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Move on bank services welcomed - Mitchel McLaughlin MLA

20 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has welcomed the news from the Consumers Council on the Competition Commission's decision that will ensure that Banks here, provide greater rights to customers.

Mitchel McLaughlin MLA said:

"I have highlighted on a number of occasions problems encountered by bank customers particularly on issues relating to unauthorised overdraft charges and the confusing jargon used in documentation and billing. In 2007 Banks were found to have charged customers in the North up to £210m in unauthorised overdraft charges in a six year period.

"I welcome today's news from the Consumer Council that the Competition Commission has instructed Banks here that they will have to provide greater rights to customers by July of this year. There is a clear need for greater transparency across a wide range of banking services. The fact that the Competition Commission has confirmed what has been widely accepted here for a long time - that customers in the North incur higher charges and receive lower interest- than customers elsewhere is also to be welcomed. Many customers have no idea how much they are really paying for their banking services. Now that steps are being taken to eliminate confusing jargon in bank letters, statements ,bills and other correspondence should go some way to help alleviate those problems .


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