Good Mainland banks.

I'm due to start phase one training early next year and am looking at opening a bank account with a new bank, currently being from Northern Ireland I use the Northern Bank which has no branches on the mainland and it's internet banking doesn't support Linux so I can't see it being very practical to continue with them. I'm curious who you would recommend using, a few hours of research so far seems to suggest Co-Op, Nationwide, RBS, Alliance and Leicester as good options with HBOS, HSBC, Barcleys, Abbey and Santandar as ones to avoid, does that bare any resemblance to reality? If anyone also uses Linux and can confirm a particular bank's online banking supports it that'd be a great help I found an outdated list earlier and can't seem to reloacte it now.
I'm with the Co-op for it's ethical banking ethos, it also comes in the top three UK banks when reviewed by Which? almost every time they do an article. I've had no problem with using Linux for their online banking.
There's absolutely no problem with using northern bank (soon to be danske bank anyway) in the mainland. You can set up direct debits, transfer and lift cash etc as normal, only thing you can do is nip in with your jar of shrapnel when you're skint.

If you really feel the urge to move banks then look at what the others are offering to new customers and make up your own mind. From my own experience they're all much the same. (Edit- northern, Halifax, Barclays & Abbey national are anyway)

As for Linux, **** knows. Is it really a deal breaker?
It's just convenient to be able to deal with your money without queueing in a branch or even worse calling a call centre.

Thanks for that CrashTestDummy.
I've recently switched from RBS to Nationwide and they are pretty good thus far. Certainly an improvement over RBS anyhow
First Direct

Normal banking for normal folk :)
UK based Barclays did not go running to the Govt for help when the shit hit the fan. They got some arab dosh in and then shit on the arabs in a City gent financial sort of way.

HSBC, the old Midland Bank in the UK that was 'merged' into the HSBC group also did not have to go running around for bailout money. I like these as I can move money around a between international accounts online [cough]playing the money market[/cough].

Coutts - Wealth Management & Private Banking Services

A decent set of chaps and spot-on with the old overseas malarky.
Child & Co. - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Much more discreet. You also don't suffer the fuss that you do in Coutts when that old lady who lives up the Mall comes in to cash here pension giro.

According to the picture on their advertising it looks a tad like a penguin.
I've been with Barclays for many a year now, to the continued mutterings of all who know better around me, but I won't be changing any time soon for the following reasons;

1. They know me. I had a little episode in Canada in 1998 when they froze my card, assuming it had been stolen. Once they had been enlightened as to the error of their ways they've been fine; I've been around the world and back, I've told them when/where I'm going and they've not hindered me at all. It's not asking a ****ing lot really, but they're doing it, so that's fine.

2. No spam mail.

3. Above all else, I can have a picture of my dog on my debit card.

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