11/06/2007

£1,000 a day claimed in bank refunds

Around £100,000 in penalty charges has been paid back to customers, the General Consumers’ Council has revealed.

Bank customers are getting unfair charges refunded at a rate of £1,000 per day through the Consumer Council’s Stop Unfair Charges campaign.

Alison Laird, Senior Consumer Affairs Officers at the Consumer Council, said: “These unfair charges affect everyday people and takes money out of our economy. One young couple just about to get married who face the financial pressures of paying for a wedding and getting on the property ladded had £2,000 after challenging the bank.

“Consumers have found their voice and should continue to use it. If you find you are going into the red regularly, the Consumer Council encourages you to speak to your bank about options that will help you avoid falling victim to these excessive charges, such as setting up an overdraft facility or budgeting differently.”

Last month, the Competition Commission told Northern Ireland’s four main banks that they were charging their customers too much.

A two-year investigation also found their charges were not clear and current customers faced an unduly complex charging structure.

Banks have since introduced fee-free accounts and several new products have been launched.

(JM/SP)

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