When consumers entrust their hard-earned cash with a bank or building society they would usually hope it to be safely stored until needed, but instead many are losing out due to bank charges.
In fact, 28% of bank and building society users surveyed have paid charges over the last year, according to the latest research from thinkmoney.
Overdraft fees seem to be the biggest culprit. 63% of those who were charged found themselves paying fees for authorised use of their overdraft, with such fees being a growing but controversial trend over the years.
Unauthorised overdrafts are also catching people out with 44.1% finding themselves paying arrangement fees, 26.8% being stung with daily charges and 24.2% of people being charged for cheques and direct debits bouncing as well as unpaid standing orders.
These fees have lead some customers (55.9%) into a vicious circle, pushing them into an unauthorised overdraft and therefore subjecting them to more fees, with over a quarter receiving five or more charges in the year.
"Unexpected bank charges can make it incredibly difficult for customers to manage their money. And our research shows that a quarter of Brits had to pay sums of up to £500 last year, which could have put some of their finances in a perilous situation."
So, if you've been caught out and want to avoid further charges, what can you do?
The key is to be prepared, ideally ensuring you don't suffer unexpected charges in the future.
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