Did you know that your free bank account was the real cause of the global financial meltdown?
Did you also realise that, because of this, there’s no such thing as a free account?
Ok, let’s forget the myths and lies that some bankers are intent on peddling. I’ve put together a handy little list of reasons why your bank account isn’t free.
Unauthorised Overdraft Fees
Money is tight. Many of us have an overdraft facility. It’s reassuring to know that, if you’re a little short of money you can rely on this extra cash to tide you over. But occassionally we go a little over the top and run into an unauthorised overdraft and this is where it gets expensive.
There’s a penalty for the ‘privilege’ of having the bank pay your bills. When you run out money you’re going to be charged between £120 and £900 per year.
It would be nice to think that, just sometimes, the banks would do something for you out of the kindness of their hearts. No such luck. It’s all about the money which is why you’re being billed for having an agreed overdraft facility.
You already know you’re charged unauthorised overdraft fees. But do you know how much it’s costing? In many cases, it’s as high as 19.9% which is higher than most credit cards and loans.
Overseas Card Charges
You’ve worked hard all year. You put in all the overtime your body can tolerate. The toil and effort has paid off and you can afford to take the long family holiday you’ve been talking about for the past couple of years. The Bahama’s won’t know what hit them. Neither will your debit card when you get hit with charges for overseas transactions.
Charges for overseas debit card transactions can get expensive; Very expensive. Which investigators found that can cost up to £15 to make two £100 cash withdrawals and two £50 direct debit payments whilst overseas.
Other Ways You’re Being Punished
As if being fleeced of your hard earned money wasn’t enough, the banks have also decided to cut back on the amount of interest you can earn. Thanks to the almost non-existent interest rates savers receive, you could be missing out on as much £50 a year on £1,500 of savings. It might not seem like much but when you multiply that number by hundreds of thousands it’s a very tidy profit for the banks.
Don’t think that moving back to using cheques will help. It’s true that you won’t be charged by the banks but how much extra time does it take for shops to handle your cheques? How many shops are now asking for a fee to handle your cheque?
Recently, Sir David Walker, the new Barclays chairman, had the nerve to blame the banking crisis on free bank accounts. There you have it – the real reason why the UK financial sector in such a mess. It’s nothing to with dodgy bankers fixing the Libor or dabbling dodgy sub-prime mortgages. It’s all down to us.
Apparently, if the banks had been free to impose charges on us from day one the economy wouldn’t have been in this mess.