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Does Nationwide FlexAccount charge to withdraw sterling from an ATM in North Cyprus

NationwideIt started with a simple disagreement on Cyprus44 about whether Nationwide FlexAccount users would be charged to withdraw sterling from an ATM in Kyrenia, North Cyprus, from November 1st 2010 onwards. One poster phoned the Bank and was told they wouldn’t be charged. I thought I’d confirm this in writing so I sent an email.

Hi

I’m about to publish an article to settle an ongoing dispute concerning Nationwide’s new charges relating to sterling ATM withdrawals abroad using a Debit Card issued on a UK FlexiAccount. Several correspondents to the newspaper I run argue that if they withdrew £100 per day, throughout November, from HSBC’s ATM in Kyrenia in Cyprus they would incur no Nationwide charges. Some point to the fact that when they go online no charges appear on their account but others say that have discovered charges at a rate of £1 per transaction and even another 2% in commission charges. Could you send a reply which I can publish in order to settle this matter once and for all. I am well aware of the 2% + £1 charge for foreign currency.

I received this answer:

“Thank you for your message.

Nationwide’s FlexAccount still remains one of the most competitive current accounts to use abroad even with the new commission charge of 2% and £1 cash withdrawal fee for transactions made in a currency other than sterling.

If the transaction is made in a currency other than sterling then it will be treated as a foreign transaction. For example if you were to pay for an item in US Dollars on a website, 2% would be added to the transaction.

Both the commission fee and the ATM withdrawal fee will be taken from your account on the day the transaction is shown on your account. Please note that this may not be the same day you carried out the transaction as it depends on when the merchant posts the payment.

At some locations the customer will have a choice of paying in sterling or the local currency. Our charges will only apply if the customer pays in currencies other than sterling. However, if the customer chooses to pay in sterling other charges will apply (this is a process known as “Dynamic Currency Conversion”winking. We do not know what these charges will be so cannot provide the customer with any guidance whether it’s cheaper to pay in local currency or sterling.

Kind Regards,

Daniella Fiore
Customer Consultant
Nationwide Internet Services”

As you can read, as clear as mud. So I made my question simpler:

“So, there are NO NATIONWIDE FEES for withdrawing sterling abroad? Not even an ATM withdrawal fee?”

This was now becoming quite a long email being sent backwards and forwards and this was the answer I received:

“Thank you for your message.

Nationwide’s FlexAccount remains one of the most competitive current accounts to use abroad.  Its new commission charge of 2% and £1 cash withdrawal fee are lower than those charged by other standard or free current accounts in the market.  Nationwide’s credit card continues to offer free use abroad within Europe and charge 1% worldwide.
Kind regards,

Jason Payne
Customer Consultant
Internet Services”

Somehow the Customer Consultant managed to avoid answering my question yet again and I’m still none the wiser.

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