Bankers’ dirty tricks?

AFTER THE Office of Fair Trading (OFT) criticised excessive penalty and overdraft charges that make banks over £8.3 billion yearly, the British Bankers Association, representing the major banks, threatened to introduce fees for current account services.

Banking charges attracted scrutiny recently with revelations that customers paid on average £152 in charges, with over four million people paying over £200 in overdraft charges a year.

So when the OFT threatens this, what do the banks do? They draw up a list of currently free services and claim they will be ‘forced’ to introduce charges if the overdraft cash-cow dries up.

These include potential £5-£20 a month charges for a current account, and paying for ATM use, for direct debits and bank statements.

But they shouldn’t charge for these. Most banks invest money from current accounts at high rates of interest, earning themselves a profit of £4.1 billion a year.

End this big business robbery of people’s money.

Take the major banks into public ownership with compensation only paid on the basis of genuine need. Run the banks in the interest of the public and end charges.

Iain Dalton