What Wegan Did Next
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
I have been banking with Natwest since I was little, maybe from 11 years of age. It has been the only bank I have ever been with. 1 year ago my wife and I tried to set up a joint bank account. As she had just moved to the UK from America, it seems that due to a lack of credit, the joint account was not opened. However we did not ever receive a full explanation of why the account was not opened from Natwest. Due to the un-customer friendly hours of operations, it is very hard for the two of us to get to the bank at the same time. Natwest opens Monday - Friday 9am-5pm and Saturdays 9am - 12pm. Thus you either have to take time off work or scarficie a precious lie in to go see them.
1 whole year has passed and we still were in need of a joint bank account. Due to the floods recently I finally had time to get into my local Natwest (in Windsor FYI) to make an appointment to try set up a joint account again. Not wanting to take the 4pm appointments during working days, I selected to go for 11.30am on a Saturday. This is when I started to felt rather disheartened, the next appointment would be on 22 February 2014. Bearing in mind I made this appointment weeks ago at the time I am writing this post!
Then to my disbelief, the customer services representative started to refer to my partner as "your friend" as soon as she heard me use the female pronoun for my partner.
"Does your FRIEND bank with us?"
"Where does your FRIEND work?"
"If this appointment is unsuitable for your FRIEND, then just give us a call".
I was so shocked that I didn't know what to do. I walked out absolutely fuming that my wife was reduced to my "friend". I considered she maybe got confused and thought she misheard me say partner but 1) why would I be opening a joint account with my "friend"? 2) she cant have mistook I meant "business partner" as she referred to her as my "friend". Either she didn't want to refer to my partner as my PARTNER due to her own beliefs, or a lack of equality and diversity training. It really is ironic when Natwest currently have an advert featuring a lesbian couple!
I then walked into the new bank on the high street- Metro Bank. You may have seen them popping up, with their glass buildings and totally different format and setting up inside, it's hard to miss!
I had a great customer experience and they didn't bat an eyelid when I mentioned my partner with the female pronoun. They have great customer friendly hours, they are open 8-8pm Monday - Friday, and open 8-6pm on Saturdays (so not just half a day) and even open on Sunday 11am-5pm (so not shut like other banks!)
I returned the following week with Whitney to set up our joint account, when we told the bank rep that we are married to one another I braced myself but to my surprise we were greeted with "CONGRATULATIONS!" what a relief! It turned out that our bank rep was also gay himself and we had fantastic customer service from him (shout out to Ross). We didn't have all the paperwork we needed, so we returned the next day to finish setting up our joint account. To our surprise Ross gave us a Civil Partnership present from Metro Bank at Windsor! Along with a cute card! It was so, so sweet and we were very grateful! He clocked on to our coffee love and even gifted us enough money in our joint account to go have a coffee!
THE BEST BANK OR WHAT?!
So thank you Metro, you were fabulous.
Megan & Whitney x
(not opening a joint account with Natwest, please cancel our appointment).