Guilty as charged?
BANKS in the UK are currently embroiled in a battle with the Office of Fair Trading over the fairness of overdraft charges. A long-running battle between banks and consumers has bought the situation to a head, with the Office of Fair Trading filing an act
BANKS in the UK are currently embroiled in a battle with the Office of Fair Trading over the fairness of overdraft charges.
A long-running battle between banks and consumers has bought the situation to a head, with the Office of Fair Trading filing an action in England's High Court asking for "a declaration on the application of the law in respect of unauthorised overdraft charges".
Customers have been arguing for years that the fees imposed by banks far exceed the cost they incur, and are unfair.
As the case continues, NEIL BARBOUR asked people in Ely what they thought of bank overdraft charges.
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Walter Smith, 27, Wilburton
"They're absolutely ridiculous to be honest. I mean, they charge you an arm-and-a-leg for going over your overdraft. It's okay for them to impose an overdraft limit, but the charges are ridiculous. I would be happy for the banks to ask for the money to cover their costs but the charges they give are well over that."
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Christine Kerswell, 66, Ely
"They charge too much. It's not always the fault of the customer, sometimes people can inadvertently go over their limit through no fault of their own and they get charged money for it. It is fair to say that the banks should take the money to cover the costs that they incur, but they make their money all over the place. The charges for cheque cards are also really bad."
Leigh Marshall, 31, Welney
"I think that they are pretty poor, but to be honest I don't go over mine that much. However, when I did go over my limit, they charged me loads of money. It would be better if the banks would just take what they are owed in costs and just left it there. That would be a much better situation."
Mrs Foot, 77, Soham
"I think they're fair. I've been a customer with my bank for a number of years and I've never had any trouble with them. In fact, they've helped me out with problems in my bank account in the past. I've never had an overdraft and I don't think people who do should go over them."
Jonny Eaton, 23, Ely
"They're outrageous. I think bank charges are absolutely extortionate. It's basically stealing from us. Instead of charging us too much, they should only take the money that they're owed for costs and try to keep their customers happy. I've been over my overdraft and they charged me for it, but I'm in the process of claiming some of it back."
Lawrence Rayment, 54, Ely
"I don't have an overdraft and I've never had one, but as a businessman I can understand how costs keep going back to the customer.
"If I had an overdraft and I got charged for going over it, my customers would have to pay more to cover my costs.