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Unfair Bank Charges Barclays

Credit card charges can often feel unnecessary and frustrating particularly if they are as the result of missing your payment deadline by a day or accidentally exceeding your agreed limit. Thanks to an investigation by The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), though, you may now be able to reclaim some of these charges.

The OFT investigated unfair bank charges Barclays and other lenders were applying for late payment and over the limit fees and found some of the fees were disproportionately high. After a thorough investigation it was decided that anything over £12 could be regarded as excess and unfair. Banks tried to justify the high charges claiming they were necessary to cover the costs of administration. The OFT rejected this claim; though, deciding £12 would be sufficient to cover the cost of staffing, postage and a contribution to the maintenance of IT systems. As a consequence of the investigation, unfair bank charges Barclays and other lenders applied can now be reclaimed.

In addition to paying unfair credit card charges you may also have been charged for payment protection insurance on your card. Payment Protection Insurance, or PPI, is a type of insurance cover designed to cover a credit cardholder’s repayments if they are unable to work due to sickness, involuntary unemployment or accident. The cover has become controversial, though, and doesn’t always provide the level of cover a policyholder might expect.

The cost of credit card PPI is usually charged per month depending on the outstanding balance. The cost varies, but is ordinarily around 79p per £100 outstanding. This means if you have an outstanding balance of £10,000 you may pay in the region of £79.00 per month for the cover. Although, an potentially expensive monthly outlay, many people feel payment protection insurance is an essential financial safety net. What many don’t realise; however, is that the number of people who are successfully able to use their credit card PPI policy can be shockingly low. A 2008 survey by The Competition Commission found that just 11% of people who tried to use their credit card PPI policy were successful in doing so compared to 79% of people who tried to use their car insurance policy.

One reason why the payout level was so low is that many people were sold PPI policies that were unsuitable for them. Simply put, they were sold a policy that could have little or no benefit to them. The reasons for this include their circumstances making them unsuitable for cover – E.g. because they were over 65 or self employed and, therefore, ineligible or because they were unemployed or in full time education and unsuitable for a policy to cover loss of employment. Many people were also sold the cover without the terms and conditions being explained meaning they did not realise they could not make a claim for common ailments such as back pain or stress until they suffered from such a condition and tried to use their policy.

The good news if you were mis-sold a payment protection policy you can make a PPI claim. To start reclaiming PPI call the team on 0207 471 2000.


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Belmont Thornton Limited is regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of regulated claims management activities; our registration is recorded on the website www.gov.uk/moj/cmr number 18273

Belmont Thornton Limited is incorporated in England and Wales, Company number 6621233, whose head office at Unit 16, Elysium Gate, 126 New Kings Road, London, SW6 4LZ and registered office at Harwood House, 43 Harwood Road, London, SW6 4QP.

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* Belmont Thornton operates on a "No Win No Fee" basis. This means that there are no upfront costs to pay. Our fee only becomes payable on a successful outcome of a claim. A cancellation fee is payable if you decide that having instructed Belmont Thornton to act on your behalf, and after 14 days of signing your Letter of Authority, you do not wish to continue pursuing your claim with us. The cancellation fee is the reasonable costs incurred for the work undertaken. Please see our terms of engagement.

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