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Sinn Féin welcomes referral of overdraft charges to OFT

10 August, 2006

Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson, Mitchel Mc Laughlin MLA has welcomed the decision by the Consumer Council to refer the exorbitant overdraft charging by Banks to the Office of Fair Trading.

Mitchel Mc Laughlin said:

"I have raised the concerns of my constituents on this matter on a number of previous occasions and I congratulate the Consumer Council on its referral of this unacceptable practice to the OFT.

"Unfortunately we are moving to a situation where it will be impossible to perform any financial transaction without the services of a Bank. Rather than delivering benefits to the consumer this trend is only reinforcing the stranglehold that Banks have on the day-to-day lives of the general public.

"If Banks can not demonstrate a commitment to delivering this service to the general public for a reasonable return voluntarily, then it is incumbent on government to regulate charges. It is unacceptable that government is moving in the direction that even people on benefit require a bank account while these institutions are free to impose exorbitant charges and penalties on customers without any form of mutual agreement." ENDS

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