Consumers ‘could still lose out’ in overdraft charge battle

While the battle over overdraft fees goes on, it has been suggested that banks are making changes to their charging systems that could ultimately hurt the pockets of British consumers.

Phil Jones, from the consumer group Which?, said recently that the raft of new overdraft charging systems being introduced by banking groups around the country could distort the issues and may not benefit their customers.

Overdraft fees often make life more difficult for those looking to clear debt and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is currently in the process of trying to establish the legality of these charges in the UK.

“We welcome changes where charges are reduced and easier to understand, but we suspect some banks may be trying to muddy the waters ahead of their date in the High Court with the OFT,” said Mr Jones.

“Some banks are now varying their charging structures following the public outcry over unfair fees, but the jury is still out on whether consumers will benefit.”

Accountancy firm KPMG expects to see more than 130,000 people in England and Wales declared insolvent this year as a result of debt management problems.

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