NatWest article ‘misses point’

The article “Abbey joins the ‘two tier’ rush” (MW June 17) is misleading and misses a very important point.

The Individual Banking Service offered by NatWest is about giving people a choice about how, when and where they deal with the bank. It is not about replacing the service they get from our branches: any customer can visit their local branch to discuss their financial affairs and seek advice – all free of charge. Therefore to imply that “NatWest is to charge customers &£10 per month to see their bank manager” and that “this is a move away from the free service offer” is not correct.

The Individual Banking Service provides a personalised and tailored service that offers additional features that many customers will find attractive. Add to that a service agreement and money-back guarantee and you will see we are offering something that is distinctive and different.

As we approach the millennium and beyond, personalising the services we offer will become increasingly important. NatWest is at the forefront of this: we are the only bank to offer “personal option” – the ability to programme your cashcard to suit your preference for withdrawals at our cash machines; we are leading the way with NatWest Zenda – our personalised information service and now we are introducing the Individual Banking Service.

What’s important is that we continue to offer customers choice: some will see the Individual Banking Service as being ideal for their lifestyle and be prepared to pay it, others will prefer to continue to bank with us as they do now. Either way, we will have satisfied customers and that’s ultimately what it is all about.

David Bloomfield

Head of personal customer marketing

NatWest

London

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