Bancaja merger with Bankia....the customer´s nightmare

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17 Apr 2012 23:17 by sara23 Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

I own a medium sized business in Spain and have always used Bancaja.  They recently mergered with Bankia.

On 6th April, we went to our online banking to discover that the website had changed to Bankia, and our banking codes to access banking did not work anymore.   No notice at all that this would happen. You just had to wait until 5 days later when the bank re-opened on 10th April after the Easter holidays to access your account.  Very disruptive and embarrassing as we were forced to pay many of our suppliers late.
On 10th April  when the bank finally re-opened, we queued for hours to see someone but couldn’t get in the door, such was the chaos from all the punters in the same dreadful boat. We could not reach anyone on the helpline and still can´t a week later. 
On 11th April, we finally managed to make a few transfers in the bank which were extremely urgent. We were provided with new bank codes to access our online banking. However, internet banking doesn´t actually work. If we try and use it, it crashes. We have been to the bank every day since, always waiting for a long time, and no one can help us. We cannot get through on the customer service telephone number.  We are told we can come into the bank every day and do our transfers in person, but first of all this means queing for hours to get it done, and second of all they wnat to charge us extra for the priveledge!
 We were also told our bank account numbers had changed with no notification, so all the customers trying to pay us would have the payments refused.  Very embarrassing and unprofessional.  I do not understand why we were not told our bank account number was changing. We send hundreds of customers our payment details every week and now they have all gone out with the wrong information!!!   
It has been 10 days and we cannot properly access our bank account or our funds and we have suferred a great deal of embarrassment, hassle and inconvenience. We cannot pay our suppliers on time and this has caused problems for them as they cannot pay their own bills. It´s a complete nightmare. 
We do not understand why Bankia did not contact the Bancaja customers to let them know that their internet login codes would not work, and provide them with new login codes before the change was made.  they would have known well in advance and it seems like a total disregard for their customers to cut them off for days on end without access to their funds.
We are very unhappy that Bankia did not write to the Bancaja customers and let them know that their bank account details had changed so they could ensure their own customers were notified. 
We are also very unhappy that the changes were made right before the bank was closed for 5 days – taking away all possibility for customers to get help when they needed it.
We know numerous private individuals who can’t access their money, can’t pay their bills and can´t get into their online banking. This has disrupted my business, caused me to lose customers and wasted days and days of my time. 
Is there any mechanism existing in Spain to prevent banks from treating their customers this way?  Surely you have a right to access your own money?

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18 Apr 2012 11:52 by marcbernard Star rating in Marina Alta; Alicant.... 253 posts Send private message


There seems to be several missed points from your rant about Bankia (some are valid!)

I saw several notices over the months preceding the change advising customers on what needed to be done in order to set up appropriate codes for new access. Also the existing bank account references were still used, albeit with new ones attached. Unless business accounts have been treated in a different way to personal accounts I feel some of your comments are a little unfair. That said it is certainly true that Bankia have been lax in the way they have fed in the new website, requiring some aggravation in (probably) most if not all branches. The front line staff have taken a lot of flack, no doubt, and deserve to be treated fairly.

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18 Apr 2012 12:58 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

 I must admit that Bankia haven't handled this very well.  However, there has been an advisory on the website every time you log in for the last 3 months advising what to do and when the changes would take place.  Some people have received a letter from Bankia stating the new account number (I didn't get one, though) and that the old Bancaja number would still be valid.

The website was a bit iffy to start with but appears to have been sorted.  As stated on a different thread, it depends on what ID number you used to open the account as the card number no longer works (which was also stated on the advisory notice and said you could only use a national ID number, residency number, NIF or passport).  If you used your NIE/NIF then you use that, if you used your passport then you use that but be careful because if you have changed your passport since you opened the account you will need to use your old passport number and not the new one.

If you use Google Chrome, you can set it to translate the Spanish site to English automatically and it works quite well.  When you go into the site, it will have your new Bankia number alongside the old Bancaja number (which they call the alias - well, it does on my translator) and all direct debits/payments in etc will be recognised by the old number, or so they say.  I have, however, had a direct debit refused as "not accessible" but others have been paid and so have payments in using the old number.  I have had to give the new Bankia number to the direct debit company that had it refused (lost my TV/Phone and internet because of it but it was sorted quickly by giving my bank card number).  

The bank this morning was packed with people who all seemed to have problems.  It appeared that the main problem (quickly sorted) was using a different passport to the one they opened the account with.


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18 Apr 2012 20:00 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

 Going back to the OP, each bank should have a Defensor de Cliente who looks into complaints and the bank should provide details.

If you have any complaints or issues with a bank in Spain, you should write to the Banking Ombudsman at the Banco De España, using recorded delivery. The address is: Banco De España, Calle Alcala, 48, 28014 Madrid.

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19 Apr 2012 11:20 by sara23 Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

In response to you all, we did recieve a message about changing our account codes, which we did do in advance.  In fact for business customers the new codes have been in effect for a month. Incidentally, we discovered these new codes when we were locked out of the account so there was no warning the first time they changed it either. 

However, the information was changed again on 6th April for businesses and we had a completely new access code with no warning at all. 

I know some people (especially those with personal accounts) have been fine, but my business account is 12 days into the change and I can´t make transfers except by going into then bank, queueing for a VERY long time and then being charged extra for the priveledge.

I went in yesterday to make 3 transfers and by the third one, the system in the bank had crashed and they told me to come back tomorrow to do the third transfer becaue they could not complete it.

We are on our third digital signature. None have worked.  If we try and make a transfer online it crashes.  If you call the support number it either rings out or places you on hold and then hangs up on you.  I don´t think they can cope.

I have experienced bank mergers before - nothing like this has ever happenned. 

I have emailed all the people we work with to let them know our IBAN has changed, and most of them are based in the UK and can´t access their account at all nor get through to anyone for help.  It´s left a lot of people in dire circumstances

Incidentally, I also feel extremely sorry for the frontline stafff, which is why the rant was here and not in the bank


This message was last edited by sara23 on 19/04/2012.

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19 Apr 2012 11:27 by marcbernard Star rating in Marina Alta; Alicant.... 253 posts Send private message

From what you now tell us, the bank has most certainly bodged it well and truly! It seems they have dealt with personal accounts, after a false start, but bobaol's post seems to give a route forward. Looks as though compensation is called for, but can you wait that long? Apologies for earlier comments, which now seem a little out of kilter!

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19 Apr 2012 17:19 by ms51 Star rating in uk/Los Alcazares. 100 posts Send private message

I went to Bancaja 2 weeks ago in Cabo Riog and they had no money ??? we had ordered some to buy some furniture, and had to wait around for over an hour, for  the money lorry come,that was how Alisa put it ( mind you the staff did call us and say it was ready to be picked up.

Now that scary when the bank has no money, quite a few people was waiting at the bank and not very happy?

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20 Apr 2012 09:39 by sara23 Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Ah well, rant over.  I do like the fact that Spain is relaxed and old fashioned in many ways and have no wish for it to turn into mini-England. 

I do sometimes feel though like the little man gets trampled on by businesses.  I know there´s no excuse in today´s day and age for computer systems to halt banking for people in this way - it´s just lack of care and proper preparation.  I feel rally sorry for the staff that they obviously didn´t train.  They must have known a good portion of customers would be thrown into problems and I can´t see how appropriate measures were taken to avoid it.

I have 800 customers, rather than 800,000 and just about manage to survive in the recession.  That said, if i change even something small I make really sure everyone knows and the new system is tested carefully before we implement it,.  Can´t see why they didn´t have the time / money and care to do that.

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23 Apr 2012 16:32 by PeterGannon Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

I have had early problems accessing the web site but as with others this is all okay now.

Biggest issue is that regular transfer of mories from UK has gone 'missing'. Moneycorp / HSBC knows Bankia has got the money but it's not reached my accoount after 13 days! They say Bankia has money in a suspense account and lots of clients are in limbo land. In some cases Bankia have started rejecting and returning money and in other cases (like me) they still have it. All this after assuring customers and Moneycorp / HSBC that no-one had to do anything and all the changes would be automatic.

A total shambles!

If I hadn't got a suplus in my account I would have defaulted on several payments and I have had no apology and so far ineffective hep from my branch.









This message was last edited by PeterGannon on 23/04/2012.

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23 Apr 2012 17:50 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

 The problem I had was that I had a non-resident account with Bancaja which I changed to a residents account.  All the old payments in and out were recognised by the new account.  When Bankia took over, any direct debits or payments were recognised from the Bancaja resident account number but it didn't for anything set up with the old non-resident account number.  I have had to change 2 direct debits and one payment in details and set them up again.  Any direct debits or payments with the Bancaja resident account were OK.  Looks like their system couldn't do two things at once.

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23 Apr 2012 18:28 by ms51 Star rating in uk/Los Alcazares. 100 posts Send private message

Just tried doing a bank transfer 1 hour later, have been told there is a problem with the website in English, it will not let you do it, BUT if you go on the spanish page it will allow it.

BUT  if its in your favorites make sure you have all the details, as it may not be stored on the Spanish site.

Oh happy days

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11 Jun 2012 18:31 by jmorgan120 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

My problem arose when I checked my Moneybookers account this morning. On the 5th of May I transferred £2000 pounds as I do regularly to my Bancaja Account to cover payments.  I noticed that £1930.00 had been returned to my Moneybookers account because my Bancaja account no longer exists. We have never been notified by Bankia that our Bancaja account details needed to be changed. I have apparently lost £70 pounds which I am still in the process of seeking an explanation for from Moneybookers.   

I did get some joy when I asked how to access my account online though. You type in your NI Number without the letters. Only the numbers. Then you type in your cards PIN in the password field.

I'm arriving in Spain on the 24th of June. I will be visiting my Bankia branch on the 25th and I will be looking to be reimbursed for my losses. 

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11 Jun 2012 19:33 by ms51 Star rating in uk/Los Alcazares. 100 posts Send private message

I had a letter arrive on Saturday, telling me  "NEW" direct debits or transfers now need the new code, but its only the first 4 digits that have changed, I would have thought that as you use moneybookers before, that it would still go in as normal. I know all ours have been fine.

As for the online banking, with some people they have used NIE or passport, and a friend of mine told me they had used her UK phone number ??? most odd, but as long as we can got on it that all that matters.

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11 Jun 2012 19:53 by Daniels Star rating in Waterlooville & Pent.... 220 posts Send private message


Having problems transfering money? I went into bank and got information there.

The the account, swift and iban number changed. I have since transfered money without any problems. I guess you can do it over the phone but not sure if thing would get lost in translation.

Good luck.

May be tomorrow.......... Always better today!!

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12 Jun 2012 16:44 by jmorgan120 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

I've come across a company called VFX Financial PLC. They have an online facility to buy and sell currencies. I signed up for an account yesterday and  used it for the first time today.  I wasn't clear exactly how to go about using this to transfer funds and called their helpline. All I can say is that I am well impressed with them so far. I've bought €2462.60 for £2000.  This will reach my Bankia account by the end of today, I'll check later to make sure the funds have reached the account. You get confirmation within minutes of each transaction. Provided the money reaches my account (fingers crossed) I can't think of a better way to move your money.

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22 Jun 2012 12:42 by jlynas Star rating in Belfast. 19 posts Send private message

Hi All,

I am trying to make a transfer from Bankia online to the UK. I used this service before with Bancaja and was able to enter my account number and BIC/SWIFT code without the IBAN number. When I select foreign transfer or transfer it is looking for an IBAN number and there seems to be no place to put my account or sortcode/compensationcode. I have left a messages for Bankia's customer service but with no joy.

Would appricate your help with this.


Thanks Joanne

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05 Apr 2013 14:52 by Anita Star rating in Surrey / Corvera Gol.... 500 posts Send private message

 I've just received a letter stating that the Bankia Branch in San Javier (Branch 4713) is going to be closed.  Clients should go to their Branch as soon as possible to take care of the necessary procedures regarding contracts.

Unfortunately we are not going to be in Spain until July.  Does anyone have an e-mail address for this Branch? 

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08 Apr 2013 13:47 by marcbernard Star rating in Marina Alta; Alicant.... 253 posts Send private message

It seems that the likely email address would be "oficina_****" where **** is the 4-digit number of your branch. I have just received a letter re my own branch being closed, but nothing needs to be done per my letter.

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09 Apr 2013 23:59 by eos_ian Star rating in Valencia. 497 posts Send private message

eos_ian´s avatar

 It would be strange that you have to do anything, when a branch is closed it is normally automatically moved to another branch, they should send you a letter informing you of the new branch address. That was my experience anyway with Banesto. You're best to give them a call just in case.



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13 Apr 2013 10:59 by carla/dave Star rating in Manchester and Penth.... 83 posts Send private message

I have had the same letter informing me that the branch in Mazarron is closing . I am also not in Spain at present so am hoping thAt a phone call to their English speaking number will help.


Carla and Dave.

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