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National Westminster Bank is a major retail and commercial bank in the United Kingdom. They have been on the market for over 50 years and have more than 7.5 million personal customers. After opening an account with them, you can send international money transfers all over the world.
In order to start managing your personal finances and send international payments through NatWest, you need to open an account with the bank. They have different types of accounts to suit each customer's needs. They have even individual accounts for children and students. The basic offer is free to open and maintain, and it will allow you to start sending your payments.
The transfer prices are similar to the offers from other UK banks. It costs 10GBP to send money to European countries and 22GBP to the rest of the world. While the Europe orders will be delivered within one day, the rest can take up to 4 working days.
There are also options to order an instant payment for an additional 30GBP, and the money will be delivered the same day or in max 2 days depending on the recipient’s country.
The markup on the exchange rates can get up to 5%, but usually stays at around 4%, based on the currency pairs.
They have an interesting exchange offer, as after you purchase a currency, the bank can deliver the foreign money to your home. However, home delivery for less than 500GBP will cost 5GBP.
When you order an international transfer through the mobile app, you will get an estimation of the exchange rates. However, they may differ from the final price.
You can’t send more than 10,000GBP per day using the online platform. If you need to make a larger payment, contact the bank's representative or visit their local branch.
Natwest’s exchange rate is significantly worse compared to the competition of independent exchange platforms and online money processors. Moreover, the regular bank SWIFT and SEPA transfers are quite pricey and can take up to few days to deliver. Compared to other mainstream banks, the offer doesn’t stand out.
Open a bank account, register with their online banking platform, and start sending international transfers wherever you want.
Before you can make your first transfer through Natwest Bank, you need to register an account with them. It’s best to visit their local branch or contact the bank’s representative to get the most up-to-date information about account types and registration processes. Then, you will be able to enable your current account for online banking and start using their online platform or mobile app.
Remember that to register with Natwest Bank, you need to be a resident of the UK and over 18 years old.
They are registered and regulated with Prudential Regulation Authority, FCA, Financial Services Compensation Scheme, Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and British Bankers’ Association.
The bank also has a prevention program to educate people about online scam attempts, phishing mails, and hackers. If you lose your money due to an online attack, they will refund you. They also monitor your account 24/7 for any suspicious activity and will notify you immediately if there is any attempt for an unauthorized transfer.
While there haven’t been any notable controversies with the customers, the bank has faced some allegations about laundering money. However, when it comes to the safety of customer funds, there haven’t been any complaints yet.
The majority of the comments and Natwest reviews found online seems to be slightly negative. Many customers complain that the platform is not as technologically advanced as the competition, and your transactions get canceled often due to “security reasons.”
“NatWest is not easy to bank with in the digital era. As a standard bank they perform okay but branches and technology are outdated. There are simply not enough channels to contact them in case you need help. Also, their faster payments does not perform well. I had to quickly transfer money but 15 mins later it was declined. You need a special customer number to speak to anyone! When I am out and about I do not have that...” ~ Gareth on Trustpilot
“Tried to send some money, but was declined by fraud team. Fair enough, but I wasn't notified by the bank that it was cancelled and I got this information from my recipient.” ~ Tim on Trustpilot
On the other hand, numerous satisfied customers have used the services for many years:
“I've banked with Natwest for over 20 years and had no problems with them. I've had hassle trying to set up a new payee on my account as this must be done using a key card, all of which have never worked, meaning this must be done over the phone or in branch. Other than this they've treated me pretty well.” ~ Sam on reviews.co.uk
“Natwest is great, especially for Internet banking. It may not be the best Internet bank in the UK, but it is definitely one I would trust and use for current account purposes. It is simple to use and offers great security for money. Don't expect great rates from Natwest. I have also downgraded my account to basic one since I don't find any value for their service. It is better to shop around for benefits. I have been banking with Natwest for quite a long time and I haven't experienced hiccups regarding transactions” ~ David on Trustpilot
You can reach multiple departments, depending on the problem you have. There are phone numbers available on the website in the contact section. It’s essential to have your "customer number" and PIN ready when you call.
Judging by the customers' reviews, it may be hard to cooperate with the staff, especially in the local branches. The call center seems to be doing better in solving any account or payment issues.
With the significantly high markup on the exchange rate and slow and regular international bank wire transfers, Natwest will have a hard time competing against independent online payment platforms. Also, among the UK’s banks, the offer also doesn’t stand out, and there are banks and financial institutions offering better rates. However, the service and the bank itself seems to be quite reliable and very secure. Therefore, it’s rather safe to handle your finances with them. Many customers complain about an outdated platform, which lacks many helpful features of usual online banking platforms.
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