UK banking customers will be able to see all their accounts in one place via app

Banking customers will soon be able to see their accounts from different providers in one place, making it easier for them to manage their money.

HSBC is trialling a new app with 10,000 customers from the end of October, ahead of a general UK release to its customers in early 2018.

It said the move, which will give people a "joined-up view of their financial life", is a first for a major UK bank.

Customers will be able to see all of their accounts on one screen, no matter who they bank with, HSBC said.

HSBC's new beta app features safe balance. It takes all upcoming bills into consideration to show how much disposable money you have before the next payday (HSBC/PA).

People will be able to add accounts from up to 21 different banks including Santander, Lloyds and Barclays.

This will allow users to see not only their current account but loans, mortgages and savings, too, if they are visible via online banking services.

HSBC said the new app builds on a previous trial of an app, which saw customers save £126 on average over two months.

New features will be added over the next few months to help people take more control over their spending, borrowing and saving.

The features will allow people to see how much disposable money - or "safe balance" they have before the next payday, as well as analysing spending patterns and helping people to become more savvy about spending and saving.

The features will also include savings goals and allow people to save bit by bit as they spend, by rounding up amounts when they spend and sending the extra amounts into a savings account.

The initiative is part of wider industry moves towards "open banking".

In 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) put forward a package of measures with the aim of putting more power in the hands of banking customers, including open banking, which uses advances in technology to enable customers to manage money with multiple providers in one place.

The CMA previously said app developers would come up with different ways in which customers will be able to make the most of this technology.

Becky Moffat, HSBC's head of personal banking and advance said the beta app will give customers "a complete and joined-up view of their financial life".

She said: "As one of the UK's biggest retail banks, it's our job to understand our customers' ever-changing relationship with their money and their financial needs.

"Customers now bank at home, on the bus, at work and even in bed, but managing money is still too often a complex and complicated task.

"We want to provide customers with greater control and make their lives easier."

10 things we hate about our banks
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10 things we hate about our banks

More than 46,000 of 106,000 the complaints received by the FOS in the second half of last year related to payment protection insurance (PPI). And the organisation is expecting to receive a record 165,000 PPI complaints in 2012/2013.

The huge numbers are due to the PPI mis-selling scandal that should now be a thing of the past, but there is no doubt that the insurance, which can add thousands to the cost of a loan, is highly unpopular!

(Pictured: Martin Lewis after the PPI payout ruling)

Complaints about mortgages jumped by 38% in the last six months of last year, the FOS figures show, compared to an increase of just 5% in investment-related complaints.

Common gripes about mortgages include the exit penalties imposed should you want to sell up or change you mortgage before a fixed or discounted deal comes to an end, and the high arrangement fees charged by many lenders.

While there is nothing in the data released by the FOS about the number of complaints relating to savings accounts, hard-pressed savers have been struggling with low interest rates for several years now.

You can get up to 3.10% with Santander's easy-access eSaver account, but many older accounts are paying 1.00% or less and even this market-leading offer includes a 12-month bonus of 2.60% - meaning that the rate will plummet to just 0.50% after the first year.

Banks are imposing the highest authorised overdraft interest rates since records began, with today's borrowers paying an average of 19.47%, according to the Bank of England.

A typical Briton with an overdraft of £1,000 is therefore forking out around £200 in interest charges alone. Coupled with meagre returns on savings, it's enough to make your blood boil!

While authorised overdrafts may seem expensive, going into the red without permission will cost you even more due to huge penalty fees.

Barclays, for example, charges £8 (up to a maximum of £40 a day) each time that there is not enough money in your account to cover a payment.

If you need to send money abroad, the likelihood is that your bank will impose transfer charges - and offer you a poor rate of exchange. Someone transferring a five-figure sum could easily lose out by £500 or more as a result.

The good news, however, is that you can often get a better deal by using a currency specialist such as Moneycorp.

Automated telephone banking systems, not to mention call centres in far-flung parts of the world, are one of our top gripes - especially as we often encounter them when we are already calling to report a problem.

In the words of one disgruntled customer: "What is it about telephone banking that turns me into Victor Meldrew? Well, maybe it's the fourteen security questions, maybe it's the range of products that they try to push or maybe it's because I'm forced to listen to jazz funk at full volume while my phone bill soars.

"Actually though, I think it's because the people I eventually speak to rarely seem able to solve the issue I'm calling about."

The days of a personal relationship with your bank manager are long gone - for the huge majority of us at least.

When ethical Triodos Bank investigated recently why around 9 million Britons would not recommend their banks to a friend or relative, it found that almost a third felt they were not treated as individuals. Another 40%, meanwhile, were simply disappointed with the customer service they received.

When you're in a rush, the last thing you want to do is wait in a long queue at your local branch.

Researchers at consumer champion Which? recently found that most people get seen within 12 minutes, but you could have a much longer wait if you go in at a busy time. Frustrating stuff!

The Triodos Bank research also indicated that the bonus culture that ensured the bank's high-flying employees received large salaries, even when it was making a loss at the taxpayer's expense, was hugely unpopular with consumers.

About a quarter of those who would not recommend their current banks said this was the main reason why. And with RBS executives sharing a £785 million bonus pool despite the bank, which is 82% publicly owned, making a loss of £2 billion last year, it's not hard to see why.


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