Children's Bank accounts

A cheque in the post

How hard can it be for a child to bank a cheque ?

My son had four generous birthday cheques from relations. Unfortunately, they had made them out in his name so I couldn’t put them in my personal ‘Spa Treatment Emergency Fund’

This was a wise move on their part but also impractical as young one has nowhere to deposit the cheques. So two weeks ago we went to our local High street to choose a Bank and set up an account.

We did our research. This included asking his friends and looking at Which Magazine’s recommendations. The criteria that Which uses to rate each Bank for child-friendly accounts is based on credit interest, plastic cards and options to set-up standing orders/direct debits. Other incentives include a 25% off at Vue Cinemas. Useful.

Collected son on his early finishing day from school at 3:30pm and raced to the High Street. Barclays was the first Bank we went to.

Banks

The carpet was shabby, wallpaper peeling off. But the cashier was charming and treated my son like an adult, talking to him and not me.

Me:          “Yes we would like to open an account please. We have FOUR cheques to deposit.”

Cashier:  “I am sorry but this branch is closing down in a few weeks, so you have to go to the City Centre and arrange an appointment at our Main Branch. The latest they could see you is 4pm.

Me:         “But we can’t get to that branch by 4 o’clock because my son is at school “

Cashier:  “Oh dear. Well you could try NatWest down the road. They’re good. “

So we went there.

Opening a bank account

Behind the glass the Nat West cashier said,

Cashier: “You can’t open an account here. You need to go online and set up an account by filling out forms and requesting an appointment. The latest appointments are 4pm at our main branch in the City Centre.

Me:        “But we can’t get to that branch by 4 o’clock because my son is at school”

Cashier: “Or Saturday mornings until 12.30”

Me:        “ My son has classes Saturday mornings”

Lloyds Bank. I had been reluctant to go there as the last time there was a terrible commotion. A customer with a tired and wet toddler had completely lost it after being ignored by rude staff for 10 minutes then ranting that “we the tax payers own 43% of your shares etc etc.”  Tried hard to forget that the ranty customer was me as I prepared to move on for the sake of my child and his unbanked cheques.

Best banks

See below for the scene two minutes after we arrived.  Stayed calm and asked to set up a meeting.

Kids bank accounts

Cashier:   “No you can’t open an account from here for several weeks as we are booked up. But you can go to our Main Branch and arrange an appointment there by 4pm.”

Me:          “But we can’t get to that branch by 4 o’clock because my son is at school “

Cashier:   “Well F off and let me get back to talking with my friend  I’ll take your number and call you if we have a vacancy.”

The last Bank on our High Street was on the other side of the road. Santander. Even better, they were SECOND on Which Magazine’s list even though they have a £2000 ceiling on their 3% interest. If he ever gets this much money in his account, it will bring son £60 pa annum over 7 years which will be £420 towards his £9000 university fees. That’s about 140 pints of beer.

The rather tubby young man wasn’t exactly excited about having a new customer for his bank, on the other hand we had an appointment for 4 o’clock the following Wednesday.

Would my son get to the appointment and deposit his birthday cheques before his Grandparents and their accounts expire?

We’re going away in the Easter holidays so can’t open the account then. Is it reasonable to take time off school to open a bank account?

I dunno. I’ve tried to give money to four banks but they don’t seem interested. Shouldn’t we expect better service from an industry that brought the banking sector to its knees and put at risk the entire economy including our personal savings? Maybe not then.  

Below is my son’s back-of-an-envelope product review

Bank comparison

As all banking will be online soon, I advise asking your relatives to send planks, nails and fertiliser instead of cheques. Because when the hackers disappear your money one day, and your computer screen says £000.00, you’ll need food. So I suggest instead of wasting time faffing around in banks, we all start building chickens sheds and digging for Britain.

                    

Where do your children put their money?

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