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Only 11% claim back 'unlawful' charges

12 June 2006
According to research from The Motley Fool, only one in ten Britons have sought to claim back bank and credit card charges that were declared "unlawful" by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) back in April.

The study also revealed that up to 39 per cent of people knew nothing about the issue at all.

Following lobbyist pressures, the OFT launched an inquiry to look into whether bank charges for exceeding credit limits and overdrafts were justified.

As a result of the investigation earlier this year, the OFT announced that it would be putting pressure on banks and lenders to cut the charges they levy because they did not represent the true cost to the institutions and were being used to generate profits.

"It's outrageous that bank and card companies have got away with these unlawful charges for so long," said personal finance expert at Motley Fool, Neil Faulkner.

"It beggars belief that it could cost them £12 to £30 simply to not process a direct debit, or to write a letter advising of a default."

In discussing The Motley Fool's findings, Mr Faulkner urged all wronged borrowers who have been overcharged in the past to move to reclaim the charges they had been forced to pay before.

"So far, most claimants have been successful, but banks and card companies could come up with an ultimate solution at any time. I suggest that everyone moves to recover their charges as soon as possible."

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