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Bank Services: Fees and Charges

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints the Financial Ombudsman Service received on bank charges in each of the last five years. (134020)

The Financial Services Ombudsman (FOS) is operationally independent of the Government. I understand that over the past five years the FOS has collated data on the basis of current account complaints, not specific complaints on bank charges. The number of complaints relating to current accounts to year-end March was:

Number of complaints

2006

3,543

2005

2,521

2004

2,106

2003

1,602

2002

1,280

Data on inquiries relating specifically to bank charges were collated from September 2006. The number of inquires received relating to bank charges from September 2006 to March 2007 was 150,917.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps have been taken to reduce the charges to customers of high street banks. (134021)

The Office of Fair Trading, which is an independent body, is currently carrying out an inquiry into these charges under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (1999). It would not be appropriate for Government to comment.