Banks raking in £111 a second in chargesWhich? counter shows unauthorised fee totals

31 January 2008

Twenty pound note and coins

If you're not getting the most from your account provider, you should take your business elsewhere

Unfair overdraft fees are continuing to swell bank coffers by £111 every second – while a High Court test case questions the charges.

The case resulted from the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) investigation into whether the unauthorised charges imposed by banks were fair.

The banks have already put forward their arguments and this week the OFT began setting out its case in court.

Online counter

But while the case is ongoing – and it's likely to go to appeal - the banks can continue to rake in tens of thousands of pounds in fees.

Customers incur the charges when they go into the red when the bank hasn't authorised this, or if they breach their authorised limit. 

Which? campaign

The fees - charged, for example, when a bank bounces a cheque -  can be as high as £38, but campaigners claim that the actual cost to banks is far less.

Which? has long been campaigning against high overdraft charges, and many thousands of consumers have downloaded our template letters and factsheets on reclaiming.

Top banks have reported paying out about £400 million; estimates of total payouts are as high as £1 billion.