RBS caps off record year with extra charge for customers

02 January 2007
RBS-Natwest customers were in for a sobering shock in the days leading up to Christmas – a letter nestling among the wishes of goodwill notifying them of hiked overdraft charges.

Bizarrely, a second letter followed – telling those same customers they had been given extra overdraft funds of up to £1,500 without asking for them, the Times reports.

Using those new funds, of course, incurred the new, higher interest rates.

After the introduction of the second rise to overdraft charges since September, the Natwest interest rate now stands at 17.44 per cent – while parent bank RBS is set to make a record profit of £9 billion this year.

Nick White of uSwitch.com predicted Natwest would make a profit of £28 million on the basis of the increased overdraft charge rates.

An investigation from the OFT into unauthorised overdraft penalty charges, announced in September, may be behind the move to cope with a potential 'fines shortfall' by penalising customers for authorised overdraft use.

The OFT investigation, which will publish its findings in the spring, will rule on whether overdraft penalties are unfair, charging customers over the odds for an administrative operation which costs banks only a few pounds to conduct.

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