UK banking query
September 12, 2010 1:26 PM   Subscribe

UK banking query: I bank at the Co-operative Bank, which has just one branch in my town, miles from where i live & work. Can I i) pay cash in at any other bank [eg HSBC, Barclays, etc] via the counter and deposit in my account; ii) does this cost money? iii) does it take time to 'clear'?
posted by dash_slot- to Work & Money (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think banks will do this, although they charge, which is why most people avoid it.

Couldn't you open an account with a conveniently-located bank and just do an online transfer to the Co-op when you get home?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:36 PM on September 12, 2010

I doubt it. You could deposit to an HSBC account and then transfer it to your Co-op account. Using Faster Payments this can be instant (I transfer £1000 from HSBC to Halifax regularly, and it happens in less than 10 seconds), but you'll need to make sure that Co-op accept FP's, and what limits they have.

I don't think you can do transfers like that at the counter, but I might be wrong. You might be able to do it at the ATM, possibly. I do it via internet banking, but I think phone banking is an option.
posted by Solomon at 1:37 PM on September 12, 2010

Best answer: i'm with the co-op and i deposit at my local post office.
posted by randomizer at 1:38 PM on September 12, 2010

I think the Co-op website describes the various options, but to confirm @randomizer, I've paid in at the Post Office with no trouble.
posted by curious_yellow at 1:41 PM on September 12, 2010

It seems that The Co-op will accept FP's. The limit seems to be £1,500.

You might consider asking this at too.
posted by Solomon at 1:43 PM on September 12, 2010

randomizer is right: Co-op (and smile) accept cash deposits at post offices.
posted by caek at 1:48 PM on September 12, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks people. It seems from reply 1 & 2 that we aren't clear about this, so maybe I'll call the Co-op & ask.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:24 PM on September 12, 2010

Response by poster: Well, i just spoke to a helpful woman at the bank who said "no, this isnt possible". It surprised me, because I think that when I worked in a bank at age 18 this was common. I assumed all you had to do was fill out the account number and bank sort code and voila! the money elves directed it all [whether cash or cheques] to the right place. However, she thought not now, nor ever.

So why not? They all link up behind the scenes, don't they?
posted by dash_slot- at 2:42 PM on September 12, 2010

Best answer: You're right, it used to be possible. I did it into my Co-op account once or twice in the 90s. I doubt it's a technical limitation. I assume there is no longer much of a market for it, the overheads of providing the service are considerable (having front office staff handle cheques and, especially, cash is not profitable; it's a cost of doing business with their own customers), and the tiny amount of money made by charging even large fees isn't worth the trouble. Seriously though, you're with the Co-op, just take it to the post office.
posted by caek at 2:55 PM on September 12, 2010

So why not? They all link up behind the scenes, don't they?

Because tellers and physical locations cost the bank money. Theoretically, such services make them money because it attracts customers to the bank (and the bank takes the customers' money and invests it in money markets, loans, etc).

But they don't make any money performing services for customers who don't have money at the bank. Suppose bank A has superior tellers, and bank B has really crappy ones. Why should bank A perform teller services for bank B? They're making it easier for their competitors to stay in business! Or in your case, bank A has convenient locations (which cost them money) while bank B does not. So why pay all that money in rent to operate a location that does business for a competitor?

I suppose they could make money off your by charging a fee for each transfer, but this could get to be a headache really fast. Now they have to carefully track everything to make sure there isn't some money laundering scheme going on. Also, they have to do some costing to figure out how much a transfer like this costs (I doubt they know exactly, factoring it technology, labor, and benefits).

It's easier to just say "If you want to bank here, you have to have an account."
posted by sbutler at 3:03 PM on September 12, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks to all who suggested the Post Office as an agent, it is confirmed by the website and the call centre operative I spoke to. I will use the one on the next block to my office. Cheers.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:04 PM on September 12, 2010

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