Is the era of free banking officially over?
Last week's announcement by Lloyds Bank would appear to have sounded the death knell for free banking in the UK with customers now being charged a monthly fee to have in place overdraft facilities. While the issue of "free banking" has been something of a myth in all honesty, it does look as though officially more and more customers will be charged a monthly fee to obtain access to banking facilities.
Many experts believed that the era of free banking ended many years ago with the vast array of UK banks bringing in additional charges for various services. When you compare the cost of banking today compared to the cost of banking 20 years ago there is no real comparison. When you also take into account that banks have been using your savings and your money to finance their own businesses then effectively you have actually been "charged" for banking services for many years.
While officially the banks will argue that you are only being charged for additional services there is no doubt that free banking is coming to an end. So now is the time to shop around for the best deals for you and pull away from the historic trend which many UK consumers have been involved in, i.e. staying with the same banking institution for years and years.
Strapped students scrounge for freebies
The British Bankers Association (BBA) has said it is concerned that students looking to open a new bank account may be tempted by freebie offers when the overall service may not be suitable for them.As September sees the next generation of students entering universities, the BBA has said that students should be more cautious before being tempted to open an unsuitable account on the basis of free o...Read More
Barclays hints at Account Charges
Plans from one of the UK’s leading banks, Barclays, to start charging customers for the privilege of banking with them has sparked fury among customers. Sir David Walker, new boss of the bank after being made chairman in early August, said the plans to charge customer and get rid of free banking were ‘in principle’. This will no doubt come as a blow to many families, who have already had...Read More
Will the overdraft fee saga mean the end of free banking?
Over the last 48 hours it has emerged that the UK Supreme Court will this week rule on the eligibility of the Office of Fair Trading to clarify whether banks have overcharged customers with regards to their overdrafts and certain fees. This is a vital element of the ongoing overdraft fee saga and there is a feeling that if the UK Supreme Court rules in favour of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) th...Read More
How did HBOS drag down Lloyds TSB?
The 2008 acquisition of HBOS by Lloyds bank was supposedly a match made in heaven and a great way to calm the concerns of investors with exposure to the UK banking sector. However today Lloyds bank stands on the verge of being taken under government control after HBOS reported a £10 billion loss. Despite concerns that the situation has changed since Lloyds bank decided to takeover HBOS, a look ba...Read More
If the OFT cannot rule on bank charges then who can?
The decision by the UK Supreme Court that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has no jurisdiction to vote on the legality and fairness of banking charges prompts the question - Who is actually in control of the UK banking sector? While the FSA (Financial Services Authority) is the regulator for the sector there has been no mention of the FSA becoming involved in the overdraft charges saga. As a co...Read More