While First National Bank might be really innovative when it comes to banking, I honestly get annoyed with the frequent radio ads making FNB sound like a magical experience. Having consulted for both FNB and SBSA I can honestly say, that FNB’s banking platform is archaic and internal politics (especially when it came to branch banking) caused so much frustration and friction it was always beyond a small miracle, that the bank managed to actually release new software into their branch network.
I have always felt comfortable banking with SBSA and enjoyed for years to be a Prestige banking client. As with most “exclusive” offerings, Prestige banking has become too much of a mainstream product and prestige bankers could not any longer afford that personal relationship with their clients.
For some time I wanted to switch to SBSA’s Private Banking offering and eventually took this step a few weeks back.
The personal attention from the private banker instilled renewed trust in the banking industry (at least when it comes to SBSA and not necessarily their competition). Existing accounts and credit cards were migrated within hours and new credit-, ATM- and garage-cards where personally delivered.
No laborious tasks of filling out forms or having to visit a branch. Changing ATM- and credit-card PINs was possible through both telephone banking as well as through SBSA’s AutoPlus machines.
The monthly charges of R285 for Private Banking are slightly higher than the R205 for Prestige Banking and include annual card-fees and a number of free transactions. The Private Banking service can not really be compared with many of the low-cost banking services, especially when one considers having direct access to two dedicated private bankers at any time in addition to many value added services.
While the likes of FNB advertise many services for free as well as introduce innovative new features, it still comes down to receiving that personal attention when it comes to financial wealth management – not all banking should be about just credits and debits and saving a few Rands in accounting fees.