Re: NatWest are not a bank ....
"There are still cases in rural areas where users can only get dial up access, given these customers are less likely to have access to a 'branch' and more dependent on online service"
This is First Direct. Online & telephone is what it does.
"It has little to do with IT competence and more to do with effective customer communication."
And what this communication tells me speaks volumes about its approach to customers. It might be misinformation but its the information it provides and that's what you need to rely on.
There's a back-story to this. I used to be a Midland group customer for about 40 years and happy to be so despite the fact that as HSBC their business banking group couldn't get their heads round the fact that if they wanted to ring me up they needed to prove that they were who they said rather than demanding I prove who I was before starting their sales pitch... I digress.
Two things went wrong eventually. One was that they closed the branch at which I preferred to do business. The other, which is more relevant here, there was a little problem with the credit card payment system. Paying off a credit card appeared to be a duct-tape job. I'm pretty sure it handed over from one system to another half way through. One night, fairly late on, trying to find a time when systems might not be busy, I tried to pay off the card & the hand-over failed; I got an empty document message on the browser. So I decided, as one sysadmin to another, to give them a friendly heads-up that they might have a problem. They wanted to know the S/W I was using. I got a very snotty reply that they didn't support my combination of OS & browser - which had worked perfectly, which I was quite happy to support and which was nothing to do with the problem they had which I was trying to tip them off about (& may well have been an overnight run slowing down the response). This was eventually confirmed by letter & in due course I went elsewhere. Before I switched I checked on other banks, asking where there wasn't a statement online, and no other bank I looked at seemed to give a toss about customer's OS.
After a couple more banks have closed their more convenient branches it's now more or less a level playing field from that point of view so I decided to give HSBC in the form of FD another go. Based on that previous experience, and knowing that in the past the FD website had stated the same policy, I checked first. Their S/W requirements have changed in the interim but that LAN statement has now appeared. I'm awaiting clarification because from that experience I wouldn't put it past them to use the fact that I'm not on a serial link to a dial-up modem to wriggle out of any problem.