Abbey is top in overcharging

| September 3, 2007 | 0 Comments

It has been declared that over the last 6 years, bank customers who have been charged fees have paid an average of £742 - this figure includes fees such as unpaid direct debits, bounced cheques and unauthorised overdrafts.

The research comes from online interviews with more than 4,000 customers by polling company YouGov for uSwitch, the online comparison service. The banking industry is denying the charges and banks’ legal teams are getting ready for a High Court showdown in early 2008 that will decide whether they have a legal right to deduct the charges.

The Office of Fair Trading is also investigating bank charges but has postponed its report until after the High Court ruling.

The research established that the most aggressive of the ‘big five’ High Street banks is Lloyds TSB, where the average customer will have paid £800 over the lat 6 years but this is minimal compared to Abbey, where the average charges have been £1,376, or £230 a year. Approximately 1 customer in 20 has been charged at least £2,500 across all banks – this more than £1 for every day they held their account.

A spokesperson for highlighted that these charges have provided a rewarding income for the banks, totalling £8.6bn for the big five in the last 6 years. Consequently, if the result of the test case is not in the banks’ favour, this income will be missed.

However, a spokesperson for the British Bankers Association (BBA) said the figures were misleading and to describe the industry in this way is wrong.

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