OFT welcomes overdraft transparency

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has welcomed the news that HSBC is to offer information about going into debt through an overdraft at its ATM machines.

A spokesperson for the OFT said that the information, which could help people remain debt free, was good news as it was an indication of greater transparency in the banking system.

The move by HSBC follows an announcement earlier this year by the OFT that it was to investigate charges associated with overdrafts.

“Openness and transparency is always something that we would welcome. Our case is about the level of the charges,” the spokesperson from the OFT said.

The charges linked to unauthorised use of an overdraft could cause people to have debt management difficulties, but the charges have not as yet been deemed unfair by any judge, according to the OFT.

In July, the OFT launched a test case on unauthorised overdraft charges, with the Financial Services Authority and Financial Ombudsman Service involved too.

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