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Consumer rights survival guide

Bank charges

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There has been a lot of press coverage in the last few years regarding bank charges. That is, charges banks make if, for example, you exceed your agreed overdraft limit. The controversy began when one man decided that he was unhappy with the charges levied against him by his bank, and he believed that these charges broke the rules of fair trading as laid down by the Office of Fair Trading. The banks offered to pay back his bank charges if he kept schtum, but he was having non of it and started the ball rolling for hundreds of thousands of people to claim back millions of pounds in bank charges. However, the banks soon cottoned on to the fact that this was going to cost them an absolute fortune, and are fighting in court to stop people reclaiming these bank charges.

This court case has been going on for a couple of years now and will hopefully be concluded soon, but until it is, banks have put repaying any charges on hold. However, you should still send in a letter asap if you do want to reclaim bank charges. This will ensure a speedy repayment if the banks lose in court. You should also be aware that if you are in 'financial hardship' then the banks have to repay your bank charges. If this is the case then you should include this in your letter to the bank.

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