On the announcement that Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers are no longer to be charged for busting their overdraft limits, MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis said: "The big picture here is good news. Charges for breaching your overdraft limits have been a scourge for many years. A decade ago I was often called the 'big gob in chief' of the campaign against unfair bank charges, where people reclaimed over a billion pounds, until the Supreme Court pulled the plug on a technicality.
“The big problem with these banks charges has always been that they’re punitive, designed so that they are a struggle to repay, meaning charges on the charges. Some people wound up owing thousands after just one or two small financial issues. The legacy of the bank charges campaign has been a slow softening of this system. I hope that the Lloyds announcement today signals the final death knell for the charges.
“Yet even after this it still won’t make being overdrawn cheap. People often pooh-pooh credit cards, but if you’re overdrawn debit cards are debt cards too – shifting to a bank with a 0% overdraft and using that to give you respite to clear the debt is the best option. And anyone who has had bank charges, which have contributed to them being in financial hardship, may still be able to reclaim them and get hundreds back. There’s full help and free template letters at www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/bank-charges.”
For full analysis on what the changes mean for consumers, please visit the MoneySavingExpert.com news story.
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About Martin Lewis: Martin Lewis OBE, Money Saving Expert, is the journalist and consumer campaigner who created MoneySavingExpert.com and is now the site’s Executive Chair. Martin also founded and chairs the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute charity.
He’s the UK’s most-googled man, Citizens Advice’s Consumer Champion of the Year, and has spearheaded major financial justice campaigns including bank charges reclaiming (over seven million template letters downloaded), PPI reclaiming (over six million) and a successful large-scale campaign to get financial education in schools. He has his own prime-time ITV programme, The Martin Lewis Money Show, as well as a range of other regular media slots. He was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2014.
About MoneySavingExpert.com: MoneySavingExpert.com is dedicated to cutting consumers’ bills and fighting their corner. The free-to-use consumer finance help resource aims to show people how to save money on anything and everything, and campaigns for financial justice. It was set up in 2003 for just £100, and its free-to-use, ethical stance quickly made it the UK’s biggest independent money website, according to internet ranking site Alexa.com, and the number one ‘Business and Finance – Business Information’ site, according to Hitwise. It has more than 12 million people opted-in to receive the weekly MSE’s Money Tips email, and more than 16 million unique monthly site users who visit more than 28 million times a month. In September 2012, it joined the MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC.