An article published in Metro on Wednesday 23rd December confirms the news from the previous day that “Banks were given the green light to continue with “rip-off” overdraft charges after the trading watchdog ruled out continuing its legal fight. The Office of fair Trading said it would not challenge the ruling made by the Supreme Court, allowing banks to carry on stinging personal account holders for going overdrawn without approval. However, the OFT raised ‘significant concerns’ about personal accounts were operated and the lack of competition in the market”.
Debt Advisory Line have spoken to thousands of individuals over the last two years who have fallen into debt as a direct result of hefty bank charges that have been levied against them for an unauthorised overdraft however small or large. For many these fees create a downward spiral into a virtually inescapable debt cycle that causes huge stress to the individual as well as potentially their family and friends. While it is very unlikely now that anyone looking for a refund on previously charged fees it is hoped that the OFT’s concern may lead to the UK banks being far more transparent about the fees they will charge for those straying in to the red on their personal accounts without prior agreement. John Fingleton the Chief Executive of the OFT is believed to have threatened to ask the Government to change the law if the banks did not co-operate, a stance supported by the Treasury. In response a treasury Spokesperson stated that they are “working towards a voluntary agreement with the banks, but we don’t rule out further action if this doesn’t deliver the kind of changes we expect to see. Through the Financial Services Bill we are legislating to give consumers greater powers and protection for the future, including the ability to take a group action through the courts wherever there is mis-selling or abuse on the parts of banks”.
Debt Advisory Line encourages anyone experiencing overdraft, credit card, utility bill or unsecured loan related debt problems to take a look at our web site to learn more about debt management and the various solutions available. Alternatively, they can call for free advice on 0800 157 7254.
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