New bank charges blueprint on its way
The fall-out from the meandering bank charges legal saga continues as the Office of Fair Trading are said to be due to reveal the planned future of bank charges later today.
A voluntary code agreed by the OFT and the banks is believed to be in the pipeline and MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis is predicting that charges in excess of £10 will be binned, presumably because the banks have privately conceded that they are unfair.
But there’ll be no refunds for customers who have incurred higher charges in the past – the voluntary charge levels will almost certainly be higher than most campaigners would have hoped for and most of the banks will eventually find other ways to maintain their profits.
At the weekend, The Observer highlighted the plight of a 20-year-old Alliance & Leicester customer, Lewis Mathers, who was charged the grand total of £80 after mistakenly going 15p over his authorised overdraft limit. That’s an interest rate of 53,333% and an APR of almost 2,000,000%.