The privilege of banking with the “big four” high street chains has cost the British public £2.2 billion over the past five years, Halifax has estimated.
The avoidable excess charges are down to the banks reserving lower interest rates and overdraft charges for new customers, claims Halifax.
Competition in the current account market has only really heated up in the past five years – in 2000 only 300,000 changed providers, compared to highs of a million in recent years.
Halifax claims that it was at the forefront of the newly cut-throat industry, when in 2001 it launched the best current account then on the market, paying four per cent and charging ten per cent on authorised overdrafts.
“We have taken on the high street banks in their own back yard, current accounts, and have taken market share by offering real alternatives that reward them for their loyalty,” said Peter Jackson of HBOS (Halifax Bank of Scotland).
“We have seen the benefits of this approach and will continue to offer customers a fair deal in the future.”
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