PM breaks silence over bank charges case

23 September 2009


(To the tune of London Bridge Is Falling Down…) "Martin Lewis is our friend, is our friend, is our friend. Martin Lewis is our friend, he kills coppers. Let him out to kill some more, kill some more, kill some more, let him out to kill some more, Martin Lewis"

That’s all untrue of course. What we’ve done there is take a popular song from the football terraces of the 1970s and adapted it, casting the richer-than-you-are consumer champion Martin Lewis as the folk hero, when in fact the song is about murderer Harry Roberts.

Sorry about that. Martin Lewis is indeed our friend because he’s been able to get some kind of response from the government over the ongoing bank charges debacle. In association with Consumer Action Group and PenaltyCharges, M-Lew’s Money Saving Expert site got together a petition with over 70,000 signatories. It included the following…

“In the UK it’s virtually obligatory to have a bank account, yet there’s no competition over charges, & penalty charges often leave finances irrevocably damaged. The Charter’s key clauses are * £5 is a fair max for bank charges * The stay on reclaiming is anti-consumer & should be stopped * If not, a stay should also be put on banks levying charges & ensuing credit defaults * It should be pre-decided that if the case is successful, banks must be made to pay back past charges plus interest automatically; customers shouldn’t need to complain, and all related credit defaults should be wiped.”


The thing was, that petition was submitted way back in November 2007, and remained the largest petition that the government had failed to respond to. Until today, that is, as Gordon Brown HAS responded.

One of the most significant things the Prime Minister says is:

“As for the charges that are the subject of the test case, I believe that a negotiated solution could be in everyone's best interests, and so we have called on the banks and the regulators to explore a quicker way to resolve this without further delay.”

So it looks as though the banks know they are beaten and that the end is in sight for the thousands of people who have been grotesquely and unlawfully overcharged by their banks. Refund windfalls could be on the way soon, possibly automatically and possibly for millions of customers. Just don’t spend it all on shite folks.

TOPICS:   Banking


  • applesux
    Great, now that the government own much of these banks, they might give back millions to some twats that can't control their finances. You are a spoiled bunch regarding banks! You will see when the same banks start following some directives from their branches abroad such as: Having a monthly charge for the privilege of having a bank account and charging for using their on line services, and even have a default fee for every cheque book that you request... did I mention that they also charge if you check your balance on ATMS?
    Martin Lewis is no friend of mine. He is an absolute cunt of the highest order.
  • H-dog
    Oh the poor old banks, scraping to make ends meet recently and now it looks as though they'll have to pay back money they've stolen over the last 7 years. I know it was all lawful but I say stolen because they have made up their own rules and screwed people to a wall given them no other options like the lovely clampers creeping around road with a £200 release fee. I've never had a bank change in my life but I welcome this. Banking has never been free, all this will mean is they try and get it somewhere else but with the number of people this will help get out of a financial spiral, they can't/won't be to aggressive as at the end of the day the more people that bank with them the more money they'll eventually make.
  • NellieIrrelevant
    More to the point, where in this steaming heap of specious, vacuous twaddle, is there anything resembling a commitment to act on the part of the government, or even a suggestion that the banks are in the wrong? "I believe that a negotiated solution could be in everyone’s best interests, and so we have called on the banks and the regulators to explore..." blah blah blah. Breaking silence indeed. He could have broken it by farting, it would have made as much difference. And applesux is right. Bank charges are like MPs expenses, ie they are a inflated, extremely dodgy way of subsidising the banks' everyday operations, which the public has forgotten they used to pay for - fees for writing cheques, withdrawing cash, etc etc etc. I haven't paid penalty charges for a long time, less through shrewdness than the fact that I am dead boring and predictable. Efectively all the people who have been getting overdrawn and then whacked for charges have been susbidising me. A big thank you to you all.
  • cookie
    Hmmm, I wonder how it would work for me. Lloyd TSB's Bank charges really ruined me financially between the ages of 18-21, to the tune of a good couple of thousand at least (well, that and my own lack of financial responsibility). That account was shut down in 2005 though, so I wonder- if and when the day comes that refunds are finally made, how I'd go about getting mine back!
  • CompactDstrxion
    applesux Sure it's all alright if the oh-so-hard-done-by banks conduct a campaign of law-breaking and consumer-crushing as long as you can get a flipping free cheque book
  • zahid
    hi to everyone a lost we won over the the poeple who backs the banks they proply work there i know a lot of poeple who have been charge unfairly i my self been charge many times for a few pound i have charged £60 pound i am so gald i can not beilive it good luck to every one
  • barry
    Why the hell do people complain about bank charges? I haven't incurred any bank charges ever because I simply spend less than I earn. Its really not that fucking complicated. Whilst I do think the charges are quite steep they dont get added without a reason. Perhaps the dicks who want their money back should just stop throwing it down the pisser?
  • Matt B.
    I was hit with many bank charges purely because pay days / salary days meant the money couldn't get in the account before the banks started to try and direct debit. I had every intention of paying my dues but have been left out of pocket to the tune of several hundred pounds in years gone by.
  • bernard b.
    @barry So if your employer pays you a week late and your DD's bounce you'll be happy to be charged £30? And of course if you are on a low wage like a lot of people, that £30 could begin a vicious circle where the bank charges you another £30 and another £30. It's not just people being irresponsible with their money.
  • cookie
    @ Barry It's such a shame that everyone in the world isn't as perfect as you, especially given that it's not 'fucking complicated'. What an insufferable arse you truly are.
  • Inactive
    No doubt those of us that don't spend the banks money without their permission will very soon incur bank charges to just run an account. Thanks a bunch Martin Lewis.
  • Ze m.
    Barry is right! I never had any bank charges and if you don't keep a steady balance in your bank account... you might as well put your cash underneath your mattress.
  • FR B.
    You are lucky, IF you have a bank account in france (maybe other countries too) with credit agricole you get charged €5.80 per month just for having the account PLUS €80 a year for a card to withdraw / spend your own money from said account :( When FREE banking ends you moaning twats only have yourselves to blame :) YES lets kill off the fat cats and their payoffs / fat pensions sure, BUT you don't get any other service for FREE in the UK do you ???
  • Andy
    @Barry I hope you never loose you job, faultier on payments as you have no cash to pay bills etc. Though if you do, I will laugh my god dam ass off for you being such a self righteous dick!
  • Ze m.
    What those twats fail to realize is that those unfair bank charges would be charged as well other services that are actually free as MR FR Banker has exemplified.
  • Matt. S.
    How would an automatic refund work for charges made on accounts that are no longer open. or for instance charges made against what was a joint account but is now only in one person's name? Also does anyone know how far back the refund would go? (by anyone know, I mean is there anyone with knowledge of the law or the proposals who would care to speculate?)
  • NellieIrrelevant
    The money will be returned the same way ITV returned the money to all those viewers who phoned in to vote for shows where the winners had already been chosen. IE if you send us six copies of your itemised bill for four years ago plus a ruby prised out of the Holy Grail we will refund your money. Remember how four years ago the economic headlines were screaming 'record profits at LloydsTSB/Barclays' - profits hit £6bn etc etc etc... now we all know where those profits were coming from. Quasi-legal extortion. Thing is though, let's not fool ourselves. When this gravy train is derailed it will be back to the bad old days of chrages for writing cheques, using ATMs, and wiping your feet when you come into a branch.
  • Brian
    Hi, Brian here. Martin Lewis is my hero!
  • Bob
    Martin lewis is a twat. people get charges for a reason, namely being shite with their finances. now all of us will need to pay for our banking
  • david
    Does anyone know if this applies to business accounts? I've already had £7,000 repaid in stolen charges and have another case pending that the bank will not budge on even though I am in severe hardship. It's my business account that I want to claim back charges as this is where banks ruined me with their illegal charges. Any word on timing of when we will get out money back?
  • Stephen
    I'ts not people who are to blame for their financial Problems. I Blame the banks for being Greedy. All they have to do is look at someones account to see they are struggling, why put them in a worse position by taking more money from them?? Lloyds TSB have financially fucked me the last 5yrs. I was never 1p overdrawn since the age of 16 and my circumstances changed job wise and I was made redundant and as I live on my own and Pay all Bills and rent myself, I started to struggle as my new job paid half the income of my previous job. This meant i would miss the odd D/D. And for this LLoyds TSB would incur a bank charge of say £20-30, by taking this it would put me into an un/planned Overdraft which they charge £20 a day for the pleasure of them putting you in that posisiton. This £20 charge is then added up to a maximum of 10days and they add their missed D/D charge ontop of that, and other extra charges here and there. So I have had the misfortune of being charged upto £260 a month in Un/planned Overdraft charges, which the bank kindly put you into without contacting you first!! I have now had to take out a loan from lloyds which i pay back £150 a month to try and get out of my current financial struggle. I have now had to move out my flat and move back to my parents house to get me out of this financial cesspool of shit i'm in at the minute. So once im back on my feet i will be banking elsewhere!!
  • lee
    i know barry and he makes love to his pet great dane
  • tony b.
    well i heard the banks have got away with paying anything back again. i submitted my forms years ago to barclays and havent heard a dickybird. and after the worst financial disaster in nhistory the robbing bastards are raping huge city bonuses and bank bonuses again! we are royally screwed. if we dont get up off are arses and bring about a revolution in this country then you have yourselves to blame. grab the tories and labour by the throats and fling them out of parliament rise up
  • logiciel m.
    Olá guru, que aliciar você a postar um artigo. Este artigo foi extremamente interessante, especialmente porque eu estava à procura de ideias sobre este assunto na quinta-feira passada.

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