Bank recommendations?

No, really... it does!
But does it matter more in Malta than at home?

NO ADVERTISING - financial services adverts belong in our classifieds section. Get-rich-quick schemes belong in the trash.

Bank recommendations?

Postby ladymuck » Tue 18 Apr 2006 14:32

I'm looking to open a bank account prior to moving over and have received information from HSBC and Bank of Valetta about this. I know there are several banks around in Malta and would like to know if they are all much the same (as in the UK!) or do any stand out as providing better customer service (not the kind Tim talks about!! :D )?

Thanks!
Louise
ladymuck
Free member
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu 23 Mar 2006 09:05

Postby Tim » Wed 19 Apr 2006 16:31

Hi again Louise,

Great question. I hope several people will answer because I don't suppose anybody really knows - most people probably only have detailed experience with the bank they deal with. On Gozo (since that's where you're interested in living) Bank of Valetta has branches in Victoria, Xaghra, Xewkija, Sannat and Nadur, and an ATM in Marsalforn. HSBC has a branch in Victoria and agencies or ATMs in Xlendi, Nadur and Xaghra. You can use HSBC cashcards in BOV ATMs and vice versa. There is also a branch of APS bank in Victoria and a branch of another bank that looks like you need to be mega-rich to approach it!

I bank with HSBC, the reasons being firstly that it has international branding (though they don't seem to operate any better with HSBC in other countries than they do with other overseas banks) and secondly because the estate agent pointed me that way and made the appointments when I wanted to arrange my mortgage and open my account. I'm very happy with HSBC - they offer the proper type of customer service, and were even very helpful when I'd had my card eaten by an ATM - I was expecting to be told I was an idiot, but I wasn't and I got the card back within 2 days! Opening my account was a doddle; they accepted my money instantly, but wouldn't let me have it back til I had obtained refs from my existing bank etc. Didn't matter because I opened it when I made the offer on my house and didn't need it till I came back to complete.

I've only been in BOV twice, with friends. That's not really enough to comment, but I had the distinct feeling that they offered more the 'kind of service I talk about'! With a name like theirs, I get the feeling they might have been a nationalised bank that has become privatised and hasn't yet come to terms with it, but I could be wrong there!

Does anybody else have any feelings one way or the other about which bank to opt for?
Tim
Supporter
 
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri 24 Jan 2003 18:24
Location: Gozo, Malta

Postby ladymuck » Wed 19 Apr 2006 19:17

Hi Tim

Deja-vu! :lol:

Thanks for the info, all very helpful. You also touched on another bank/money subject I'm looking into - mortgages. Are they relatively 'easy' to arrange? I thought that I wouldn't be able to get a mortgage in Malta as I'd have no credit rating, etc. Is the mortgage process similar to that in the UK? Are they only available through the main banks? Are the rates for foreigners comparable to those for locals?

Have many people arranged Maltese mortgages, or did you get a UK mortgage, or just buy outright?

Thanks!
Louise
ladymuck
Free member
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu 23 Mar 2006 09:05

Postby Tim » Wed 19 Apr 2006 19:48

Hey everybody, please note:

The forum has recently been revamped to make it easier for people to find things. Please review the Welcome message on the 'Welcome and Getting Started' board, it has some handy tips. The above post is a classic example of how easy it can be to to steer a usefully developing thread off-topic. This thread is about choosing banks, not about mortgages. Obviously the fact that some banks might offer better mortgages than others is of interest here, but not the specifics of getting a mortgage. There is already a thread about mortgages, so if you want to talk about mortgages, please use that thread. Any further discussion about mortgages in this thread will be deleted. Please continue here to discuss your experience of using the various banks - which ones would you recommend or suggest to avoid?

Thanks,
Tim
If you care about the Maltese landscape please save Ta Cenc.
Tim
Supporter
 
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri 24 Jan 2003 18:24
Location: Gozo, Malta

Postby ladymuck » Sun 23 Apr 2006 15:41

Thanks for making an example of me, I found the tone of your post a little harsh. Perhaps rather than alienating someone innocently looking for help and advice, you could have just moved the post to somewhere you found more acceptable.

I did read the post on mortgages and it did not specifically answer the questions I posed. Also, I got the impression that the subject had come to a natural end - the person had posted a question, and it had been answered with thanks being given.

I felt my post about mortgages was linked to the one on banking, especially as you had raised the point in your response to me, and it seems that Maltese mortgages are only available through banks. In that case, you should not have mentioned your estate agent outside of the property board, nor the fact you arranged a mortgage outside the mortgage thread.

I suppose if I wanted an opinion on banking for savings, banking for mortgages, banking for current accounts, and banking for investment, I would have to post each enquiry separately in its own thread even though they are actually the same request for information about the best bank to use?
ladymuck
Free member
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu 23 Mar 2006 09:05

Postby Tim » Sun 23 Apr 2006 17:10

I'm sorry you found the tone harsh. Please point out to me the harsh bits so that I can be kinder in future!

When you first started using this forum you stated...

ladymuck wrote:I'm going to have to start collating all this info somewhere sensible, there's so much useful stuff on this site!


...and we have subsequently gone to great lengths to revamp the forum in order that the information is better organised and easier for everybody to follow without needing extra collation.

Previous experience on the forum has been that people get more offended by having their posts moved or edited than by being asked to move or edit them themselves. Since you have an IT background I assumed you would easily understand the issue and support it.

ladymuck wrote:I suppose if I wanted an opinion on banking for savings, banking for mortgages, banking for current accounts, and banking for investment, I would have to post each enquiry separately in its own thread even though they are actually the same request for information about the best bank to use?


Yes. That would be a good use of threads. I'm sure you realise that the best bank to use for a mortgage is not necessarily the best for investment and so on, and so it would not entail repetition. It would be keeping information usefully organised. To have all of those things in one thread would be a return to the disorganised way we were in the past, and we'd get people saying they would need to collate it...

Tim
If you care about the Maltese landscape please save Ta Cenc.
Tim
Supporter
 
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri 24 Jan 2003 18:24
Location: Gozo, Malta

Postby Moodyblue » Mon 14 May 2007 15:04

Ahh... banks. I have mentioned this elsewhere where relevant, but as this topic was originally about choosing a bank in Malta I thought I should put in my thoughts. I too have opened HSBC accounts and extemely helpful they were. However, they told me that they would charge for receiving money from accounts abroad and if I paid off a mortgage early (I have subsequently decided to rent!), they would charge me a 3% early termination penalty. Acting on a tip from an old friend, I walked into APS bank in Mosta and within minutes I was in an office arranging to open my accounts. The best bit is that they do not charge to receive money from abroad, and they do not charge an early mortgage termination fee. Also, their mortgage interest rate was 0.25% lower that HSBC. :D
The World is Fine as Seen through Wine
Moodyblue
Free member
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon 05 Mar 2007 14:24
Location: High Wycombe

Postby peterj » Fri 18 May 2007 21:41

Lombard is also worth a look. Not many branches, but cards work in HSBC ATM's. Also no charge for receiving money, and when I checked before opening an account their exchange rate was OK.

Only issue I've had with them was during opening account phase when my overseas references got stuck in Valetta head office for a month or so, otherwise friendly, helpful and efficient.

I didn't want one, but I'm sure they offered me a credit card when I opened my account.

Sounds like APS are getting good reviews, but I ruled them out when they didn't answer several emails enquiring about accounts last year. Same with HSBC btw, only replies were from Lombard and BOV, and Lombard had lowest charges for what I wanted.
peterj
Free member
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon 08 May 2006 06:49
Location: Goowa, South Oz

Postby Kay » Fri 18 May 2007 23:18

I'm starting to wonder if MoodyBlue is on some kind of commission from this APS bank as his every post promotes them. Even to the extent of grave-digging ancient posts to resurrect them and tell you all to sign up with this bank.

We'll be watching.

Adverts don't cost much on here...

Crikey, if a bank wants an advert, can't they afford to pay for one? It's only a few quid. I don't understand this relentless promotion.
Not Delia - Foodie blog with lots of reviews and recipes.
User avatar
Kay
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15338
Joined: Wed 22 Jan 2003 13:06
Location: Kent for a couple of years

Postby john07900 » Sat 19 May 2007 05:27

Quite right Kay, I and I think most others view the the information on this site as being un-biased and reliable as well as being based on real experiences.
john07900
Supporter
 
Posts: 423
Joined: Thu 27 Jul 2006 17:26
Location: Gozo

Postby Moodyblue » Sat 19 May 2007 10:04

Well I am sorry you feel like that. Well, actually no I'm not. You all go on about saving money and from my own experience, I found this bank to cost me less than the others. It is simple economics. Choose to ignore it if you like. Rest assured, when I have a useful bit of information in the future.... I wiil keep it to myself!! :cry:
The World is Fine as Seen through Wine
Moodyblue
Free member
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon 05 Mar 2007 14:24
Location: High Wycombe

Postby john07900 » Sat 19 May 2007 10:40

Wasn't having a go at you particularly Moodyblue, just making general remark and supporting Kay's comments. I am sorry if I was a bit heavy handed.

There is a thin line here and I appreciate the administrator's problems, in keeping a balance between recommendations and advertising, but for what it is worth, I think Kay was just making her point by poking a bit of friendly fun.

PS Anybody know of a good dentist in Gozo? LOL
john07900
Supporter
 
Posts: 423
Joined: Thu 27 Jul 2006 17:26
Location: Gozo

Postby peterj » Wed 08 Aug 2007 16:11

Another thing I had never considered when choosing banks is the routing of telegraphic transfers. I suppose most folks here have the advantage of being able to use FX companies like the one advertised here somewhere, but for anyone who may need or want to transfer money direct from their overseas bank, I wonder if you may be aware of the following.

I had been wondering for a while why every $AU TT I sent came through a bit short. I have finally found out why.

My Australian bank St George Bank - 5th largest in Australia - 8800 employees apparently, doesn't have a "correspondent bank" in Malta. When I arrange a TT, they pass the money on to the Commonwealth Bank (also Aus). They in turn send the money to their "correspondent bank" in Malta - BOV. BOV, having received the $au amount then wander over the road hand it over to my Maltese Bank, Lombard I hear you ask? Nope. They send it to Lombards "correspondent bank" in Australia - the ANZ bank. The ANZ bank then send it on to Lombard. Easy, wasn't it, wonder why I didn't guess that straight away?

Upshot is that each bank involved take a cut of the original TT amount (and annoyingly how much and by whom is disclosed by neither of my banks), and the original bank fee for the TT gets quadrupled approximately.

The lesson is, when choosing a bank, perhaps you should first ask who your overseas bank's "correspondent bank" in Malta is.

Roll on January 1. I can find FX companies who deal in $au and Euro easily.
peterj
Free member
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon 08 May 2006 06:49
Location: Goowa, South Oz


Return to Money matters



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron