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£2bn bank charge claim back on cards

A pot of £2.12 billion is waiting to be claimed by consumers who have been charged by credit card issuers.According to uSwitch, 18.96 million British consumers has been charged a total of £4 billion in bank charges and more than half have not claimed their money back.The price comparison site estimates that 52 per cent of customers have not reclaimed money charged by their banks and credit card providers, equalling £2.12 billion in unclaimed fees. Campaigners claim that charges as much as £30 are unlawful, as banks are only supposed to charge fees to cover administration costs.Consumers are being urged to reclaim bank charges, for bounced cheques and exceeded overdraft limits, as banks have been automatically refunding fees rather than see potentially damaging test cases taken to court. Thousands of pounds has already been paid to consumers in overdraft and other fees, with many people downloading pro-forma letters from internet sites.Nick White, director of financial services at uSwitch, said: "While the majority of banks are bending over backwards to refund bank charges to those consumers that take the initiative to fight back, this is not because the banks have gone soft in the last couple of months."Banks are reported to be considering imposing annual fees for standard current accounts, but 83 per cent of the 4,450 consumers polled by YouGov on behalf of uSwitch said that they would ditch their bank if annual fees were introduced.

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