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Banking - treating customers unfairly

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misslideaway | 14:13 Wed 10th Dec 2008 | Business & Finance
7 Answers
A few little mistakes/ miscalculations and I was charged by my bank. �50 for going over my overdraft by less than �2, then spiralling to �150 in the last month.

This leaves me with less then �50 to live on for the month. I have tried speaking with the bank/ complaints dept/ debt management. They were no help. I learnt that they will be charging me a further �200 this month as last months charges hit my account whilst there was no money in it.

I called the banking standards code and was advised to write a letter of complaint to the bank mentioning treating customers unfairly and the resulting period of hardship.. which I have done..

Is this likely to help? Anyone had similar probs with bank?


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I'm surprised that the charge was �50 for just being overdrawn once. Does your story omit any important details.
If the current case around bank charges rules against the banks then it's likely you'd get some of the charges back. But I'm not aware that any bank would charge �50 for one occasion- i thought most banks had set the charge at a more reasonable level- maybe �15-�25- in order to keep the regulator on their side.
But maybe in your case they will argue it wasn't simply a case of going overdrawn- you had been given an overdraft and you exceeded that limit.
Question Author
Well- it was the shortened version yes. The bank charged me �25 for going over the agreed amount and then �25 for extending my overdraft (which they did automatically..)

The charges applied then were for direct debits that were absorbed by the automatically extended overdraft.

I entirely agree that I did not manage my money particularly well that month however the result is dangerous. I have now lost �300 to charges and I am now deperately skint and thoroughly depressed - esp with xmas being around the corner.

I understand how bank charges work and agree that if they loan you money / mistread your bank account that you should pay a fee. My issue is that my bank clearly see how much I earn/ my outgoings and they know that I am in a position where my debt will spiral. Once you get into this type of financial situation- the only thing you can do is lend more. But once this starts to affect your credit score- your pretty much left with the option of loans with criminally high rates.

I have a feeling that my bank will just brush this off as bad money management on my part but I'm hoping that someone elses experiences might tell me differently

Here's to hoping :-)
I had this problem with Barclays bank. They are con merchants

I asked for an overdraft facility and they give ma an emergency credit card instead (needless to say I never used it)

Then I go a couple of quid overdrawn and they throw an extortionate charge on and this rose as I took more money out to about �300 in the end.

I have been conned and so have you. Is it Barclays you bank wih by any chance? They are the worst.

There was a programme telling us how to get our charges back as it is illegal a while ago but I never got round to it and now in the current financial climate I don't think you'll be able to get them back so easily.

Change bank. I'm with Halifax - they are very good.

Question Author
No, its Abbey. They have always been good but this has scared me so much - I've started using an old account with another bank which has no frills.

At least if I'm not using the Abbey bank- they cant apply more charges - but now the ardous task of paying off this bank debt. :-(

I already have a 2 jobs so cant really do much more.. I just wish they would cut me a little slack.

I was under the impression that the banks could not charge you for being overdrawn if it was them who made you go overdrawn(by taking out charges).
i bank with barclays, and do not have an overdraft on my account, i checked my balance on a cash machine spent less than what it said i had available and somehow went overdrawn and got charged for going into an unauthorised overdraft, after speaking to them and questioning them as to how if i haven't got an overdraft they carried on letting me use my debit card when i had no money in my account, to which they replied that companies such as tesco have a guaranteed withdrawal scheme so you dont get turned down when you shop there and the bank cant stop it happening.

Barclays were brilliant with me and waived the charge because it had been the first time in 20 years it had happened, they offered me advice on managing my account and ways to avoid going overdrawn again which happened again the following month and i only got charged the standard barclays fee of �8 which is very low compared to the likes of halifax, abbey and lloyds who charge �30+

my advice would be work out how much you can afford to spend each week after direct debits have gone out and keep the amount in cash in your house and dont use your cards, once the cash is gone you know you cant afford to spend anymore
Question Author
What a contrast. Abbey were quite patronising - at one point simply telling me to 'manage your money better' and when I tried to do something about the ongoing charges ' there is no limit to the charges we can apply to your account' which I thought was very snotty.

Yes- thats a good idea. I'm thinking (once these charges stop) that I will withdraw the money I need and can afford and place into 4 equal envelopes - 1 for each week.

Plus - I have a no frills account now- no overdraft etc so hopefully I can start to get this under control and pay Abbey off the overdraft I owe them.

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