Customers urged to reclaim unfair bank chargesFind out how to claw back your cash

23 March 2007

 

Cascading pound coins.

Nearly two thirds of bank customers stung by unfair overdraft charges have yet to reclaim their money, new Which? research reveals.

But our survey of more than 2,200 people found that of those who have made a claim, a massive 85 per cent have been successful in getting at least some of the money refunded.

We believe this figure would be nearer 100 per cent if people persisted when their bank didn't immediately reimburse them.

Simple process

Which? personal finance campaigner Emma Bandey said: ‘Claiming back unfair bank charges is a simple process that won't take up hours of your time.

‘If your bank does not co-operate, you should refer the case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) as so far the banks have chosen to settle all cases referred to FOS.’

Our survey also found that one in five people yet to claim said that fear of how their bank would react was the reason they hadn’t asked for their money back.

A similar number felt that it would be too complicated and a third said they wouldn’t know how to go about it.

A quarter of people who had made a claim said that their bank was unhelpful and unresponsive while a further third  said that they had to chase their bank for a response.

Unfair charges

Emma Bandey added: ‘It is terrible how poorly some banks have been treating some customers. It is bad enough that they have been levying unfair charges for all this time, but the response from some banks shows that they need to work on their customer service.

‘Banks need to get their act together and deal with this problem. Rather than using stalling tactics. It can’t be good for the banks’ image that so many people found them less than helpful.'

Anyone who thinks they have been unfairly charged by their bank for going overdrawn in the last six years can access easy-to-use resources on our bank charges site, including a step-by-step guide to reclaiming and downloadable template letters to send to their bank.