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The Bank Charge Revolt

A recent report has found that there are drastic differences between unauthorised overdraft charges levied by UK banks. For example going £60 overdrawn will result in charges of £25 to £133 depending on the bank. The lack of consistency in charges between banks is widely being labelled as ‘unfair’.

Suing banks for unjust account charges is becoming quite common as more attention is being drawn to the issue of unlawful overdraft fees by programmes like BBC’s Watchdog and the myriad of consumer-friendly financial websites that are giving advice and even template letters for unhappy customers to use against their banks.

Many cases are settled out of court but banks have responded robustly to the ‘challenge’, with some increasing their overdraft fees, with others closing the accounts of the customers who have sued them.

Leading bank figures have strongly suggested that unauthorised overdraft charges should be capped, but in turn banks could retaliate by charging for everyday banking services or impose monthly fees.

The differences between the charges banks issue are quite eye-opening. HSBC will charge £25 for an unauthorised overdraft charge whereas Alliance & Leicester, Natwest and Halifax will impose fees of over £100. The difference between the highest (Natwest) and the lowest (HSBC) is £108.

The response from the BBA (British Banker’s Association) points out that customers should avoid any charges by simply staying in credit, adding that the UK is one of the few countries that you can get free banking in, whilst overseas customers have to pay charges for the use of their bank accounts.

Many consumers are taking greater control of their finances and are no longer prepared to except the banks enforcing what they see as unfair charges or actions against them like, for instance, having to pay to withdrawal cash from a cash machine. Further to this consumers are now looking for ethical bank accounts.

James Quinton is a writer based in the UK. He has had articles published worldwide. Compare bank accounts rates online.

Source: www.articlebiz.com