Coventry Building Society customer who lives in Bishops Itchington will 'lose lifeline' over debit card change

A disabled woman who lives in Bishops Itchington says she feels she is ‘no longer needed’ by a building society after she was told that the use of her debit card will be taken away from her.

Mother-of-two Sharon Bougoussa, 48, who has an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis which makes it difficult for her to get around, received a letter from Coventry Building Society recently telling her that, as of September, the Visa debit card she has for the account she has had for more than 20 years will be replaced by a cash point card.

Sharon Bougoussa, who has severe MS, has been told that her debit card with Coventry Building Society will soon be changed to a cash point card. This means she will have to change to a bank to be able to use online shopping or to be able to use chip and pin.

Sharon Bougoussa, who has severe MS, has been told that her debit card with Coventry Building Society will soon be changed to a cash point card. This means she will have to change to a bank to be able to use online shopping or to be able to use chip and pin.

This will stop her from being able to shop online or use the chip and pin function forbuying goods over the counter.

Sharon said: “They are effectively removing a lifeline.

“When I spoke to them they said they are concentrating on mortgages and savings and that with all the new apps etc the Visa cards are costing too much money.

“I told the I need the card and that I been with them for over 25 years and I feel as if my custom is no longer needed.”

Sharon is now going to close her account with the building society and move her money to a bank account with a new debit card.

The building society will be removing overdrafts for 15,500 customers while 34,000 users will have their debit cards withdrawn and replaced with Link ATM Cashcards.

The move affects the three savings accounts in its MoneyManager range, and will force customers in need of current account features or overdrafts to switch to another bank.

The accounts are called MoneyManager (Debit Card), Telephone MoneyManager (Debit Card) and MoneyManager (Coventry First)” and they have not been offered to new customers since 2015, yet 34,000 customers still have them, and 80 per cent have used the current account features in the past year.

Coventry Building Society said: “Providing current account facilities on a savings account is increasingly costly and complex to do for the small number of members who use them and is out of step with our straightforward business model.

“While it’s been a difficult decision, we’ve done it with the best interests of our membership as a whole and are doing all we can do to make the change as straightforward as possible.”

The building society's helpline number is 0800 121 8899.