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Bank slashes overdraft charges

 

 

By ONLINE REPORTER

September 11, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

LLOYDS TSB is cutting unauthorised overdraft charges and reducing its penalty interest rates by up to a third.

 

The fee for bouncing a payment due to insufficient funds will be cut from £35 to £20, with charges capped at a maximum of three per day.

Customers will also get until 3.30pm on the day they overspend to top up their account or increase their overdraft limit to avoid being charged.

It is also introducing a new text message service to warn people when they are nearing or over their limit or if a payment is refused because they do not have enough money.

The service will be available free of charge until the end of this year, after which it will cost £2.50 a month.

The pricing structure for unplanned overdrafts is also being changed.

Customers who go over their limit will face a flat monthly fee of £15, as well as a lower unplanned borrowing fee of between £6 a day and £20 a day for a maximum of 10 days, depending on how much they are over their limit by.

UNPLANNED

Lloyds TSB insist the move was due to customer research and not linked to the case launched jointly with other high street banks in the High Court with the Office of Fair Trading to establish whether the current fees for unauthorised overdrafts are fair.

Ian Larkin of Lloyds TSB, said: “Customers who do accidentally go over their limit, will be better off as they have the chance to top up their account and get themselves back on track.”

Sean Gardner of compariosn site MoneyExpert.com, said:

“It’s refreshing that the bank is listening to customers.

“But the charging structure is still not that clear and the text alert service is going to cost £30 a year once the free trial is over.

“The genuinely good news is that interest rates on unauthorised overdrafts are being cut from 29.8 per cent to the same rate for authorised overdrafts."

Lloyds TSB had one of the higher interest rates for unauthorised overdrafts but is now well below average.

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Interesting, because a few years ago provided you did top up your account by 3.30 on the day in question your account was considered to be in the black. However Lloyds tsb suddenly changed the rules didn't tell any of their customers and started charging left right and centre. It makes a change to see a little bit of common sense LOL from a bank.

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