Lloyds halves buffer zone for overdrafts

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The Independent Online
LLOYDS Bank is slashing the free overdraft 'buffer zone' from pounds 50 to pounds 10 from next Friday laying thousands of customers open to the possibility of charges for the first time, writes Nic Cicutti.

Lloyds charges pounds 8 a month plus pounds 25 for every cheque made out with a guarantee card for unauthorised overdrafts. But it will waive interest charges if they are less than 50 pence a month.

At the beginning of the year, Lloyds halved the buffer from pounds 100. A spokesman said: 'We were effectively giving people a free overdraft. In the past three years we have frozen our charges and removed some. We have also cut the clearing cycle to three days for money paid into accounts.'

Royal Bank of Scotland does not levy charges on the first pounds 100 of an overdraft. National Westminster has an overdraft limit of pounds 50. It then charges pounds 3.50 a day.

TSB applies a pounds 10 buffer zone. It then charges 2.2 per cent a month. Barclays has a buffer zone of pounds 50 and levies a sliding scale of charges from pounds 5 a month for authorised debts and up to pounds 30 a month on unauthorised overdrafts.

Midland Bank has never operated a buffer zone. It charges pounds 17 a month for unauthorised overdrafts, plus 29.5 per cent on the amount owed.

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