We wanted to pay some cash into our three granddaughters’ Nationwide accounts for their birthdays.
At the Nationwide branch in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, there was a sign stating that they no longer accept cash to protect their customers.
Furthermore, if you want to pay by cheque, you must have a paying in slip signed by the account holder. Bit a problem given their ages.
No cash: Nationwide BS made a move last month which means customers cannot pay in cash to third party accounts
We were told that the only way to do this was by a bank transfer from our own bank.
We returned home and tried to do it online but our bank would not allow the transfer as the Nationwide accounts have more than eight digits.
Frustrated, we went to our bank, NatWest, and it too has a sign that states they cannot accept cash and need paying in slips.
We asked about making the bank transfers and it stated that we would need to fill out three forms and there may be a charge so better to go home and do it online.
We returned home clueless about how to move ahead. Are the banks trying hard to do away with cash and eventually close all branches and make us all work online?
What about grandparents who don’t use computers don’t have a car, their local branch is closed? Even if they can travel, the banks won’t take their money.
I guess we will have to wait until we see our granddaughters next time and give them the cash. B.W, Thorpe Bay.
Lee Boyce, consumer affairs editor at This is Money, replies: You are not the first reader to contact us about this in the past few weeks.
Another reader contacted us anonymously and said that her parents attempted to pay £500 into their grandchild’s savings account at a Nationwide branch.
Her mother filled in a slip and the cashier started to count it.
It is then claimed that she was told ‘under new rules’ it couldn’t accept the cash.
The cash was then handed back to them and they were told to transfer funds from another bank account.
Her father pointed out that they had just withdrawn it from the Post Office but the staff member still refused.
The reader told This is Money: ‘My parents do this as they are OAPs. They had to go home with the cash on them.
‘What “new rules” have come into effect that limits cash deposits? Or is this a mistake by the banks?’
NatWest: Also told Bob that it couldn’t accept cash over the counter
Furthermore, I unearthed a number of similar complaints on social media platform Twitter.
In the replies, Nationwide’s social media team says changes were made last month to ‘protect customers and society.’
One Twitter user named Amy asked the official Nationwide Twitter account: ‘When did it become an issue for someone to pay money into an account if it’s not their account.
Nationwide replied: ‘Thanks for tweeting. We’re sorry to hear this. We’ve since the 12th of Mar 2018 stopped accepting third party cash credits.’
It adds: ‘So we’re compliant with regulations. However, we will accept cheque, online transfer.’
Another Twitter user, Michael, had a similar complaint. He said: ‘Why can’t other people no longer go into a branch and pay cash into your account?
A member of Nationwide’s social media team replied: ‘Nationwide Building Society has changed the way it accepts cash.
‘Unless it’s an exceptional circumstance, the ways a third party can credit one of our members is to send the funds from their Nationwide account, open an account with us, write a cheque or complete a bill payment with their bank/building society.
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‘The reason we’ve changed is in order to further protect our customers and the society.’
And another who complained on Twitter was given a similar explanation.
A Nationwide social media team member named Mel said: ‘Nationwide Building Society has changed the way it accepts cash. Unless it’s an exceptional circumstance.
‘The reason we’ve changed is in order to further protect our customers and the society and is in line with similar changes recently made by other financial services providers.’
This worrying development comes as banks and building societies look to crack down on money laundering and tax evasion.
However, it appears they are penalising honest people looking simply to put funds into current accounts and savings accounts of grandchildren or others.
As well as Nationwide and NatWest, Barclays and Santander have also introduced the new rules.
Banks including Lloyds, Halifax and TSB say they do not plan to impose similar rules.
A Nationwide Building Society spokesman said: ‘Following a review of our internal policies and procedures we have taken the decision to restrict deposits made to accounts by third parties, moving us in line with a number of our industry peers.
‘This change in policy is advertised within our branches. Existing members are able to pay money into their account and transfer this to another, which can be done in branch or they can transfer money online.
‘Third parties can continue to pay in cheques.’
A NatWest spokesman said: ‘Usually they would be required to have a pay in slip to pay money into a third party account in branch and if they didn’t have one, that is probably why they were asked to do it online instead as a transfer can be made without the need for a slip from the customer.’
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