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BBA response to Panorama accusations

The BBC current affairs programme Panorama will this evening make a number of damaging accusations with regards to banking charges in the UK. Unusually, this has prompted a pre-emptive strike from the British Bankers Association (BBA) which issued a statement refuting a number of the allegations contained in this evening's program. So what is going on?

The allegations in this evenings program include claims that some overdraft charges have been noted as high as 3650% per annum and indeed that many of the advertised overdraft charges in the press bear little resemblance to actual fees charged. It has to be said that banks in the UK were not able to respond to the accusations prior to the viewing this evening and the BBA has taken the lead in fighting back.

There is speculation that Vince Cable, the business secretary, is quoted on the programme as suggesting that "customers are being ripped off" which if correct is a damning indictment on the UK banking sector. It will also do nothing for the relationship between the UK financial arena and the UK government at a time when both need to be pulling in the same direction and looking to refloat the UK economy as soon as possible.

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