Bank charges report branded 'pointless' Go compare with our comparison table

Bank charges report branded 'pointless'

17 March 2010 / by Rebecca Sargent

The Office of Fair Trading's long-awaited report on bank charges has been deemed 'flaccid and pointless' by MoneySavingExpert.com.

The report, which was released yesterday has been slammed for wasting a chance to improve things for consumers.

Commenting, Martin Lewis, creator of MoneySavingExpert.com said: "After three years all it's managed to do is set up yet another enquiry into best practise and told us it will monitor the banks for another two years, then maybe take action.

"When the OFT decided not to go on with the bank charges test case, even though there were still legal routes to follow, we held off being too critical due to high hopes that this coming market report would have an impact.

"Our first look at the report was a shock – when speaking to them and asking why there's nothing concrete in this the OFT told us 'the ball's in the banks' court – we're watching' – yet what's needed is for it to snatch the ball and take control."

The OFT has failed to impose a maximum charge for unauthorised bank charges, claiming that charges have already dropped from an average of £34 in 2007, to an average of £17 in 2010.

Commenting, Mr Lewis adds: "It reports as a triumph that average bank charges have dropped from £34 to £17, yet that's mostly the result of consumer pressure from bank charges reclaiming and it still leaves many paying £35 for every transaction over the limit – designed to snowball into thousands and rake in over £1billion a year."

Commenting on the report, John Fingleton, OFT chief executive said: "The OFT's spotlight on personal current accounts has triggered substantial changes, which are still under way.

"We believe that the commitments agreed by the industry today, along with changes by individual banks already made or expected in the next two years, should lead to a market that works better for consumers.

"We will continue to closely monitor the banks and will reconsider the need for action, including legislation, if they fail to deliver these changes."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd

ProviderAccount Set Up FeeFee per monthFeaturesApply
N/A£12.50No credit checks.** Prepaid MasterCard. No account opening fee. More Info >
£4.95£9.95No credit checks**. Prepaid MasterCard. Credit Building facility. More Info >
£4.95£9.95No credit checks.** Up to 20 free payments and standing orders a month. Prepaid MasterCard.More Info >

**See Terms and Conditions