Poll: Most would change banks over fees

| March 12, 2007 | 0 Comments

Poll: Most would change banks over fees

A new poll from uSwitch says that over 80 percent of Britons would switch banks if the bank they currently use were to introduce monthly or yearly fees for standard current accounts. This is a significant number, considering that the average length of time that respondents to the poll reported holding their account is sixteen years.

The poll found that the majority of respondents think that £4.07 would be a fair charge for bouncing a check or going over an overdraft limit. Respondents also said that the banks should not charge a fee on overdrafts or bounced checks that exceed the available funds in their account by £10 or less, and that once a current account becomes overdrawn the bank should just freeze the account rather than continuing to charge fees.

The poll asked respondents what kind of fees they have been charged on their accounts. The largest number, 71 percent, said they have been charged for exceeding overdraft limits, while 58 percent said they had been charged for direct debit or standing order payments that have bounced. Another 27 percent said that they had been charged for making debit payments without sufficient funds and 24 percent had been charged for bouncing a check.

The new poll results, which emphasize customer unhappiness with bank fees, come as the Office of Fair Trading is about to report findings from an investigation into current account charges. The OFT is expected to recommend that banks cap fees. Such a move would shrink profit margins and make it more likely that banks will introduce regular fees on accounts, according to uSwitch.

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