By Robert Adungo ...
Banks’ ’gimmicky incentives and Ryanair-style fees’ revealed
By Robert Adungo
Budget airlines are renowned for their underhand tactics when it comes to hidden, rip-off charges, but many people would not expect this from their bank, especially if they opened a current account to enjoy free banking services.
An investigation has revealed that an increasing number of banks are following in the footsteps of their aviation industry counterparts, hitting customers with fees which are often difficult to know about because they are hidden in the small print.
The Money Mail scrutiny shows some banks are charging £10 for a statement, £2.50 for text alerts and £20 to set up an overdraft, with another bank charging £6 to replace lost card readers which are used for online banking.
Simon Rose, spokesman for campaign group Save Our Savers, told the newspaper: "Ryanair has been criticised for advertising seemingly low fares and then piling on extra charges, yet some banks appear to be following the same business model.
"They tempt people to switch accounts, offering gimmicky incentives, and then hit them with these hidden fees. It’s simply outrageous - especially when people are already losing money in real terms."
With banks continuing to use headline-grabbing rates to entice new customers, it is vital that consumers exercise caution and resist the urge to open an account based on the boldly advertised figures alone.
Although some of the charges being sneaked in may not be huge, over time they can turn out to be very expensive. Some banks even charge £10 for cancelling a cheque, so imagine what would happen if you wrote out three cheques and wanted to cancel them afterwards.
To avoid these and any other hidden charges, always read the small print of any contract before signing on the dotted line.