Is RBS pre-empting the Supreme Court?

| September 9, 2009 | 0 Comments

Consumer advice sites Moneyfacts and have reacted with cynicism to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) decision to lower overdraft fees.

RBS and sister bank NatWest cut unauthorised overdraft fees in half to £15 earlier this week.

Charges for bounced cheques were reduced from £38 to £5.

The changes come ahead of a ruling by the Supreme Court which will decide whether the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will be allowed to dictate how much banks can charge for overdraft fees.

Consumer advice site Moneyfacts said the move by RBS reflects a wider belief in the banking sector that the court will rule in favour of the OFT.

“Banks are coming to realise they will lose,” said Michelle Slade, Moneyfacts spokesperson.

“This looks like an attempt to pre-empt a decision on the case.”

Price comparison site said the banks had done the “decent thing” by being “the first provider to step up to the plate.”

However, it added: “Only time will tell if this new charging structure does what it says on the tin without carrying any nasty hidden surprises.”

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