Letter: 13 April 2012

Big bank fees are adding to problem

TRACEY CROUCH’S article on bank charges (Our Woman in Westminster, Medway Messenger, April 6) hit the nail on the head.

While it is important people keep track of their finances, when an out-of-character slip occurs the first thought crossing the banks’ minds seems to be how much money they can make from it.

In November, 2010, I had one such slip myself, where a debit card transaction took me 3p into an unauthorised overdraft.

My bank, not publicly owned, then decided to hit me with a double whammy of charges: £5 for completing the transaction and £25 for the unauthorised overdraft.

As far as disproportionate charges go, 100,000% of the offending amount can only be described as legal loan sharking!

Needless to say, I wrote to the bank pointing this fact out and received what can only be described as a patronising response from the said bank, though, to their credit, they agreed to waive the charges.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine recently faced a £12 charge from their credit card provider for going over their credit limit by 13p – a disproportionate charge of around 10,000%.

Residents across Medway are struggling with varying levels of personal debt, and disproportionate charges from banks are only making their finances harder to manage.

Alan W. Collins, Gillingham