Banks agree to trim charges

NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have announced a cutting of the size of charges levied on customers who exceed their overdraft limits, miss direct debits and standing orders or who see cheques bounce.

Chief executive for the group Brian Hartzer said the move was being made in light of the “ongoing concern” among customers about the issue.

He added: “We thought it was time to move this particular customer concern forward by cutting our charges”.

However, Mr Hartzer stated that the position on past charges will not be determined until a test case about the matter has passed through the court process.

The changes mean bounced cheques or missed automated payment charges will fall to £5 from £38 next month, while unauthorised overdraft charges will be halved to £15.

Such a move may benefit those struggling with debt management issues.

Chief executive of consumer campaign group Which? Peter Vicary-Smith called the announcement a “victory for consumer pressure”, but argued the banks should also pay back past charges.

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