Raised bank charges ‘bad news for customers’

Authorised overdraft interest rates increased from an average of 13.8 per cent to 15.1 per cent, while the average standard rate on a credit card increased from 14.8 per cent to 16 per cent.

This means that more people are likely to find themselves with high levels of credit card debt.

A total of 17 major credit card providers increased purchase APRs by an average of 2.1 per cent, while across the credit card industry, purchase APRs grew by an average of 1.2 per cent.

“While the OFT’s crackdown on credit card charges […] could be seen by many as a clear victory for consumers, banks have been quick to find new methods of recovering lost profits from their customers,” said Nick White, director of financial services at uSwitch.

“2006 was a tough year for consumers who have had to be savvy to stay one step ahead of the banks.”

According to Reuters, Liberal Democrat MP Matthew Taylor has called on ministers to stop high street banks “ripping off” customers with “largely illegitimate” charges.

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