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Opening your account

If you've got a question about opening your account, we've put some useful information all in one place to help.

Applying for a new account

How do I apply for an account?

You can apply for most of our accounts online. You may need your National Insurance number - you can find this on your payslip, pension statement or by contacting HMRC. If you already use our Online Services, login and apply. We'll use your existing details and usually be able to open your new account straightaway.

If you'd prefer to speak to and open an account with one of our specialists, contact us or visit one of our branches.

Where do I send my completed application?

If you're applying by form instead, fill in and sign the application form, then send it with your identification (if required) to:

Coventry Building Society
FREEPOST CV24
Customer Service Centre - Investments
Coventry
CV1 5BR

Please note: Royal Mail deliver FREEPOST as second class post.

If you prefer not to send your ID documents in the mail (or get certified copies where applicable), you can also bring your form and ID into any of our branches - we'll verify your ID and in many cases, we can open your account straightaway.

What identification documents do I need to provide?

We need to confirm the identity of everyone who applies for an account with us. We do this to protect against identity fraud and to comply with money laundering regulations.

There's more information about what we may need you to give us here: Identification.

Who do I make a deposit cheque out to and where do I send it?

If you're paying in by cheque, make it payable to the account holder and next to the name, write the account number you're paying into. Cheques should be crossed 'Account Payee' (many already have this printed on them). You don't need a paying-in slip. Then post your cheque to:

Coventry Building Society
FREEPOST CV24
Customer Service Centre - Investments
Coventry CV1 5BR

Please note: Royal Mail deliver FREEPOST as second class post.

Can I receive interest without tax taken off?

To check if you're eligible to receive interest on your savings without tax taken off, visit the HMRC website at hmrc.gov.uk. If you need any advice about tax, contact HMRC or your local tax office: hmrc.gov.uk/contactus.

How do I register to claim tax-free interest on my savings?

To receive interest on your savings without tax being deducted please complete a form R85 and post it to us. Download the HMRC form R85.

You can use this form to register up to two Coventry accounts at a time. If you want to register more accounts, we'll need you to fill in another form. The form only applies to a single customer so, if you want to register a joint account holder to receive interest without tax taken off, they'll need to fill in a separate form and send it to us.

Send your completed form(s) to:

Coventry Building Society
FREEPOST CV24
Customer Service Centre - Investments
Coventry
CV1 5BR

Please note: Royal Mail deliver FREEPOST as second class post.

Where can I get a 'Form R85' from?

Download form R85

You'll need to have Adobe Reader installed on your computer. If you don't already have this installed, you can download it free of charge from Adobe's website.

Then fill in the form and post it to us at the address shown on the form.

You can also request a form by calling us on 0845 766 5522 or visiting your local branch.

Can I open a Coventry account if I live abroad?

You must be resident in the UK for tax purposes at the time you open your account(s). If you hold accounts with us and then later move overseas you don't have to close your account(s).

How do I open an account under a Power of Attorney?

You can operate/open a Coventry account while under a Power of Attorney - it depends on:

  • The type of attorney document
  • The restrictions in that document
  • The type of account you're applying for

To open or start managing an existing account under a Power of Attorney, contact us or visit one of our branches.

How long will it take for my account to be opened?

For applications online we would usually be able to open your new account on the same day.

As soon as we've opened your account, we'll let you know your new account number and the details of your new account.

Why haven't I received confirmation that my password has been set up?

For security reasons, we don't send confirmation that we've set up your password. Before you can log in with your password, please allow four working days from the date you posted your password form to us. We usually set up passwords on the day we receive your form.

How can I register for Online Services?

If you would like to manage your Coventry accounts online, register online with your account number and password. Alternatively, call 0845 766 5522 and ask us to set up access to Online Services for you.

If you applied for an online account, we automatically set up access to Online Services for you as soon as we've opened your account and send you everything you need to login through the post.

What if I change my mind about my new Coventry account?

If you open an account and then decide it's not right for you, you have 14 days to close the account without charge.

To do this, come into any branch, call us on 0845 766 5522 or write to us at: Head Office, Economic House, PO Box 9, High Street, Coventry CV1 5QN. You can also close some savings accounts in Online Services.

Will I be a member of Coventry Building Society?

When you open your first 'investment share account' with us you automatically become a member of the Coventry Building Society.

Membership gives you certain rights, like voting on business matters and raising questions at our Annual General Meeting (AGM). To be entitled to vote at an AGM, on the voting date you must be aged 18 or over and have total savings balances of at least £100 (as at the previous 31 December).

For joint account holders, only the first named account holder can vote, subject to the same criteria as above. You can choose the order in which names appear on your account so it makes sense to consider this before you open your account. Every named account holder of a joint account can attend the AGM.

We explain membership rights in full in the 'Rules of the Society' - for a copy, please contact us.

Have a look at the Your Society section of this site to find out more about what Membership means at the Coventry.

Identification

We need proof of your name and address to open a new account. This is a fraud prevention measure and also allows us to comply with money laundering regulations.

We may carry out an electronic check to confirm your identity. If we need additional identification (ID), we'll let you know what we need, and we'd need to see this ID before we open your account.

Find out more

Members rights

Members rights

When you open your first investment share account with us you automatically become a member of the Society. Membership gives you certain rights, like voting on business matters and raising questions at our Annual General Meeting.

To be entitled to vote, on the voting date you must be age 18 years or over and have total savings balances of at least £100 (at the previous 31 December). For joint account holders only the first named account holder can vote, subject to the same criteria set out above. As you can choose the order in which names appear on your account, it makes sense to consider this before you open your account. Every named account holder of a joint account can attend the AGM. Membership rights are fully explained in the Rules.

General investment terms & conditions

Read more about our General investment terms and conditions below:

Have a look at our General investment terms and conditions and other useful information (28 page PDF).

Have a look at our General investment terms and conditions (Issue B) (24 page PDF).

Important information

10% tax rebate

Interest paid on savings accounts normally have 20% income tax taken off before it is paid. If you are on a low income you may qualify to pay some tax at 10% and so be able to claim a tax rebate from HM Revenue and Customs.

How do I find out if I am eligible?

To find out if you are eligible, please see the information on the HMRC website.

If I am eligible, how can I claim my tax rebate?

If you think you've paid too much tax on your savings interest you may be able to claim it back. To do this you'll need to fill in a R40 Tax Repayment Form. You'll have to do this for each year you think you paid too much tax.

For information about timings and to download the form, please visit the HMRC website.

Compensation scheme

We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS can pay compensation to depositors if a building society is unable to meet its financial obligations. Most depositors - including most individuals and small businesses - are covered by the scheme.

In respect of deposits, an eligible depositor is entitled to claim up to £85,000. For joint accounts each account holder is treated as having a claim in respect of their share so, for a joint account held by two eligible depositors, the maximum amount that could be claimed would be £85,000 each (making a total of £170,000). The £85,000 limit relates to the combined amount in all the eligible depositor's accounts with the building society, including their share of any joint account, and not to each separate account.

For further information about the compensation provided by the FSCS (including the amounts covered and eligibility to claim) please ask at your local branch or call us on 0845 766 5522, refer to the FSCS website www.FSCS.org.uk or call the FSCS on 0800 678 1100. Please note only compensation related queries should be directed to the FSCS.

Depositors not covered by the scheme include:

  • Large companies, partnerships or mutual associations
  • Local, provincial or municipal authorities
  • Credit institutions or overseas financial services institutions
  • Operators or trustees of a collective investment scheme
  • Pension and retirement funds or trustees of such a fund
  • Supranational institutions
  • Government, or central administrative authorities
  • Persons whose claim arises from transactions relating to conviction they have received for money laundering

Further details of exclusions from FSCS cover can be found on the Financial Conduct Authority website.

Bank charges ruling

Seven banks and a building society were engaged in a High Court test case with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to decide the legality of unauthorised overdraft charges.

The Court issued its judgement on the first stage of the test case on 24 April 2008. Two main points were covered in this initial judgement. Firstly, it allowed the OFT to assess the banks' current terms and conditions for fairness under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations (1999). Secondly, the judge found that none of the banks' current terms and conditions were capable of being a penalty under common law - and that they were written in broadly understandable language.

In May 2008 the judge granted the banks permission to appeal his decision on whether the terms could be assessed for fairness. The banks decided to do so and the outcome of this appeal was announced in February 2009. The Court of Appeal held that the banks' charges could be assessed for fairness by the OFT, but granted the banks permission to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.

On 25 November 2009 the Supreme Court announced that the charges in question were not assessable for fairness under Regulation 6 of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (1999). This means the banks have won their appeal and the test case has concluded.

The Supreme Court have decided it is not necessary to make any reference to the European Court of Justice.

As previously agreed with the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Authority, customer complaints relating to unauthorised overdraft charges remained on hold for the duration of the test case. As the test case has now concluded, the Financial Services Authority has agreed that these complaints should no longer remain on hold.

Please refer to the British Bankers' Association (BBA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) websites for further information.

Please note: the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took over the OFT's responsibility for consumer credit regulation from 1 April 2014.

What is happening to customer complaints about unauthorised overdraft charges?

If you have a new complaint about unauthorised overdraft charges it will be handled under our standard complaints process. We have a responsibility to take account of individual circumstances, so if you feel you are experiencing serious financial difficulties please write to us at the following address:

Customer Relations Department, PO Box 600, Binley, Coventry, CV3 9YR.

Can I complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service about my bank charges?

Yes, you can refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) providing you have exhausted the Society's internal complaints procedure.

Where can I find out more?

You can contact us by calling us on 0845 766 5522.

Alternatively, you can find more information through the following links:

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): www.fca.org.uk

The Financial Ombudsman Service: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Admin charges

For services outside the normal operation of your account we make certain charges to cover the administration costs involved. We will let you know the charge for any other service before we provide that service to you. You can also check current charges with your local branch or by contacting us.

Current charges (effective 01 May 2013)

Service Charge
Insufficient funds available to pay a standing order or one-off electronic payment. £8.00
Insufficient available funds to pay a Direct Debit £8.00
Low balance transaction charge.
Charged when the balance falls below £100 on the following accounts:
BranchSave MoneyManager (passbook)
BranchSave Instant (passbook)
Investment Account
Branch MoneyManager (Passbook)
£1 per day for counter withdrawals
50p per day for standing orders and Direct Debits
(this charge is not applied to account closures or transfers to other Coventry accounts)
Withdrawals from LINK cash machines Free
Although we will not make a charge, you may be charged by other organisations when using their cash machines
Monthly authorised overdraft usage fee.
This applies to accounts where overdrafts are permitted and will be charged if your account exceeds any interest free overdraft amount (where applicable) but remains within your overdraft limit
£5.00
Monthly unauthorised overdraft usage fee.
This applies to accounts where overdrafts are permitted and will be charged if your account goes overdrawn and you do not have an agreed overdraft limit, or if your account exceeds your overdraft limit
£25.00
Withdrawals from VISA and PLUS cash machines abroad.
We will convert the amount of the withdrawal to pounds sterling on the date we take it out of your account at the wholesale rate of exchange applied by VISA. We will then charge 2% of the sterling transaction value
2.00%
Debit card purchases abroad.
We will convert the amount of the withdrawal to pounds sterling on the date we take it out of your account at the wholesale rate of exchange applied by VISA. We will then charge 2% of the sterling transaction value
2.00%

Where charges are made for low balance transactions, returned cheques, unpaid standing orders and Direct Debits, they will appear automatically in your passbook or statement. We will deduct the full amount of the charge from your account even if there are insufficient funds in your account to cover this charge. This may result in your account becoming overdrawn. All account holders will be responsible for any debt incurred in this way, the full amount of which must be repaid to the Society.

If we increase any of our charges we will notify you at least 2 months before the change comes into effect. Where we make a charge as a result of our error, we will of course cancel, waive or refund the charge.

Dormant bank accounts

Across the UK a large number of customers have savings accounts with various banks or building societies that they may have forgotten about.

We're working with the Building Societies Association and British Bankers' Association as part of an industry wide initiative to help customers find their lost accounts. So if you think you have old, lost or forgotten savings, we may be able to help you find them.

If you are searching for an account on behalf of a deceased or incapacitated person, you will need to be legally empowered to do so.

To begin your search, all you need to do is either:

  • Go to www.mylostaccount.org.uk and complete the Reclaim Funds online process. This website can be used to search for lost accounts at any bank, building society or national savings account.
  • Or alternatively, if it is a lost Coventry account, come into one of our branches or call us and ask a member of staff for a Reclaim Funds form.
  • Any money in these accounts will always belong to the account holder or their estate, no matter how many years pass.

Please note that reclaiming funds may change your tax status, contact HMRC for further information.

Charitable Assignment Scheme

On 3rd November 1998, we introduced a new condition as part of the declaration for new customers opening savings accounts. We introduced this condition to avoid disruption to our normal business caused by the actions of speculators whose main objective in opening accounts is to receive windfall conversion payments.

Every new customer opening an account that provides membership of the Society, must agree to assign any windfall conversion benefits to which they may become entitled, to the Coventry Building Society Charitable Foundation for a period of five years from the date the account is opened.

The Coventry Building Society Charitable Foundation, which was established in 1998, is a registered charity, a majority of whose trustees are independent of Coventry Building Society. It provides financial assistance in the form of grants to registered charities operating within the area served by our branch network.

If you were an existing member on 2nd November 1998, this condition does not apply to any new accounts you open after this date (as long as you remain a member).

Coventry Building Society is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (firm reference number 150892 www.fca.org.uk). This site is intended for UK residents only. Coventry Building Society. Registered Office: Economic House, PO Box 9, High Street, Coventry CV1 5QN.

Our advisors are available Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 10am-4pm, telephone self-service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Contact your service provider for details of call charges, as costs may vary. Find out why we use an 0845 number. To maintain a quality service, calls made to and from Coventry Building Society may be monitored and recorded.