Excessive Bank Account And Credit Card Charges Attacked As Unfair And Possibly Illegal
One missed credit card payment, or going overdrawn without permission, and suddenly a 30 charge can be incurred. Bank charges can seem unfair and too harsh given the frequently tiny amounts of unauthorized borrowing involved. Now it seems that the law could be in agreement.
Following on from an investigation launched in October 2003, eight major credit card companies were told in July 05 by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that the charges they levy for late payments were “disproportionately high”, and that charges need to be adjusted to better reflect the costs of managing late payment. Throughout the investigation, the credit card firms continued to maintain that the late payment charges they imposed were fair.
The legality of these charges are being questioned by a Scottish law firm, supported by the Scottish Citizens Advice, who are encouraging consumers to challenge the right of banks to charge such high penalty fees. With current high street credit card typical APRs ranging from 5.9% to 29.9% this is up to 25.4% points above the present 4.5% Bank of...