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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 to deal with overdraft fees and higher than average interest rates industry-wide, and is a strange move considering trust in banks is low, and customers are looking for new, more attractive banking options.

In fact Mr Walker went on to blame the recent scandals committed by some of the leading British banks on the fact that customers are banking for free. He said: “Because banks are not charging, it drives them inexorably into this position”.

This has led the official consumer body, Consumer Focus, to warn customers that they are likely in this case to end up with ‘the worst of both worlds’, including charges for accounts, as well as aggressive mis-selling, unfair charges and poor service.

Which? Chief, Richard Lloyd added: “The idea that if banks charge more, they would stop trying to mis-sell other financial products is completely unfounded”.

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