Over the last few months there have been many stories in the press about the reclaiming of bank charges. This followed a ruling by the high court that deemed that the amount banks were charging their customers was disproportionate to the costs incurred by the bank and therefore illegal. This means that because these charges are deemed too high and unlawful, the customer is entitled to the value of the charge back. So for every time you went over draw past your over draft limit, or bounced a direct debit or standing order the bank would have charged you anywhere from £15 up to nearly £40, it is these charges that you are entitled to claim back. People have successfully claimed back anywhere from £100 right up to one lady who successfully claimed back nearly £20,000. The stipulation of the ruling is that you can only claim back charges for a period no longer than the last 6 years.
How do I claim?
The procedure for claiming these charges is simple if not a bit long winded. First you need to establish exactly what you are owed, to do this you need to write to your bank and ask for details of the charges levied against your account for the last 6 years, alternatively you can ask them for your bank statements, there will however be a charge as this request comes under the data protection act. The most legally they can charge you for the information is £10 however, there is no limit on how much they can charge you for supplying complete bank statements, so it is best to avoid this as all you are interested in is the charges.
Once you receive this information you need to go through and highlight any charges, it is best to list them with the amount, date and page number of the statement where the charge appears and put this on a spread sheet as you will need to send this to the bank. Once you have calculated what they owe you, you can then write the second letter which notifies them of your intention to claim back the charges.