Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) have expressed disappointment at the news that Royal Bank of Scotland has among the highest unauthorised overdraft charges of any bank. They have called for tough government regulation of banks in response
Citizens Advice Scotland
Contact Tony Hutson 0131 550 1010. mobile: 07774 751655.
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In a statement, CAS Chief Executive Mrs Kaliani Lyle said,
“This is extremely disappointing. It seems some people have learned nothing. Last year the Office of Fair Trading made it very clear that this kind of lending was inappropriate and unfair. And yet here we go again.
“The tragedy of this kind of lending is that it hits those who are worst off. If you are on a basic income of £60 per week, a £25 fee can really destroy your budget, whereas if you are earning thousands you can take the hit much more easily.
“Evidence from CAB staff around Scotland is that bank customers often have little understanding of the level and likelihood of incurring overdraft charges, because the information given is unclear and confusing. People often don’t know about the charges until they start to incur them, and once the charges are levied they pile up so quickly that they soon get out of control.
“Banks like RBS have contributed hugely to the recession, and people on low incomes have suffered a great deal already. What we should be doing is finding ways to make things easier for those people, not exploiting them further.
“The answer is regulation. It is clear that, if the banks are not going to exercise some common decency and restraint, then government should so it for them.”