Triodos savers to be moved to online-only banking - but some can challenge the shake-up
Thousands of Triodos savers will be asked to switch to managing accounts online-only going forward. The so-called "ethical" financial provider is rolling out the move over the next few years, although vulnerable customers and those who can't access services digitally should get in touch as exemptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Triodos Bank currently has over 73,000 UK customers who access products in a variety of different ways. Its personal current account, for example, which launched in 2017, has always been exclusively online-only but its savings and investment products can be accessed online, by post or by phone (it doesn't have any physical branches in the UK).
But over the next few years, savers will be told to switch to using online banking only unless they're deemed to be vulnerable. The move impacts around 20% - or 14,000 - of Triodos' customers who do not yet use online banking - though there's no firm deadline as to when the rollout will be completed. Triodos says the shake-up is to better protect customers from fraud and to minimise its environmental impact.
Online only financial providers already exist, including the likes of Atom Bank, Monzo, and Starling. See our Best Online and App-Only Bank Accounts guide for more details. Of course, if you're unhappy about the move you may also want to consider switching. See our Best Bank Accounts and Top Savings guides for our best buys.
Concerned about the shake-up? Contact Triodos
All Triodos customers will be contacted about the shake-up over the next few years and most don't need to do anything until the bank has been in touch. Triodos told us customers will be told "as and when" the changes will affect them and they will receive plenty of notice. Triodos adds that it will partner with an "external digital inclusion agency" to ensure that anyone who isn't familiar with using online services can get support.
But here's what you can do if you're unhappy about the move:
- Let Triodos know if you're concerned about the shake-up. Triodos says it is in the process of setting out exact criteria for exemptions and adds that it will tell customers if it determines they fall within this group. However, you don't need to wait for Triodos to get in touch - anyone who considers themselves to be vulnerable, digitally-excluded or who isn't happy about the shake-up can contact Triodos on 0330 355 0355 and it will consider appeals on a case-by-case basis.
- If you're unhappy with Triodos' response, complain to the Ombudsman or consider switching. You can complain to the free Financial Ombudsman Service if you're unhappy with Triodos' response to your complaint or if you don't get one within eight weeks. You may also want to consider switching to a provider that offers offline services - see our Top Savings guide for more info.
Just check you won't be charged any early withdrawal penalties if you have a fixed savings account, and remember to ask for an ISA transfer if you have one - never withdraw money from an ISA as you'll immediately lose all the lasting tax benefits.
Of course, if you want to move to online banking sooner, you can do this by contacting Triodos which will go through the process with you.
What does Triodos say?
Gareth Griffiths, head of retail banking at Triodos Bank UK, said: "The majority of demand from our customers is for digital services. Managing our growth in a sustainable way and becoming more efficient will allow us to remain focused on what we do best: delivering positive social, environmental and cultural benefit with the money entrusted to us by our customers."
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