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Bank Charges

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There is much talk of people on benefits reclaiming bank charges.
When did people get forced into having bank accounts for benefits? The rise in charges was inevitable I suspect. But banks do repay them if you complain.

Probably not just if you're on benefits though if you can meet these criteria.

So ANYONE who has had bank charges should probably read this and have a go.

But what's the end result for banks? Less profit? That'd be ok if the banks hadn't been bailed out by taxpayers maybe.


You're likely to have to meet several of these criteria to be successful, not just one, and you'll need to give the bank full details about how you've been affected.

  • Can't pay for necessities. You're struggling to meet basic necessities, including your mortgage, council tax, food and utility bills.

  • Can't pay debts. You're struggling to make loan and credit card repayments.

  • Income eaten by charges. Your income's being eaten up by repaying charges (for example, you're being asked to pay £50 of charges from a £100 weekly benefit income).
    Note: This doesn't specifically cover the deduction of bank charges from your benefits under the Social Security Administration Act 1992 - this is an urban myth.

  • Payments regularly returned. Your payments regularly get returned unpaid as you don't have enough money in your account.

  • Substantial drop in income. For example, you've lost your job, started a lower paid job, needed to take parental or carers' leave, your partner has died, you've separated from your partner, you've started full-time education or you/your partner has been in, or gone to, prison.

  • Disability or illness. You've needed to increase spending on something due to a disability or serious illness.

  • Going bankrupt or into debt management. You're going bankrupt, getting an IVA or debt relief order or are in a debt management plan.

  • Continually living off credit. You're living off credit and regularly need to increase your credit limit.

  • Regular credit card cash withdrawals. You're using regular cash withdrawals from credit cards to make ends meet.

  • Frequently over your overdraft limit. You frequently go over your overdraft limit. In earlier incarnations of hardship rules this was defined as having more than £500 of charges a year – so that seems a good benchmark.

  • Bank charges have hurt your situation. The charges have contributed to making your financial hardship situation materially worse.

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Most companies charge you more if you don't pay by direct debit. I think virgin media charge £5 pm for pay on bill

Nearly all the energy companies put you on a worse tariff if you don't pay by direct debit.

If you are poor every penny counts but then the direct debit bounces and they all want their pound of flesh simple

for sending an electronic message saying "no money for you!". They don't charge for paying but they charge you

for not paying, not doing something.

Oh well.

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A lot of people try this one; they are almost all unsuccessful.

Most banks will give you all your benefits or wages if you need them, but the past (previous) charges stay on your account. They have to be paid at some stage. You will be successful at getting future charges waived for a while, from six months to a year.

You will eventually be expected to abandon the account and can pay the overdraft back free of charges, but you'll get a default registered against you, and the account will be sold on to a debt-collector.

Most call-centre staff have heard the customers quote the Social Security legislation at them, they just make sympathetic noises and then stop future charges. They will have enough empathy not to laugh in your face, but they've heard it all before and there is no legal right to RECLAIM charges, as distinct from stopping future charges.

The banks have already discussed this one with the government, it's sadly a non-starter unless there's a future legal challenge that is successful. Sorry.

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Having read the OP again, what are you doing using an overdraft if you are on benefits? All banks MUST provide an account which is free to use and has basic functionality (DDI, STD, FP etc).

I agree that the NWO is trying to get everyone to stop using cash (to further the control of citizens), but that's another (more heated) argument.

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  • 406 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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