Greek Banks

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
Retired in Crete

Greek Banks

Postby Retired in Crete » Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:44 am

When I moved to Crete almost ten years ago I opened an account with the Laikie bank which, a couple of years ago, became part of Marfin Egnatia. Being a small bank I received excellent service, nothing seemed too much trouble and whenever I walked through the door I was greeted by name. I could not fault them.

Now Marfin Egnatia has closed and my account taken over by Peirais Bank. The difference is unbelievable. Everything seems too much trouble for them and their procedures are archaic. A couple of examples:

I asked for pink slips to cover recent transfers. The clerk produced two forms and a sheet of carbon paper. (Which museum do they buy this from?). He filled out the form, explained that the slips came from Athens and would take seven days. Three weeks later I am still waiting. Marfin would print these out while I waited!

I wanted to pay a bill (1,200+ Euros) by debit card but my card has a limit, at my request, of 600 Euros. Could they up the limit for this one transaction? They could up the limit but it would take 24 hours and I would have to come back the next day and sign more paper to get it reduced back to 600. Marfin used to up my limit for single transactions if I phoned them and told them how much and whom I wanted to pay!

It is impossible to use the cash machine at my branch if the sun is shining! Despite having a sun shield, the sun still shines on the screen and it is unreadable so I have to travel to another branch to get cash.

You have probably gathered by now that I want to change banks!

Which one should I go to? Has anyone else changed banks and how did they cope with transferring direct debits etc?

All advice gratefully received.

John

Eleni13
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:13 am
Location: UK

Postby Eleni13 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:41 pm

We were transferred to Pireus after Laiki closed. Agreed, the service at Laiki was faultless and the personnel mainly helpful.
After an initial period of chaos with account numbers changing, we are now very happy with Pireus as long as we don't have to go into the Chania Branch, where the personnel at the service desks, with two exceptions, one of which is ex-Laiki, seem totally uninterested in dealing with customers.
We use direct internet transfers for most bills, and our accountant deals with pink slips if they are still required.
They have a very useful electronic banking site, and any movement on our account is followed by an email to us. Excellent service!

Jeffstclair
Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: The centre of the universe

Postby Jeffstclair » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:57 pm

We find Pireus in Sitia fine it helps that the woman we deal with there her uncle lives in our village so she always asks about if we go in.
We use it on-line mostly to pay bills and that seems to work ....jeff...

Retired in Crete

Postby Retired in Crete » Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:47 pm

Jeffstclair wrote: We use it on-line mostly to pay bills and that seems to work ....jeff...


On-line payment was not acceptable for the 1200+ payment. They (the local marina operated by the Demos) only accept cards or you have to pay in at their bank and give the marina the paying in slip as proof of payment.

John

Kilkis
Posts: 8907
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Postby Kilkis » Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:47 pm

I use two banks, Alpha and Cooperative Bank of Chania.

Alpha have an excellent web banking site that I cannot fault. I use that for all internet banking. I only go in branch if I have to for some reason so I cannot really say what their service is like. I haven't had a problem the few times I have gone in but as the previous posts indicate it is probably a matter of individual personnel. I did have a problem with pink slips. My account was originally in Kilkis and although I informed them of my change of address when I moved to Crete the account stays domiciled where it was opened. That meant I had to write myself to Kilkis when I needed them. Solved that problem by opening a new account at the nearest branch to me and closed the account up north.

I use the Cooperative bank for all over the counter transactions and all cash withdrawals. It is part of the Pan Hellenic group of cooperative banks including Pankritia. Between them they seem to have more ATM machines on Crete than any other bank and you can use the machines of either with no charge. My local manger is brilliant and the rest of the staff are very good but that doesn't mean that the staff in a branch near you would be. Their web banking is all in Greek so not that easy to use.

I can't really comment on changing over standing orders/direct debits. I only have one, to pay the credit card bill every month, and that seemed to get changed over OK when I changed accounts. Both accounts were with the same bank, however, which is also the bank that issued the card, so it is not surprising. I pay everything else using web banking.

I understand Piraeus also has good web banking although I haven't used it myself. Why not keep the Piraeus account for that and open another account for everything else. That way you can use the new bank for all over the counter stuff and the old one for internet stuff. That way you wouldn't need to interact with the Piraeus staff very much. Personally I'm a great believer in having more than one account. If one screws up I've still got access to cash from the other. Just a thought.

Warwick

jet
Posts: 355
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:06 pm

Postby jet » Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:54 pm

I am very satisfired 12 years with AtticaBank. A bank only for the higher class of people, as my lawyer told me. There are rarely more than two customers waiting at the cash register and the banker has invited me home for a private party. I am not sure if any instance. How I easiest pay ENFIA via e-banking, I have confirmed what I already found on e-banking site :-)

scooby
Posts: 1101
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:54 pm
Location: Agia Nr Chania

Re: Greek Banks

Postby scooby » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:55 pm

Retired in Crete wrote:When I moved to Crete almost ten years ago I opened an account with the Laikie bank which, a couple of years ago, became part of Marfin Egnatia. Being a small bank I received excellent service, nothing seemed too much trouble and whenever I walked through the door I was greeted by name. I could not fault them.

Now Marfin Egnatia has closed and my account taken over by Peirais Bank. The difference is unbelievable. Everything seems too much trouble for them and their procedures are archaic. A couple of examples:

I asked for pink slips to cover recent transfers. The clerk produced two forms and a sheet of carbon paper. (Which museum do they buy this from?). He filled out the form, explained that the slips came from Athens and would take seven days. Three weeks later I am still waiting. Marfin would print these out while I waited!

I wanted to pay a bill (1,200+ Euros) by debit card but my card has a limit, at my request, of 600 Euros. Could they up the limit for this one transaction? They could up the limit but it would take 24 hours and I would have to come back the next day and sign more paper to get it reduced back to 600. Marfin used to up my limit for single transactions if I phoned them and told them how much and whom I wanted to pay!

It is impossible to use the cash machine at my branch if the sun is shining! Despite having a sun shield, the sun still shines on the screen and it is unreadable so I have to travel to another branch to get cash.

You have probably gathered by now that I want to change banks!

Which one should I go to? Has anyone else changed banks and how did they cope with transferring direct debits etc?

All advice gratefully received.

John
I assume you mean Piraeus bank? can't fault them after being with them for 8 years, not one problem. Pink slips done straight away. Maybe yours have to come from Athens because of the change that has happened but don't see why. Have you asked them why?
Men in suits will always make you pay.

Retired in Crete

Re: Greek Banks

Postby Retired in Crete » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:18 pm

scooby wrote: I assume you mean Piraeus bank?

I mean Trapeza Peiraios (spelling taken from bank debit card).

scooby wrote: Pink slips done straight away. Maybe yours have to come from Athens because of the change that has happened but don't see why. Have you asked them why?


When filling in the hand written form, in duplicate with carbon paper, he asked the date of the transfers. I replied that I could not remember the exact dates but that they were in the last two months and he could get the dates by looking at my Sterling account transaction history. His reply “Our screens only show the current balance, not the history (of Sterling accounts), that is why this has to come from Athens.”

Three of you may be well satisfied with them. Compared with Marfin they are carp (deliberate typo) so can anyone answer my original question?

Retired in Crete wrote: Which one should I go to? Has anyone else changed banks and how did they cope with transferring direct debits etc?


Thanks Jet and Warwick for your helpful responses.

John

Mixos
Posts: 363
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:26 am
Location: North East Crete or S.W.England

Postby Mixos » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:38 pm

I can put in a good word for Eurobank in Sitia ... (I am assuming you live somewhere round here as you say you are at the "wrong end of Crete.") They have helpful and friendly staff and will print you off a pink (white) transfer slip on demand (no carbon paper in sight) plus the ATM outside has a hood to cut out the glare of the sun. I can't say how easy it would be to transfer direct debits as I haven't had to do so, but I can't think it would be a problem. The Sitia Eurobank does have quite a few Brit ex-pat customers so it is used to dealing with our needs and all the frontline staff speak very good English.

Tim
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:41 pm
Location: Worcester/Sitia
Contact:

Postby Tim » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:09 pm

I think the banking experience probably comes down to the attitude and efficacy of individual branches, rather than the corporate brand. In the case of Sitia, I've been a Eurobank customer for six years now and can only echo everything that Mixos says in the post above.

Hope this helps.

Tim

Kilkis
Posts: 8907
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Postby Kilkis » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:15 pm

When moving from one language to another there is never a right or wrong answer. For clarification "Peiraios" is a letter by letter transposition of the Greek name "Πειραιώς" into the English (Latin) Alphabet. Piraeus is the conventional spelling of a transliteration of the Greek name into English, i.e. a word in English that sounds as close as possible to the Greek word. By conventional I mean it is how Piraeus is written on the banks own web site in English, on maps of the area south of Athens, in articles in English language newspapers etc.

For general information to anybody wanting pink slips, I would recommend taking a photocopy of a statement containing the transaction concerned with you to the bank and highlighting that transaction. Personally I have never had to fill in any forms, carbon copy or otherwise. I suspect the problem might be because it is a "taken over" account not an original Piraeus account. It is possible that the accounts "taken over" from other banks have been domiciled in Athens rather like my original account stayed domiciled in Kilkis. Greek banks don't seem to have the concept of transferring an account from one branch to another. If you can get hold of anybody who does give a sensible service in your branch you could ask about opening a new account in that branch, transferring everything to it from the "taken over" account and then closing the old one. Probably best to leave it open for a couple of months with a few hundred Euro in it, in case something gets charged to it, and then closing and transferring the balance.

Obviously it won't make the staff any better but it might get rid of some of your problems. If that works you could then consider the two account option with Piraeus for everything Internet and a local bank for everything else. Just a thought.

Warwick

altohb
Posts: 788
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:51 pm
Location: Sitia

Postby altohb » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:26 pm

Tim wrote:I think the banking experience probably comes down to the attitude and efficacy of individual branches, rather than the corporate brand. In the case of Sitia, I've been a Eurobank customer for six years now and can only echo everything that Mixos says in the post above.

Hope this helps.

Tim


Ditto. In our experience the Sitia Eurobank staff could not be more helpful, and the Eurobank website is straightforward to use.

filippos
Posts: 5352
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Postby filippos » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:11 pm

I have never seen a "pink slip" (of any colour). Our accountant gets them on demand directly from the bank.

We had two accounts (1 x €€, 1 x ££) with Bank of Cyprus prior to the Bank of Piraeus 'take over' and two accounts with Bank of Piraeus (1 x €€, 1 x CHF). The integration of the accounts went pretty smoothly, including Cyprus and Piraeus debit cards and BoC Credit card.

When I had dealings with Piraeus branch at 1866 Square I found the 'back room' staff I encountered efficient, helpful and pleasant. Since the joining of the banks I have only dealt with the former Cyprus branch in Xania and the local branch of Piraeus in Kalyves. Absolutely no complaint about either: friendly, helpful and efficient staff.

We also have small accounts with our local branch of Pankriti Bank and all staff there are excellent but their range of services does seem to be less than the larger banks but that doesn't affect us at all.

We have no reason to criticise either Piraeus or Pankriti banks.

Kilkis
Posts: 8907
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Postby Kilkis » Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:19 pm

filippos wrote:I have never seen a "pink slip" (of any colour). Our accountant gets them on demand directly from the bank...


Because I am tax resident I can't use pink slips at all for tax purposes here so there is absolutely no need for my accountant to collect them. Since I don't trust anything about the Greek or the UK government ( or any other government for that matter) I collect them anyway, myself, just in case.

There are various tax rules about whether income in one jurisdiction is remitted to another jurisdiction and since it is not uncommon for rules to change I prefer to be able to prove what actually happened using official papers. I think getting them retrospectively might prove difficult. Mostly I have walked into the branch with a highlighted copy of the statement showing the transaction, asked for the pink slip for that transaction and walked out two or three minutes later with the slip.

Warwick

evansmr1
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:00 pm
Location: Pirgos, Kalo Horio,

GREEK BANKS

Postby evansmr1 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:43 am

john I suggest that you move to Eurobank in Ag. Nik. Service is first class, nothing is too much trouble. They also have a very good Internet service.

I have three Accounts with them, one of which is a Stirling account.

All staff are very polite and offer some very good advise when required.
Mike
=============
Sic parvis magnaike


Return to “General Discussion & News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: nigeljackson5 and 6 guests