I think there has been a topic on this before many many moons ago, but I though I would start a fresh one, and include the progress of my claim.
Right, im sure everyone know's what illegal bank charges are by now, so I won't go into it in detail, basically a bank charges you for say going overdrawn. However, it does not matter what their terms and conditions say, and the fact that you agreed to them when you signed up for the account, they are only legally allowed to charge you what it costs them to administer the service, they not allowed to make a profit on the charge. A recent BBC Working Lunch/Money Program independed analysis and report worked out that at the very maximum
, it would cost a bank between £2.50 and £4.50 to process the service charge. So anything above this means the bank is almost certainly making a profit on the charge.
I havent had many bank charges over the years, but had the odd one every now and again. Ive often thought about claiming the charges back, but never really thought I had enough to warrant it.
Anyway, last month I got a charge of £23.00 applied to my account for going overdrawn for 2 days by £2.31, so I immediatly decided enough is enough and started working things out to claim all the charges back that I have had over the years.
So I went to Martin Lewis' site, Money Saving Expert
, for some help doing this. Although Martin Lewis is often credited as the guy who started it all off, he never, he just tapped into something that was already happening, however his site is an excellent resource for anyone who wishes to claim their bank charges back.
Using my internet banking, which allows me to look my last 6 years statements, I worked out that over the years I have had 9 individual charges applied to my account, equalling up to £223.00. After I added the standard court rate of interest of 8.00% (this can all be done very easily using Martin's interest calculator), the interest came to £24.66 and the grand total the bank owes me is £247.66.
So I decided to use the template provided by MSE to write a letter to my bank. I sent the letter on the 7th March 2007 from a post office and got proof of postage.
Anyway, I thought I would have heard something back last week, so I begun to suspect that the bank may not be very inclined to respond, but nevertheless I thought I would give it till next week to hear something.
Anyway, I have recieved a letter today from the "Senior Service Quality Officer" (handsigned, not very often that happens nowadays - probably a secratary but better then nothing), informing me that they have recieved the letter and are looking into the matter for me and will respond as soon as possible with a resolution the matter. They also included a leaflet on their policy with regards to bank charges and another one with their customer service charter and a reference number should I wish to contact them regarding the issue at any time in the future.
So far so good. I didnt want to claim the charges back to be honest, as the bank have always been very good to me, helped me a lot with my finances, and always have a friendly face for me to have a chat to when I want to discuss something at my local branch. But I feel that £23 for going £2 overdrawn for 2 days is just far too much, so I decided to get everything back. Or at least try anyway.
I will keep you pedigree chums updated on the progress of my claim.
Has anyone else tried to claim charges back? How successful have you been? What are your views on bank charges? I dont particuarly mind them, however it is not very often I am charged. I think they are the ultimate scurge of the earth in general though, its the people who can least afford it who get charged the most.
Look forward to hearing from people on this.
If you are thinking about claiming your charges back, its very easy to start the process, visit this Money Saving Expert
web page for all the information, tools and template letters.