Free banking is something we take for granted in this country.
As opposed to some countries, where you have to pay for a basic bank account; in the UK most banks and building societies offer a fee-free account.
Of course, accounts will make charges if you go beyond an authorised overdraft or a direct debit bounces. But the majority of us accept that a charge should be made even if we might disagree over how much banks charge.
However, something we do not accept is that we should have to pay a monthly or annual fee, just for having access to a bank account.
In a poll we took last month, we asked our email subscribers whether we have the right to free banking services.
The response was pretty emphatic, with 89% of those answering believing that yes, we should have access to "free" banking services.
The poll was taken after Andrew Bailey, the man who is set to take over as head regulator of financial services in the UK, said that free banking was "a dangerous myth".
As well as voting, respondents weren't backwards in coming forwards when commenting about free banking…
"The bank has access to my money when I am in credit - and does not pay me any interest for this facility. I consider that to be my payment to them."
"I think it is very dangerous when a regulator interferes with the market in this way and issues political statements. Whether banking is free or not is a marketing issue for the banks."
More Moneyfacts customer comments at the bottom of this article.
It would be very difficult for every bank in the UK to group together and withdraw free banking services. With the negative publicity the banks have been receiving since the financial crisis, it's hard to see them having the stomach to make the change.
However, what may happen is a regulatory change that forces banks to charge a fee proportionate to the benefits and services the bank account provides.
Such a move would undoubtedly prove very unpopular with customers, as our poll shows.
But the argument goes that free banking makes it difficult for banks to make a profit on accounts, and encourages them to look at other ways to make bank accounts pay (such as making higher charges for going overdrawn).
Of course, most banks also offer a paid for option, often with extra benefits such as travel insurance or breakdown cover to convince us that what we are paying for is "worth it".
But while we may as customers value extra benefits such as these, the concept of paying for banking services appears, at least from our poll, to be one that we simply don't accept.
Here's what Moneyfacts.co.uk readers have said.
The comments below have not been moderated.
"Yes, with banks paying little or no interest at all on most current and instant access savings accounts, and making a tonne from credit card borrowers. It's the least they could give back!"
"Yes, surely, my bank has the benefit of my money if I am always in credit each month? Therefore, why should I have to pay extra for banking!"
"Yes, my balance is their 'fee'....they obviously benefit from my credit balance."
"Yes, I am always in credit in my current account and I don't receive any interest from my bank, so with no interest my current account should be free."
"No, I live in Spain where banking isn't free. I really think that everyone in the UK should wake up to the fact that banking is a service that should have to be paid for just as any other profession. The fact is, that if the proposed government reform to 'ring fence' commercial banking from high street banking ever takes place to safeguard investors, means that the banks will be forced to charge for personal banking to make up any shortfalls. Besides, if you're paying for a service then you have more right to security being offered and then you truly have the right to complain."
"Yes, while banks consider it a right to use our 'safe' regular payments into current and savings accounts that pay effectively no interest in, to provide a capital base for them to gamble with financial vehicles, instruments, engines, futures etc, etc. If, however, the regulator separates the investment banking (gambling) from the mundane mortgage, personal loan, current account, savings account aspects, it might be considered reasonable to pay a small monthly administration fee. Although, I fail to see what's wrong with a business plan that borrows money between 0% and 2% from us and lends it at 5% upwards back to us."
"Yes, if banks insist on payment for current accounts, the truck act needs to be resurrected so that we can insist on being paid in 'coin of the Realm' - when we went over to bank transfer, instead of pay packets, accounts free from charges were offered to get us to switch! Chris - Leicester."
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