and only reason why I moved my current account to this bank after Nationwide introduced foreign exchange fees.
Since I do not live in London I do like the fact that their branches are open on Saturdays and I believe on Sundays, too. Having said that, I have only been to a branch once or twice since opening the account. Customer service was friendly and efficient.
Online banking is pretty straightforward, nothing out of the ordinary really. The web site feels a bit outdated and can only handle very basic transactions (e.g. no international money transfers, no way of telling the bank when travelling abroad so that the debit card gets not blocked). I have raised this with the call centre and they said it was because they actually wanted to deal with these more advanced things via the call centre.
The call centre itself is very efficient; I usually have no wait time at all, which catches me off guard every time! It can be reached via a regular phone number; no need to pay for an 0870 call.
There were two hiccups so far:
* When I sent money abroad via the call centre for some reason I got a call back from a specialist unit who asked for the exact same details of the transaction again. I thought it was a bit much admin and since I couldn't return the call straight away that unit was then closed for the weekend, so there was a bit of a delay. But after everything was dealt with on Monday the money arrived in Germany either on the same day or Tuesday (I forgot I'm afraid).
* For international transfers they use the Mastercard exchange rate, which is almost the perfect exchange rate. That alone makes it very cheap. The transfer fee was GBP17.50, which is in line with other banks I believe. However, out of nowhere there was an additional charge of GBP8.00 which could not be explained, neither by the receiving bank nor by Metro Bank. I have to admit that that then slipped my mind (I went on hols), so I didn't follow this through.
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