UK banks reap £10bn from current account charges in 2017

The average holder was charged £152 in bank fees last year which, if incurred by every one of the 65 million active current accounts in the UK, suggests banks made £9.9bn from charges in 2017, according to latest figures.

Analysis of over 11,000 UK personal current accounts by Plum has revealed that the average £152 paid per year by current account holders includes overdrafts, foreign exchange, and transactions fees, as well other unspecified fees, such as monthly account charges. This £152 average rises significantly when considering personal current accounts with an overdraft function. In this case, total bank charges were closer to £221 per current account holder with those that have at least one overdraft transaction per year.

In terms of what charges were applied by the banks, 56% were due to overdrafts, both from planned and unplanned usage. Foreign exchange fees accounted for 11% of the total charges, while late transaction fees made up 6%. Over a quarter, however, (27%) of the total charges were classed as “other” which included monthly account fee, unspecified bank fees, or bank subscriptions.

Plum CEO and co-founder Victor Trokoudes, said: “For too long, banks have been guarding customer data, and have been purposely vague about the true cost of overdrafts, borrowing, and FX. But with Open Banking now a reality, people can see in real time what charges they are being asked to pay by the banks and therefore take control of their money to avoid paying them.

“Enabling people to take control is why we launched Plum and that’s why we’ve created Fee Fighter which, in less than five minutes, helps people find a better deal and avoid fees when it comes to banking. We want to help people stand-up to their banks and demand a competitive deal. The more people that switch, the more that banks will be forced to compete for their business and fight to retain loyal customers. This is just one of the ways that we’re helping people be better off.”

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