Financial Services Bill: today’s opportunity to stamp out hidden bank charges must not be missed

Ahead of the House of Lords debate on the Financial Services Bill today, we are calling for changes to be made to ensure banks are open and transparent over bank charges.

New research from Which? today reveals six in ten people feel they have paid an ‘unfair’ bank charge and more than 90 per cent want banks to be more transparent on their fees.

Additional research findings include:

> Over 90% of people thought the financial regulator should have more power.

> 93% said they want bank charges be fairer.

> Almost half have paid a bank charge that they feel was disproportionate to the service they received.

We are calling on the Lords to make changes today to remove any legal uncertainty from the Bill and strengthen the language to ensure the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be confident to take action against the banks without fear of costly legal challenges.

Richard Lloyd, Executive Director, Which? says:

“The House of Lords has an opportunity today to make sure the Financial Conduct Authority gets the powers it needs. It has to be able to clamp down on hidden and excessive charges because for too long, the banks have got away with hiding rip off charges.

“To be a true consumer watchdog, the new regulator must be given this explicit power. It must have the legal basis to be confident to stand up for consumers and up to the banks.”

Notes to editors:

> 2013 members of the general public were surveyed online between 29 June and 1 July 2012.

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