National Consumer Council calls on banks to be ‘transparent’ about charges

02 July 2007
In light of the Office of Fair Trading’s consultation on personal current accounts and the unfair bank charges debacle, the National Consumer Council (NCC) is calling on banks to be more upfront with their customers about potential charges that they could face.

Ed Mayo, who is Chief Executive at the NCC, said: “Navigating through the current account jungle can be a real challenge. People are reluctant to switch because they are worried about standing orders and direct debits not being paid, or feel that the process is too complicated.”

Those on low incomes have been especially vulnerable to the unfair charges, he said, “For them a default charge of £39 is enough to push them into debt. It’s time banks stopped pulling the wool over people’s eyes and started behaving more responsibly.”

The NCC is calling on the OFT to require that banks provide more detailed information on bank statements, such as clear explanations of interest rates and charges that have been applied, and also to investigate how ‘free’ current accounts have been subsidised by placing charges on certain groups’ accounts, i.e. those who are least able to afford them and most adversely affected by them.

Learn more about unfair bank charges and how to claim them back.