Bank charges could be paid back automatically

26 August 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent

Bank charges could be paid back to consumers automatically, depending on the test case decision.

Tory leader David Cameron wrote to bank charges campaigner MoneySavingExpert.com's Martin Lewis yesterday stating that should the test case find in favour of the consumer, a process should be put in place to ensure that bank customers are compensated quickly and fairly.

In fact, Mr Cameron has now asked his Shadow Treasury Team to look into an automatic bank charges repayment system with the help of Martin Lewis. The email reads:

"I've asked my Shadow Treasury Team to look at your suggestion that banks should pay money back automatically if the courts do rule that the charges are unfair.

"They will be in touch with you to take this forward and go through the details."

The bank charges test case has been ongoing since 2007, and despite a court ruling that bank charges can be governed under fairness rules in April 2008, the case now awaits the results of the banks' appeal to the House of Lords – a result is expected this autumn.

Commenting on David Cameron's email of support, Martin Lewis said: "While the court case and the OFT are looking at current charges, there's been no mention of whether a system to payback those who've had their money taken unfairly will be set up.

"Here David Cameron states clearly that he believes it should happen, which should lift the spirits of all those reclaiming."

According to Mr Lewis, an automatic payback system could mean that consumers have bank charges worth up to £10billion returned  to them, but without it this could be reduced to between £2billion and £3billion.

Martin Lewis has said he will now write to Gordon Brown asking for his support over the automatic payback campaign.

Find out more about reclaiming bank charges »

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