Sainsbury's Bank has said it will change the format of its new credit card statements as soon as possible, after customers said it was difficult to know what they owed.
Customers have told MoneySavingExpert.com that the new statements - which were introduced last month - are confusing and could result in them underpaying their balance.
Essentially, on the old statements, it used to be that the total shown at the bottom of the transactions page was the total outstanding balance on the card but on the new statements this figure shows the total transactions you’ve made in the past month – which is unlikely to be the same as the outstanding balance.
Sainsbury's Bank has apologised that its statements aren't as clear as they could be, and has also produced a guide to show customers how to understand them, while it looks for ways to amend them.
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What are customers saying?
Sainsbury's Bank changed the layout and format of credit card statements that customers received last month, and since then we've seen emails and social media posts complaining about the changes.
One MoneySaver, who asked to remain anonymous, told us: "The maths is technically correct, but a poor choice of figures makes it definitely misleading.
"I think most people go to their transactions, briefly check that they are all recognised, and then pay what's owed. In this case, I would have underpaid by £1489.20 and then been charged interest for the next three months on my card."
Here are some of the social media posts from customers:
New credit card statement format needs work @Sainsburys_Bank. Itemised transactions page must include balance from previous statement (as previous version did), otherwise total on that page is meaningless.— Psych Student (@mspsychminor) July 19, 2018
@Sainsburys_Bank any reason why I’ve received a duplicate statement about 1 week after the usual one? Also, there seems to be an issue on the statement for ‘total transactions for mr/Mrs x’ where the total doesn’t actually reconcile to anything else on the statement. Help!— Martyn Arnold (@MartynArnold11) July 18, 2018
Got through eventually. The new statement layout is a joke! Doubt anyone knows what they actually owe!!— Mark (@5th_fret) July 27, 2018
I'm confused - how do I find out how much I owe?
In a nutshell, if you're trying to find out how much you owe, look at the closing balance figure on the front page of your new statement - ignore the total transactions figure on the other page.
In previous statements customers were told their closing balance - how much they need to pay off - in bold on the first page of their statements, and then again on the transactions page.
While the new statements still have the closing balance on the first page, the closing balance figure on the transactions page has been replaced by a 'total transactions' figure.
This new 'total transactions' figure often appears to be less than the closing balance as it includes payments you've made towards your previous balance, but does not include this previous balance in your latest transactions - so in effect it's knocking your payment off the wrong set of transactions.
There are more details on the Sainsbury's Bank website.
What does Sainsbury's Bank say?
Sainsbury's Bank told us some of its customers have told it the new look statements are confusing, so it says it is looking to change them as soon as possible.
It also said it was sorry the statements weren't as clear as they could have been.