Not any more! You may remember, back in March that I told you about a move to reclaim unfair bank charges. The BBC's 'Money Programme' featured the issue on 12 December 2006 in an item entitled 'Bank Robbery!'. Even the Open University has investigated the issue.
Well, hopefully, in the near future, you won't have to claim these charges back, because they may be stopped from imposing high charges in the first place. The average charge at the moment is about £30.
Treasury Minister Ed Balls has, apparently agreed that penalty charges imposed by banks should be no more than the real administrative cost to the bank.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Social Exclusion spokesman, Matthew Taylor said
"Ministers confirmed what we have known all along - that banks, like credit card companies, cannot justify penalty charges for anything above their administrative costs.
" The law says bank charges must be drastically slashed. If the banks postpone reducing their charges until the OFT findings are published, they are clearly ripping off their customers to make billions of pounds in unfair profits.
" Everyone needs to know that their penalty charges are illegal and they should phone their bank to claim them back. The £4.5 billion in penalty charges each year by Britain's top banks is the biggest bank robbery in Britain - against their own customers. It must be stopped."