Hello everyone Thanks for all your comments, it's been an interesting read. Before I carry on I feel I ought to make a couple of things clear; - Yes, i do work for a bank and thought in the interests of being upfront and honest ('rare words from a banker' I hear you murmer) I'd better admit it from the get go. However, I dont work in areas directly (or otherwise) involved in charges or customer services/complaints so i'm approaching this from a laymans point of view really. I like to think I'd hold the same views no matter who I worked for though. So please don't think of me as any kind of 'official spokesman' (i'm sure my employers would be horrified at the idea!), more as the annoying bloke down the pub. - I found this forum through the Moneysavingexpert.com website and am a big fan of exploiting every loophole possible in getting one over on the banks or other businesses if at all possible. For example, I find the idea of banks moaning about customers switching between 0% APR credit cards hilarious. They deserve all they get (and yes, 'my' bank does offer them too!). - If banks make mistakes, then dammit i want my money back. The chap who posted above me is right to be upset, i would be! But most of the time when i'm chatting to mates or people who like to have a pop when i say i work for a bank, they are just moaning about charges that were entirely avoidable if they had been bothered to check what was going in and out of their account! - Legally, I'm pretty sure you're right about charges being in excess of the cost to the bank, although i have no idea really. That's still an interesting thought though, what if it did only cost the price of a stamp and a letter e.g. about 50p? Surely if that was all the banks could legally charge, people would waste no time in racking up debt, as there would be no immediate consequences to stop them doing it. It'd be like people hanging on to library books for years! So i suppose my 'beef' (awful phrase) is maybe more with the amount of regulation and over-zealous laws when it comes to every area of modern life these days. To my mind, if a company wants to charge Â£30 for a letter if someone breaks their rules, then let it. Don't break the rules! As long as a company clearly sets its terms for what it's charges are, then let the buyer beware and all that. Ok, it's not easy to get by without a current account these days, but it can be done. Just keep all your money in an old style saving account and pay as you go! I know people who do it, its a right pain but just about still do-able. The point Alison made about a system to stop customers going over their authorised overdraft was an interesting one (although i thought some of her other comments were a bit much! I have a tiny amount of shame lurking in me somewhere, it tends to appear the morning after our multi-million pound "work do's"). I've always thought that would be a good idea but i suppose the issue then is that customers would complain if a direct debits or other important payments got bounced back and that caused even bigger problems! A thorny problem indeed, I suppose if you really wanted to go down that route then revert to the ol' savings account routine? Anyway, that's all my ramblings for now you'll be pleased to hear. I'm off on my hols at the weekend (paid for by saving up a wee bit every month until i could pay for it in full i might add!) so if I don't reply for a couple of weeks that's why. I haven't gone off in a huff or anything! Until next time... Dan
Hello I must say I really don't know what the big deal is here. Yes I work at a bank (*ducks to avoid rotten tomatoes), but i didn't always. I've been a student, had all sorts of 'orrible low paid jobs, am not particularly financially minded and have NEVER had a bank charge. Why not try reading statements now and again, is it really so difficult? Why not try saving up for things, instead of putting everything on credit? It seems to me that these days people want everything right NOW, at NO COST, with no responsibility or strings attached. Try acting responsibly, instead of like a bunch of spoilt kids. I concede there are times when accidents do happen, mistakes get made and direct debits sometimes get taken early. However, i would argue this is the exception rather than the rule. Apart from which: 1. The old argument about unreasonable fees never washes with me. For a start, you could say that about all sorts of costs. Fries from McDonalds cost pence to make, how DARE they charge 2 quid for them etc etc Also, banks are a business, not a charity. You don't get charged for debit cards, printed statements etc. All of these cost money, running accounts costs money, that's life. Of course banks make loads of money, but that's capitalism for ya, get in the real world. 2. If fees were low, people would abuse the facility and start going well overdrawn all the time. It's supposed to be a deterant! Imagine if fees were low; no doubt you'd then all be moaning its the banks fault that you go so massively overdrawn because there would be no deterant not to! 3. All these moans about getting charged for going 50p overdrawn. I remember when my old bank introduced a 'buffer zone'. You could go overdrawn by Â£10 and they'd let you off. Maybe they still have it, i don't know. So do people use the buffer zone as it was intended? No, they see it as a free tenner, use it up, go more overdrawn and moan when they get charged! Honestly people, take a step back and sort yourselves out, and take some responsibility for your actions. Seems to me that the culture these days is 'it's always someone elses fault but mine'. You people are like those folks who sue councils if there kids get injured falling off a swing in a local park. Sheesh... Rant over. Feel free to rant back all you like, i'm thick skinned!