Bank charges hit annual £4.7bn says Which?

Bank overdraft charges have ballooned to £4.7 billion a year, a Which? report has revealed.

Banks typically charge between £25 and £30 for unauthorised overdrafts, with Which? labelling the Royal Bank of Scotland, Natwest and HBOS as the worst offenders.

The three all levy charges of £118 from accounts going £50 over £250 authorised overdraft limit for three days.

Abbey was the next highest, charging £110. Northern Rock had the best rate of charges, at just £28 over the same period.

“Many thousands of people are fed up with being made to pay unreasonable charges and are preparing to do something about it,” said Doug Taylor of Which?

Which? has called for more people to challenge the charges, pointing to some people who have successfully challenged their banks.

It pointed to Matt Tones of Hertfordshire, who received £800 from Barclays ñ twice the amount that he had originally been charged.

He used a standard template letter downloaded from the Which? website. Although Barclays said that it disagreed with his complaint, it made the payment as a goodwill gesture.

“Although Matt was very successful banks have remained, for the most part, resolutely silent on this issue in the hope that it will just go away,” added Mr Taylor.

“The sheer number of people downloading the template letters from our site shows that the banks can’t ignore this issue for much longer.”

© Adfero Ltd

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