More than two million Britons permanently overdrawn

20 July 2007
Over two million working people in Britain never see their accounts go into the black, a new study has revealed.

Ten per cent of those who are paid monthly (2.117 million) are permanently overdrawn, a survey by YouGov has found, while ten million went into the red at some point in the last 12 months.

The research was commissioned by price comparison website moneysupermarket.com.

Head of current accounts at the firm Kevin Mountford commented: "It's no surprise so many people are permanently in the red – with interest rates having risen five times in the past year consumers are no doubt feeling the squeeze."

He suggested that, with many banks having harsh penalties for exceeding your overdraft limit, those who are constantly overdrawn may be better off spending on zero per cent interest credit cards.

"Your overdraft can be a murky place to reside – especially if you are close to the edge of the authorised limit," Mr Mountford warned, adding that unauthorised rates are frequently much higher and those breaching their agreement face "sharp" penalty fees.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is currently investigating the current account market, including overdraft charges.

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