I have banked with Smile.co.uk since 2002. They're not my only current account but they are my main one. Up until fairly recently I've been happy with them, their customer service has always been pretty good. However, I am in the process of doing my tax returns and I need to see statements from April 2011, I'm not asking for much... I was shocked to discover that I can not see statements more than 12 months old online and if I want access to these I need to pay £10 a statement (by the way these are not monthly!). I'm appalled because my current account with another bank lets me see statements for up to 6 years online for free and has done so for many years and this is a High Street bank. I would have assumed that if you don't post out statements, as a basic right you should be able to see these online and 12 months is simply not long enough. Smile.co.uk (though owned by the Co-op) is in itself an online-only bank so does not post out statements and never has. Other points...
- the online user interface does not look like it has changed at all in the last 10 years that I have been a customer, no seriously. It is starting to feel really outdated compared to other banks online services (and I have banked with many).
- The statements appear to be produced in an ad-hoc manner, sometimes I get them every 9 days, every 12 days, every 21 days (this is from the last 3 statements) and it is a headache to find transactions. You have to click on each statement one by one and look through it. Other banks are far more sophisticated with various search tools and at least produce regular statements!
After this tax return fiasco, where I can not see essential transactions unless I pay £100 for statements I should have access to anyway, I have decided to switch to another online-only bank who will also let me see 6 years of statements online free of charge. Smile.co.uk haven't updated their systems in the last decade which is inexcusable for an online-only bank. Customer Service is on the whole good though. It's a shame, they have good ethics, but they have let themselves down by not keeping up to date and in line with the rest of the industry on basic features.
With regards to the previous review about loans, this has not been my experience as they have tried to sell me loans and increase my overdraft in the past (last time October). But maybe they have got a lot tighter with their lending in recent years, I haven't asked for a loan from them so I couldn't say.
Have banked with Smile since 1999. Significant funds go through the account. HAve three accounts with them. They won't lend. When we needed an urgent bridging loan they told us basically to forget it. They would have taken 8 weeks they said. We asked for a 7K loan a few years back - and they just didn't respond to the request at all!
We did finally get a loan from them, but the they withdrew overdraft and credit up to 40% of the value of the loan. It was too late by that time so i had to accept.
Rule 1 with Smile. Do not expect to strike up a lending relationship. As you get older and wealthier - you will wish you had banked with someone else.
Rule 2 with Smile. Don't save with them. I don't think they have a product with interest of over 1%. Their ISA pays less than my savings account. All a total waste of time.
The customer service is good. But thats not enough for a Bank.
We will be transferring our accounts shortly.
I've been with Smile for nearly ten years now and have found them great. The website is easy to use, and their customer service good. I've taken loans out with them without a hitch and done all my banking without any problems.
i have been banking with smile.co.uk for several years.
i find their website very user-friendly, although sometimes the design does not follow industry design standards (colors, contrast, font size so that everybody can see everything easily).
the services provided on the website are fast and excellent; there is good info about smile's procedures.
i am less satisfied with postal services. for example when i pay a cheque into my account i have to deposit that at the post office and it takes forever to be credited to my account.
moreover any request for a transaction that is less routine (international payment etc...) is dealt with very slowly.
all in all, great for everyday banking.
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