Survey: Most bank customers asking penalty refunds get them

| March 23, 2007 | 0 Comments
Survey: Most bank customers asking penalty refunds get them

Amid continuing accusations that UK banks are overcharging for things such as overdrawn accounts or exceeding a credit limit, a new report includes data showing that 85 percent of people who ask for refund of what they believe are unfair bank penalties have been at least partially successful in having those fees refunded. Only a third of those who believe they have been charged unfairly, however, have requested a refund, according to the survey, conducted by consumer advocacy group Which?

Many banks have insisted that the penalties they charge, in some cases as high as £30 for a bounced check, are fair. So far, however, they have not been anxious to contest any of the claims in court. Banks have not been forthcoming about just how many refund requests they have received, but Consumer Action Group says it has record of over 6,000 people who have received full or partial refunds of penalty charges.

In a survey of 2,228 adults, a quarter of those saying that they had complained about fees that were two high said that the bank had been either unresponsive or unhelpful in responding to the complaint. In that case, says a Which? spokeswoman, the customer should report their case to the Financial Ombudsman Service. So far, according to Which?, the banks have settled each case referred to the FOS.

The Office of Fair Trading is expected to publishing its findings on whether or not the penalty charges are fair in the near future.

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