After looking around for a new current account I decided on the KBC Extra current account. If you lodge €2,500 per month you get fee-free banking. The balance can change throughout the money so I will set up a standing order from my savings account into KBC and back out again the next day to get over that requirement. I have had a student current account with them in the past – I signed up to get a €100 One4All voucher for free but never used the account. I closed it a while back. One thing I do is I try to actively avoid companies that annoy me with advertising – Aer Lingus’s ‘Aer Bridge’, NoNonsense, The Tesco ‘Here’s to the Hosts’ and KBC ‘I live a modern sort of life‘. However, I decided I’d give KBC another go and am already beginning to regret it.
As I already had an account with KBC I was unable to sign up again online instead I needed to call them. I called them and they took all my details over the phone and advised I would need to resend in copies of my documents and he would immediately email me a list of documents that were required. About four hours later I received two emails both with a different list of documents and both with a different email address to send them to. To be on the safe side I sent the different lists of documents to each of the email addresses with a note referencing the other email.
The complete list of documents were:
- Two proof of addresses
- Two proof of identity
- Proof of PPS Number
- A copy of my signature
3 working days after sending in the documents I received a response saying ‘Perfect’. That was it, a one word response. Presuming that meant everything was in order I waited for the MasterCard to arrive which is duly did followed by the PIN for the card. However, I then received a call from KBC saying my account wasn’t fully active and not to send money across to it as it might get ‘stuck’. There was an issue with my address. My two proof of addresses didn’t match. Both addresses were in the format of:
However the towns were different. They are neighbouring towns and I live right on the border. Depending on who you ask the town is different in fact AIB, An Post and ESB all have me in three different towns. I’ve always used these documents as the proof of address but apparently it wasn’t good enough for KBC even though the house name and street matched, so I had to go find another proof of address for them.
Then two days later I got another call saying they never received a copy of my signature. I checked my email and I had attached it but the agent was adamant I hadn’t. So I resent that in. I was advised I would only hear back if there was an issue but I asked them to confirm once they receive the email. A week later and I have heard nothing. I have received three letters to date the PIN for my MasterCard, my MasterCard and a welcome pack containing and incorrect brochure and my account details.
This brochure sums up everything I dislike so far with KBC. Its all style and no substance. Firstly the fact its printed on ‘fancy” A4 paper and manages to 12 pages is quite remarkable. There is very little information in the brochure and a lot of it is wrong.
- The stamp duty note is out of date.
“The KBC Day to Day Debit Card is liable to Annual Government Stamp Duty of €2.50 where the card is only used for ATM or Point of Sale (POS) only, or €5.00 when the card is used for both ATM and POS.”
- The Fees Explained Page
“If you maintain a minimum daily credit balance of €2,000 in your current account you won’t have to pay for ATM or cheque processing fees” In fact the whole Fees Explained appears to be for their standard current account not extra current account which I signed up for. There is no mention of the extra current account anywhere in this brochure. I did think maybe I signed up to the wrong account but the welcome letter that arrived with this brochure confirms I signed up to a extra current account.
- There is a 5 question survey they would like me to fill out in the coming weeks. No problem, I’m happy to do it however it doesn’t actually say where to send the survey. I would have guessed it would be to their head office on Sandwith St but then the next page says ‘Where we are’ and lists all their hubs. Maybe I’m suppose to send it to my closest hub?
Overall these are small things and nothing disastrous but combined they give the impression of a bank that doesn’t really know what its doing – loosing documents, incorrect information, unnecessary delays. If a bank can’t even give clear straightforward information about a current account I wouldn’t have much trust in them for more complex financial products. I’m still waiting for my online banking details and will use KBC for a month or two alongside N26 and then decide which one to drop.