Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Banking Double Speak

The Supreme Court has ruled that earlier court rulings that allowed the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the fairness of charges for unauthorised overdrafts will be overturned. The Banks are happy, obviously. They have said there had been major changes to current account packages recently, and pointed out that these unplanned overdraft fees could be avoided.
I assume by that they mean that you can arrange to increase or arrange your overdraft facility to enable you to avoid having an unauthorised overdraft. Well I have attempted to do just that 3 times in the last 18 months and been turned down every time. Even when such a facility was only requested for one month on one occasion. I have also calculated that the amount of my overdraft is actually less than the total value of bank charges I have accrued through their practises of bouncing and charging each payments separately and irregular account activity fees occurred when I have gone overdrawn. In some months solely because their charges were taken out in the week before my regular pay check is lodged.
Yes I have gone into an unauthorised overdraft situation because the banking month doesn't tally with my pay month. So at the end of their month they take charges out within 14 days, whereas I get paid 15 days later. Angela Knight, from the British Banking Association said:

"The banks are mindful of their customers, they know the concerns of those who have paid the unauthorised overdraft fees and those who have not.

"Individuals can avoid any charge by putting their overdraft arrangements in place first."

However, I wonder how many like me in recent months have been met with indifference or rejection when trying to do just that.


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