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Thursday, 26 November 2009

Banks shaft the public yet again

So, the Supreme Court decided to support the fat cat bankers yesterday not the public affected by the massive banking charges. The court overturned all of the earlier court rulings that had allowed the Office of Fair Trading to investigate whether these bank charges were fair.

I fully appreciate that many will jump in here and say, well if you don't go overdrawn without the banks permission then you won't be charged.

I get that but there some occasions when this does happen and is it right that you get slapped £30 for the bank to write to tell you then another £30 for the unofficial overdraft charge, plus interest?

The banks were claiming that if the Supreme Court had supported the little man and not the greedy banks it would have cost them an estimated £2.6billion per year. Just a little less for those massive salaries and bonuses then.

On the BBC website who have covered the story;

"Banks welcomed the ruling, said there had been major changes to current account packages recently, and pointed out that these unplanned overdraft fees could be avoided.

Seven banks and one building society wanted the court to overturn two previous rulings that said the OFT had the power to investigate unauthorised overdraft fees."

There is an excellent question and answer section over at independent, This is Money, who lead the battle against these unfair banking charges.

Let's see where the fight goes now, I am sure we have not heard the end of this yet.

1 comment:

Matthew Huntbach said...

It's difficult to escape using banks these days, and most of them have this sort of charging policy. People whose money does run short so they are in danger of these charges may be people who really are struggling to get by rather than just being feckless. Not everyone can keep a float in their account comfortable enough to know one little mistake won't hit them hard.

The charges imposed for these things are devastating for anyone on income support. What is worse is the snowball effect - getting hit once pulls you down and makes it more likely you are going to get hit again.

Some years ago, I was hit by this. My previous impeccable financial record was hit by setting up home with someone who proved to be a financial disaster. I got out of that relationship, but my trying to re-establish good finances was hit for years by the banks profiteering from my situation. The worst case was where I gave a cheque to someone who promised me it wouldn't be put in for a couple of weeks. The cheque was put in right away, it went through, but a whole series of direct debits then didn't go through, I was charged for each of these and then daily for my account being overdrawn, and unable to do anything until my salary went in.

So one little mistake - and it was that this person had just put that cheque in amongst many and had forgotten to put it aside - cost me hundreds of pounds at a time when I had to watch every pound, and set me back for about a year.

These days there is strong pressure on us to use direct debits, but if we have them this sort of thing can happen. The banks encourage it, and then deliberately profiteer from those who are desperate. It is despicable behaviour.

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