Sadly, bank charges are rife in the UK, and many people don’t even know that they’ve been charged let alone what they’ve been charged for. There are a number of ways a bank can place a charge on a customers, from account maintenance fees to early account closures, and banks have been criticised for not providing information of charges and fees in a simple and concise way to customers.
There are many ways to avoid the financial stress of fees and charges from your bank, and one of the easiest is to keep track of your money. By reducing your direct debits to a minimum, like a mortgage and household expenditures, you’ll be able to have a healthier balance at the end of the month instead of treading near the red and being liable for bank charges.
Don’t just take the first current account that you see, and make sure you shop around for the best deals. If you’re a good saver, there are many banks that will offer you lower interest rates on your debts and fees if you’re able to provide detailed accounts of your savings. Online price comparison sites are able compare the best deals from all the high street banks, helping you to get the best rates for your money as well as avoiding fees and charges!
Read All Disclosure Agreements
One of the biggest reasons why people are left with eye-watering charges is that they don’t read their policy properly – some don’t even read it at all. While a number of banks are rearranging their practices in order to provide a more consumer-friendly service, others continue to confuse their customers with deceptive methods and unavoidable fees. In 2011, Americans were the worst hit, paying out over $29.5bn in charges alone.
When you sign up for a new policy, make sure you read the small print. By law, the charges you could potentially face have to be set out in writing, and if you’re having trouble understanding them, don’t hesitate to ask your bank manager for disclosure. [Read more…]