I left the UK back in 2012 and had an open account with one of the high street banks. Two years ago (and unknown to me) this account was 60 pounds over-drawn (facility was for about 300 pounds).

I now owe 800 pounds due to a 75p per day overdraft facility charge capped at 35 pounds a month. Apparently this charge has been around "for a while" - the bank's internal agency chap wasn't able (or willing) to specify when it came about. I was unaware of this charge.

The bank collections agency expressed reason for contacting me was that since the account has been unused for 2 years the overdraft facility will be removed. Which means the debt must be reclaimed.

While I'm happy to pay off the original debt of 60 pounds, it seems unreasonable that I should have to pay off the 740 pounds of charges. They maintain that they will pass my debt off to a collections agency and mark me defaulted if I do not pay this debt.

Any advice on how to tackle this?

  • 1
    Pretty sure it was in the black when I left; otherwise I'm sure the debt would be much higher now. I honestly don't know how it went £60 in debt. I'll chase that up. The guy I was talking to only discussed June 2016 onwards - I'm guessing he has access to 2 years of records. I should have asked. There may have been a direct debit but then I'd expect an overdraft much bigger than £60.
    – StevieB
    Jun 12 '18 at 14:38
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    Did the bank ever attempt to contact you regarding the original overdraft or any subsequent charges, and if so, were they somehow informed that you weren't receiving the notifications? (Returned mail, for example.)
    – TTT
    Jun 12 '18 at 14:42
  • 4
    @StevieB - I don't know if it will matter, but at least there's a chance they know you weren't receiving their correspondence. I think you're going to have to just find someone at the bank who has the power (and is willing) to wipe out the fees and accept your payment for the overdraft amount. It seems like the fair thing to do, but you'll have to keep escalating with the bank until that happens.
    – TTT
    Jun 12 '18 at 15:15
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    "75p per day overdraft facility charge capped at 35 pounds a month" - lucky it's capped, otherwise those months with 47+ days would really sting...
    – AakashM
    Jun 13 '18 at 8:58
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    @AakashM If it were a well-known bank beginning with B, then it would be 75p a day for an authorized overdraft and £5 a day for an unauthorized overdraft capped at £35 a month.
    – richardb
    Jun 13 '18 at 18:00

It is the banks responsibility to prove how the debt has been accrued, so first of all you need to get accurate statements for the account going back several years, they will have access to this. If they don't they cannot prove the debt and therefore they cannot legally chase you for it.

Once you have established the debt is indeed valid, first port of call is to complain in writing to the bank explaning why you feel the charges are excessive. If the bank has charged you charges on top of charges, which it sounds like they have, you have a strong case to have these refunded or at least reduced dramatically. Even more so if it has caused you, or you are experiencing, financial hardship.

If that doesn't work you can escalate the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman:


Finally this may or may be not appropriate to your case:


Out of interest (no pun intended) which bank is this?

Good luck.

  • 1
    There's a comment on the question that pretty much says who the bank is :-)
    – StevieB
    Jun 28 '18 at 10:55

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