HSBC and First Direct simplify charges
At the moment, the banks charge £25 set-up fee for people going over their agreed limit.
However, from November this will change to a £5-a-day usage fee, capped at £80 for a monthly charging period, somewhat less appalling than the current £150.
The charges are also capped by the amount the account holder exceeds their authorised overdraft limit: so if the transgression is only of the order of £15, that is the maximum that they will be charged, even if they stay over this limit for more than three days.
Customers will also benefit from a £10 unauthorised overdraft 'buffer' before any charges start to kick in.
Also, which is quite handy, the banks will alert customers who go over their limit by text. They won't be charged anything if their balance is within their limit before 11.45pm the same day.
This move follows Barclays' recent re-jigging of their charges system.
A man named Andy Mielczarek, head of retail products at HSBC UK, said: "We have spent time listening to our customers on how we can improve our overdraft offering."
"These changes have been designed to provide a simpler way for customers to understand the cost of any borrowing not agreed in advance."
The bank helpfully point out that there will be no charges if you DO stick in your limit. Well, duh. Next time though, how about getting rid of pointless charges altogether?