HSBC cheapest for unauthorised overdraft charges

13 June 2007
High street bank HSBC is charging customers who exceed their overdraft £108 less than their most expensive rival, moneysupermarket.com has found.

An HSBC customer who exceeds an authorised overdraft limit by £60 within one month would pay just £25 while a NatWest customer could pay £133, the finance advice site calculated.

According to its research, the penalty fee levied when a customer oversteps their authorised overdraft limit is often more than double the amount by which the customer defaulted on the agreed overdraft.

But customers could soon find penalty fees lighten, with the Office of Fair Trading announcing in April that it was commencing an investigation into unauthorised overdraft charges.

In the meantime, "people should get smart and take steps to avoid falling foul of their agreed overdraft by planning better where possible", urged moneysupermarket.com's head of savings Kevin Mountford.

If you realise you are likely to exceed your overdraft limit, speaking to your bank about it in good time could mean they are willing to renegotiate a revised limit or waive the fees, he added.

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