Bank charges case requires a 'negotiated solution' says Brown

23 September 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent

The ongoing bank charges case needs a 'negotiated solution', Prime Minister Gordon Brown has claimed.

In a letter to Moneysavingexpert.com's Martin Lewis, Mr Brown said that he has called on the banks and regulators "to explore a quicker way to resolve this without delay."

The bank charges test case between the Office of Fair Trading and the UK's leading banks has now been ongoing since 2007, and the case is now awaiting a decision by the House of Lords, since the banks decided to appeal the decision that bank charges can be governed by fairness rules.

Mr Brown's response to Martin Lewis's bank charges campaign follows replies from liberal democrat leader Nick Clegg and conservative party leader David Cameron.

In a time when confidence in banks has reached rock bottom, Mr Brown said: "People need confidence when they open an account, they will be treated fairly, charges and fees will be transparent and reasonable, and their savings will be safe."

In an interesting turn of events, a number of banks, including Natwest, RBS, Halifax and Bank of Scotland have announced reductions in their bank charges, ahead of the House of Lords' decision.

Commenting on the banking crisis, Mr Brown added: "We are now taking extensive action to reform the banks' culture, to stop irresponsible banking practices, and to support more effective consumer education and information so that people can get a better deal."

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