Banks Getting My Name Wrong

Banks seem to like to get my name wrong, gah. I'm Toby not Tony

Today I want to talk about a pet peeve of mine. Banks getting my name wrong.

Toby Osbourn

Some background, my name is Toby Osbourn.

Toby isn’t the most common first name in the world, but there are some fairly notable Tobys (Toby Keith, Toby Jones, Toby Anstis).

Osbourn isn’t a particularly uncommon surname, however there are some fairly famous other ways to spell it. (Ozzy famously spells his surname incorrectly).

None of this matters though because when signing up to services (like banks) I give them my name. It goes into their database and for all communication it shouldn’t matter how other people like to spell my name right? Wrong.

Tony Osborne

I fool you not, about 8 years ago First Trust decided to send me a letter addressed to Tony Osborne.

They decided the b would be better served as an n in Toby. They also decided the u wasn’t important in Osbourn but thought the e made a nice addition.

It will shock you to know that at no time did I ever spell or mistype my name like this in any form of communication with them.

I had received letters after that were correct. A baffling anomaly.

Tony Osbourn

I had an opportunity to change banks sometime after that first incident and remember thinking “bloody First Trust couldn’t even be trusted to spell my name correctly, I am definitely jumping ship”.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. Because some business practices are stuck in the 80’s I had to order a chequebook from my bank. I couldn’t do this online because it was my first time ordering a chequebook – so I called them.

The entire way through the call the person at Ulster Bank kept calling me Tony, I decided she was lazily reading my name wrong but she knew my account number and all the important stuff. She said I would receive the chequebook in about 5 days. Cool.

Immediately after the call I get one of those “How did we do” surveys and for whatever reason I decided to answer it and highlighted that the entire way through the call I was called by the wrong name.

About 4 days later the chequebook appears, I note it is addressed to Toby Osbourn (which is good because that is my name, after all!).

The next day I get a phone call from one of the managers at Ulster Bank following up on my feedback. I thought this was great customer service. He apologised for the issue and said they will be looking to make changes on how people are training on the phone. All positive stuff.

Then he said that he decided to check what details were used when creating the new chequebook and he realised that even though I am Toby on their system, they were able to make a chequebook and assign it to Tony Osbourn.


I got home and checked, as I mentioned earlier it was addressed to me, but sure enough when I looked at the back pages for ordering a new book, Tony Osbourn.

Tony Osbourn
My name is apparently Tony

I have had to wait around 10 days now to receive a chequebook that I needed about 11 days ago.

Names aren’t hard

Names aren’t hard. I’ll tell you what is hard, numbers. How am I supposed to trust a bank doing sums if they can’t do words?

B being close to N on the keyboard is the common excuse I’m told when someone spots that they’ve typed Tony by mistake.

9 and 0 are mighty close together on my keyboard, I hope they never typo that.

I really don’t understand

I have little faith in banking systems that don’t share common information, and banking staff who are so sure of themselves that they re-type information out rather than copy/paste or at the very least confirm.

If you work in a bank and can explain why all the systems don’t share common information (like name, address, etc) please do get in touch.

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