It is back breaking to be on top of debts due to unfair bank charges mostly imposed on accountholders due to flimsy account problems. These penalties can ruthlessly cripple you especially if you are servicing other bank products like loans.
Here is a glimpse of the minor mistakes you can make and the existing bank charges
Unsuccessful Direct Debits or Standing Orders
Should there happen to be a direct debit or a standing order referred to your account, and for whatever reason the money isn’t enough to cover it, the bank will not to make the payment but will charge you an average of 20 pounds each time. This happens mostly with current accounts. Other accounts will charge the same on monthly basis.
Withdrawing money from cash points using your debit card in the UK is free of charge; however this is not the case when you are using a credit card. With a credit card, you are charged interest from the day you make the withdrawal with an exception to purchases. It’s worth noting that some cash points, usually at small shops will charge withdrawals even when using a debit card.
Going to the bank and withdrawing much more than you actually have may seem like a heavenly sent idea but has it ever crossed your mind that you actually get charged for it? Most banks will always charge you fees and interest each time you make an overdraft. You might consider finding out just how much your bank charges for a certain amount of an overdraft on the different accounts.
Bank Transfer Fees
If you are using your account to transfer huge amounts of money, you better be aware of the transfer costs. Most banks will offer you this service using a system referred to as CHAPS. A single transaction using this system could leave you 30 pounds poorer.
Unauthorized Overdraft Fees
Outdoing your authorized overdraft may also cost you a few pounds. It does not matter to these banks whether the payment you made or the cash withdrawal was successful or not, they will charge you. Some of the banks in the UK will actually charge you £25, regardless of whether the transaction was successful or not.
Foreign Transaction Fees
While undertaking a foreign transaction in the UK, banks will charge about 4% of the total amount especially if you are using your debit card.
One-time items such as bank statements, cheque cancellation and bank references also attract a fee. These fees vary from bank to bank but for most financial institutions, it will be anything between 3 and 25 pounds. This can be a huge amount especially if it accumulates without your knowledge.
So, Do These Fees Ever Change?
Yes, these bank fees do change from time to time but usually your bank should give you a prior notification at least two months before the increment applied.
Overcharged? If you feel that you have been overcharged for any transaction then it is advisable to file a complaint with your bank. Allow them to explain their reasons for the charges. You can try talking to them in case you feel that they shouldn’t have charged you as much, you never know they could probably waive the fees.
Should you feel that informal complaints aren’t working for you, you have the option of filing an official complaint in writing. While at it, pay keen attention to every detail like who you present your case to, the dates as well as the responses given. If you have no idea who to contact, you may look up your bank addresses from the ProsperGroup. Written complaints are better off followed up with a phone call just to be sure.
You can also look for the services of a financial lawyer. If you don’t know one, CJS Online will help you identify a suitable one.
Sadly though, it’s not 100% certain that all reclaims are successful especially with the court ruling that a financial ombudsman cannot directly interfere with the bank charges and tariffs. That said though, it is still worth trying as you stand to lose nothing.
Persistence; while seeking to reclaim your money, you don’t just give up. You would be amazed at how far you can go with a little persistence. Even if you do not succeed in having a refund of your money, the bank may give alternative solutions like stopping further charges. This still does ease the burden.
From where I sit, I can only wish you good luck while seeking to reclaim your money. If you succeed, then learn your lesson. Avoid activities that can lead to the exorbitant hidden charges that you are unaware of like the overdrafts. Try and stay away from banks with a customer harassment history and keep yourself posted as much as possible with the trending banking fees.