NatWest lifts charges by 20%

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The Independent Online
NATIONAL Westminster will increase quarterly charges on current accounts by up to 20 per cent from 14 September, writes Lucy Reese.

Account holders are being notified of the changes now. Under the Banking Code of Practice there must be a month's notice before such changes take effect.

Charges on authorised overdrafts will rise by pounds 3 per quarter, producing a rise from pounds 16 to pounds 19, nearly 19 per cent, on standard current accounts and from pounds 20 to pounds 23 on the interest-bearing Current Plus accounts.

Charges on unauthorised overdrafts will increase by 20 per cent, from pounds 30 to pounds 36 per quarter. A buffer zone of pounds 50 prevents additional charges for account holders who have gone into the red by mistake. The changes follow similar increases in June 1991, and an increase in the cost of bouncing cheques from pounds 20 to pounds 27.50 last December.

NatWest claims that the new round of increases are needed to finance the cost of 'Free if in Credit' banking, on offer since the mid-1980s.

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