Lib Dem call for banks to repay unfair charges is backed

August 12, 2009 3:05 PM

Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman for Newcastle East Greg Stone has enthusiastically backed moves by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable to introduce a parliamentary bill to require banks to automatically refund unfair charges to customers.

The Lib Dem proposal comes after a campaign by consumer website www.moneysavingexpert.com highlighting that customers currently have to reclaim unfair overdraft charges and service fees from banks individually, despite a number of court rulings against banks. Whilst many financially-literate customers have taken advantage of this, banks have continued to make it difficult to do so, and many customers including the elderly and the less well off have been less well equipped to claim their money back.

Nick Clegg commented ""The treatment of charges by the banks borders on the scandalous. It is ... a protected industry seeking to maximise profits by exploiting the weakness of individual consumers who lack information and sophisticated knowledge of products or legal advice. The principle should be established that bank charges must be transparent and cost based."

Greg Stone said "I warmly welcome this commitment and it is gratifying that the Lib Dems are leading the way in putting the customer first. Given the enormous amount of support given by the Government to bail out the banks, the least that taxpayers can expect is for the Government to use its influence to ensure that unfair charges and fees are abolished and consumers reimbursed. We need an end to Rip Off Britain, with more fairness in business as well as in politics and government,