I’ve been using one of the big banks ever since I left school and, quite honestly, I’m sick to the back teeth of them.
All I read about in the papers is the fat bonuses that bank executives get paid as I’m charged more and more money for less and less of a service.
I’ve looked into some of the smaller banks and although they sound a bit better (in some cases), I’m still not sure they provide a better service. My husband says there is no real alternative and that we should just stick with it.
My husband is self-employed and work is erratic, so the banks will not even consider us for a loan right now, which would really help the business. I’ve really had enough. Can you suggest any alternatives? WW
FIONA SAYS: CONSIDER JOINING A CREDIT UNION
There are some banks that don't pay fat-cat salaries and that you might like to think about, including The Co-operative Bank, Unity Trust Bank and others.
However, you could also consider joining a “community-focused” financial service such as a credit union.
Credit unions are community schemes designed to help people within that group manage their money better.
Run as co-operatives, each credit union has its own “common bond” and you can only join if you share that bond with other members.
They all vary and the bond may be geographic, religious, linked to an employer or a trade union, or something entirely different.
To find out more, visit the Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL) — abcul.org — where you will be able to find your nearest credit union and check your eligibility.