Barclays overdraft charges and current account changes – MoneyExpert.com comment and analysis

MoneyExpert whole-market analysis
Average APR on unauthorised overdraft charges: 20.78%
Average APR on authorised overdraft charges: 14.80%
Average interest-free overdraft limit: £234.11

Sean Gardner, founder of MoneyExpert.com, said: "Reducing a £35 fee to a £22 fee is a welcome but hardly earth-shattering move by Barclays, particularly if you can still theoretically incur multiple fees over a short period of time."

"Let’s be honest – overdraft fees only matter if you spend beyond your means in the first place. Some other providers have put systems in place to warn their customers that they are approaching their overdraft limits – for example Lloyds TSB customers can sign up to a text service for £2.50 a month, or even a free weekly text update."

"What is worrying about this debate is that so little emphasis has been put on helping people to understand why they are being charged in the first place. If providers and lobbyists continue to argue about fees we may miss an opportunity to educate people and make them realise that sensible spending is an even better way to avoid punitive bank charges."

"Also of concern is the decision to remove completely the 0.1 per cent credit interest paid to standard bank account holders. This seems like the classic attempt to bury some bad news in amongst a lot of good news – perhaps someone should ask Barclays why they’re not increasing their credit interest rates rather than losing them altogether. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if the savings made by not paying credit interest will pay for the reduction in bank charges anyway."

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