NatWest changes student account T&CsBank alters account rules following Which? probe

14 August 2011

Student bank accounts

NatWest's student account now requires deposits of at least £750 every six months instead of three

NatWest has changed the terms and conditions of its student current account following a Which? investigation.

Customers of NatWest's student account must now deposit at least £750 every six months and make at least three debit transactions every month to show they're using it as their main account. The previous terms and conditions had required customers to deposit £750 every three months or risk facing charges.

We were alerted to the clause by a reader on our community site Which? Conversation who had worried about what could happen during the period between a student's last loan payment (usually April) and their first of the new year (September), fearing they would lose access to their interest-free overdraft if they failed to keep up with deposits over the summer.

Which? spoke to NatWest to express our concerns. It told us it valued its relationship with student customers and wanted to make sure they had full use of their account.

Student account success for Which?

Although students are obliged to make a certain amount of credit and debits to show they're using it as their main current account, £750 every three months seemed unrealistic considering gaps between student loan payments are often longer than three months.

Which? Money expert Alex Kouzarides commented: 'It's great to see that NatWest has decided to change its terms and conditions on the back of our investigation. The new rules are far less confusing to students, as well as being fairer and much easier to comply with. Many thanks to the Which? members who brought this to our attention.'

Student account advice and reviews

When choosing a student bank account, it's crucial not to be swayed by the free gifts and perks. Look carefully at what's on offer from each bank and then decide which is best for you. The current highest interest-free overdrafts on offer are from Halifax/Bank of Scotland and HSBC at £3,000.

For much more on student accounts, see the Which? student bank accounts guide.

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