Thursday, April 05, 2007

Getting money back? Martin and reclaiming bank charges

Today we have sent a letter to our bank requesting details and amounts of the last 6 years' bank charges. Our intention is to try and get some of our money back, as recommended by Martin Lewis on his MoneySavingExpert site (and as has become widely publicised in the media). I've even seen adverts for companies offering to pursue this sort of thing for you, but I imagine that costs and you'd be paying for someone to do something you can as easily do yourself.

It's the punitive level of bank charges that is unfair.

Last month, at one point, we exceeded our overdraft by a pound and the resulting bank charges amounted to £58. That's a lot of money to pay the bank for a generic, computer-generated letter.

I admit we made a mistake, but the charges obviously don't square with what it cost the bank, and apparently they're not allowed to slap your legs as they do: it should be reflective of their own costs in the matter. That level of charges means that if things are tight, as they are for us, absorbing that extra cost makes it incredibly hard to stay within budget the following month and it becomes a vicious circle.

Over the years I think the bank has punished us quite a lot, so it seems worth trying to get some of it back.

I shall update as this develops.


Primitive Person said...

I recently did something similar - the Financial Services Authority stated that mortgage lenders were charging far too much for Mortgage Exit Admin Fees. After a five-minute phone call, in which they didn't dispute anything at all, I got a refund of £129. So...good luck. You might need to push a bit, but you should get a tidy sum back.

Hippernicus said...

Thanks. And well done.