Almost half of Britons – 43 per cent – have exceeded their authorised overdraft limit at least once in the past year, according to new research from Moneysupermarket.com.
Each time the agreed limit is violated, customers incur an average default charge of £19.80, the price comparison website found, meaning if all account holders exceeded their overdraft limits once, the nation would pay £895 million.
The survey reveals worrying levels of ignorance around overdraft charges, with 41 per cent of people not knowing their authorised overdraft rate despite the fact that one in five are permanently 'in the red'.
Moneysupermarket managing director Stuart Glendinning voiced concerns that a "fair few" Britons are "wallowing in their overdrafts constantly".
At the close of 2006, both HSBC and Lloyds TSB ratcheted up charges on overdrafts, and Natwest heralded the New Year by stepping up overdraft charges for the second time in three months.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is conducting an ongoing investigation into overdraft charges.For more information about current accounts, click here.
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