Home > Managing Your Money > Learning to Live With Bank Charges

Learning to Live With Bank Charges

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 15 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Bank Charges Overdraft Small Claims

The bank charges fiasco represents one of the most significant consumer actions in British history. Despite the failure of the case brought by the Office of Fair Trading, many banks have voluntarily reduced their charges - making life easier for those who use their overdrafts.

Existing Claims

But, while reductions in charges are to be welcomed, many banks seem to have taken the opportunity to put other claims against them on the back burner. There are thousands of outstanding claims against banks - many of which arise simply from a bank's own mistake.

If you think you have been the victim of a banking error, you can still appeal against charges.

Step by Step

The first step in this process should be to set up another bank account. You may find that you end up getting the money back, but that your bank refuses to offer you an account any longer. As a result, opening a new account is a good safety mechanism. After this, you should begin by working out exactly how much you are owed. Go back through your statements and work out exactly how much you think you are out of pocket.

Having done this, the next step should be to simply write to your bank informing them that you are making a claim. In this letter you should set out how much you are claiming back, and break this down into charges and interest. You should also demand that the bank remove any default notices which may have appeared on your credit rating as a result of non-payment of the charges - this is very important in the long term.

Your bank is legally obliged to respond within fourteen days. If this does not happen, make a phone call immediately. It may be the case that the bank now offers to give you either a full or partial refund. In the latter case, refuse to accept it and write again demanding that they pay the full balance owing to you.

Bluffing Banks

Alternatively, your bank may write at this point saying that you are, in fact, not entitled to claim back the money. At this point, you should inform them that you will be taking court action against them to get your money back. Visit the Small Claims Court website and initiate court proceedings. You should understand that, at this point, you will be responsible for bearing the costs of the proceedings. However, you can claim these back in court. It is highly unlikely, however, that the case will progress this far - a more realistic outcome is that the bank will wait until the last minute and then settle with you for the full amount. Alternatively, they may completely ignore your claim. If you receive no response within fourteen days, the Court will automatically find in your favour. This seems to be the most frequent course of action on the part of the banks.

Reclaiming your charges can be a lengthy process. However, when you consider that it is fairly easy to accumulate penalties of thousands of pounds, the extra work is certainly worth it.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • MoneyExpertise
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    Lib - Your Question:I was made redundant 3 years ago. I have been living abroad 5he last year & half. I am now back in the UK…
    27 July 2017
  • MoneyExpertise
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    Amy - Your Question:Im 17 years old and have 20 days until I have my baby at the moment I am getting income support but I am…
    27 July 2017
  • Lib
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    I was made redundant 3 years ago. I have been living abroad the last year & half. I am now back in the UK but I am Ill &…
    27 July 2017
  • Andrew
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    hi, my son has just given up his part time job and will be unemployed for 1 month,while he waits to start his Masters in mid…
    26 July 2017
  • Lib
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    I was made redundant 3 years ago. I have been living abroad 5he last year & half. I am now back in the UK but I am I'll &…
    26 July 2017
  • Amy
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    Im 17 years old and have 20 days until i have my baby at the moment i am getting income support but i am wondering if there…
    25 July 2017
  • Roxy
    Re: How Much Tax do I Have to Pay?
    My husband has started a new job if he gets £560 a week how much will his take home be after tax?
    25 July 2017
  • MoneyExpertise
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    Sue - Your Question:I'm 60 years old the carer for my 7 yr old grandson and after 17 years of working for the same company I…
    21 July 2017
  • Ade
    Re: How Much Tax do I Have to Pay?
    @Robhattan1 - he will get a tax return if he earns below £11,500, or even if he earns above he still might have paid too much tax.
    21 July 2017
  • Sue
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    I'm 60 years old the carer for my 7 yr old grandson and after 17 years of working for the same company I have been offered a…
    21 July 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the MoneyExpertise website. Please read our Disclaimer.