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to hate First Direct?

(31 Posts)
strawberryfields Mon 07-Jul-08 19:24:16

who charged me £75 in one month for going over my overdraft limit 3 times - yes my own fault, was literally a couple of quid each time. I called them, we compromised and I paid half of it. Now they have written to me demanding £25 arrangement fee to keep my overdraft at all. My reaction is to scream "thieving bastards!!!" angry but is that unreasonable?

iamdingdong Mon 07-Jul-08 19:25:55

We bank with FD and I generally find them pretty reasonable about this kind of thing, I know they do charge a £25 fee for OD arrangement but I thought this was just to extend it or set it up in the first place?

TheFallenMadonna Mon 07-Jul-08 19:28:46

How long have you been with them? We went over our limit inadvertently once, and they wrote to us saying "we have temporarily increased your overdraft limit to accommodate this" - and don't do it again!

But we've been with them since we were at college and have a good relationship, in as far as you can now with call centres and all that.

strawberryfields Mon 07-Jul-08 19:32:53

Been with them about 6 years, phoned them and was very nice and reasonable and said please could you possibly not charge me for this pleeeeeease? and was told nope, you want an overdraft you pay £25. Am tempted to flounce off to another bank but moving the direct debits etc such a PITA.

KelaH Mon 07-Jul-08 19:34:20

Halifax will move all the direct debits for you if you move to them (others may too, am not sure)

And no, YANBU

iamdingdong Mon 07-Jul-08 19:34:57

so do you have an overdraft or not? if you do but want to extend it, or don't but want to have one, they are within their rights to charge you adn other banks will do the same. If they are chrrging you for something you've always had, that is not on!

strawberryfields Mon 07-Jul-08 19:37:53

Have always had said overdraft. I do not wish to increase or decrease it, I wish to maintain the status quo. This is why I object, £25 for doing what exactly? Woman in call centre seemed to think this was reasonable. Harrumph.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 07-Jul-08 19:39:16

My bank hasn't charged me so far. Is this new?

iamdingdong Mon 07-Jul-08 19:44:25

it is not right to charge you if you've always had it shock

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 07-Jul-08 19:47:45

Sorry - if you went over your limit 3 times in one month then YABU. The bank is a business after all.

I think they were reasonable to give you any reduction, tbh.

If you're going to go over your limit, why don't you ask them to increase it for you?

iamdingdong Mon 07-Jul-08 19:48:30

from first direct info:

Overdraft Service
You can request an overdraft, or an increase to an existing overdraft limit, on your 1st Account (but not on a savings account) by either:

making a formal request, that is, you ask us for and we agree to provide you with, an overdraft or an increase to an existing overdraft limit before you authorise any payments or withdrawals from your account that, if made by us, would cause your account to go overdrawn or over an existing overdraft limit;

or

by way of an informal request, that is, where you authorise a payment or withdrawal to be made from your account which, if made by us, would cause your account to go overdrawn or over an existing overdraft limit, without having agreed with us in advance an overdraft or an increase to an existing overdraft limit on your account to cover such payment.
We may charge an Arrangement Fee for arranging an overdraft for you in each situation.

Arrangement Fees
1st overdraft in 6 months free*
Subsequent overdrafts £25

*No Arrangement Fee is payable if, in the last 6 months, we have not agreed to an overdraft request from you, or, for periods which pre-date 1st October 2007, you did not exceed your overdraft limit or go overdrawn without a limit. See below for further waivers.

Arrangement Fees for Informal Overdrafts are accrued during your monthly statement charging period which is usually the same as your monthly statement period. These Arrangement Fees will be pre-notified to you at least 14 days before your account is debited.

Arrangement Fee Waivers
We will not charge an Arrangement Fee:-

for your first ever overdraft with us; or
provided within the last 6 months, either we have not agreed to an overdraft request from you, or, for periods which pre-date 1st October 2007, you did not exceed your overdraft limit or go overdrawn without a limit; or
for Informal Overdrafts if covering funds are paid in before the end of the day; or
if debited Arrangement Fees (or interest) cause your account to go overdrawn or further overdrawn.
We will not charge more than one Arrangement Fee a day.

Return Fees
We may not be able to grant every request you make for an overdraft. Where we decline an informal overdraft request we will not charge an Arrangement Fee but a Return Fee will be payable for considering and returning payment requests, eg, cheque, standing order, direct debit, etc.

Up to £10 no charge
Up to £25 £10 per item
Above £25 £25 per item

The fees will be deducted from your account on the day the item(s) are considered and returned.

Please note that in addition to the above we operate some discretionary policies as to how charges and interest rates apply to overdrafts.

iamdingdong Mon 07-Jul-08 19:50:19

sorry that was long!

this is the bit for you I think:

Arrangement Fees
1st overdraft in 6 months free*
Subsequent overdrafts £25

*No Arrangement Fee is payable if, in the last 6 months, we have not agreed to an overdraft request from you, or, for periods which pre-date 1st October 2007, you did not exceed your overdraft limit or go overdrawn without a limit. See below for further waivers.

alicet Mon 07-Jul-08 19:55:26

They pulled the £25 arrangement fee with me too as I have also gone over my limit a couple of times! Apparently if 6 months passes and you stay within your limit you don't have to pay again.

But I am with you on the thieving bastards front!!!

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 07-Jul-08 20:22:12

How is it that they are thieving bastards? If anything, you are the ones who have stolen money from them. An overdraft is money that belongs to the bank and not you!

You will have been sent the terms and conditions of your account by first direct when you set it up and/or when anything changes about the account.

How come it's not fair if the bank acts in accordance with its own terms and conditions? If you don't like it, change banks!

tiredandgrumpy Mon 07-Jul-08 20:31:37

Not sure as to the legal standpoint on this, but have heard that they are only entitled to charge you for the cost they incurred by your going overdrawn - anything else is punitive and out of order. I submitted the standard letters (found on internet) to them when this happened to me and I got all my money back (and a bit more). However, this was before the rulings & First Direct's new contracts, so I'm not sure where you'd stand nowadays.

Can't remember where I found the letters, but try googling this & you might find the guidance I used. Good Luck. I used to like FD, but the whole experience has left me pretty disgusted with them.

BigBadMousey Mon 07-Jul-08 20:48:20

I think there are far worse banks than FD.

I've always found them to be very helpful over the phone and (unlike other banks) easy to contact.

No one has mentioned that a decent proportion of the FD overdraft is INTEREST FREE - which, in the long term could make up for the £25 charge.

yabu though - for reasons already stated - you went over your limit and they are following their regs which you have agreed to abide by. I do agree it is a PITA - especially when you have only gone over by a few pounds.

LittleMyDancing Mon 07-Jul-08 20:52:18

I've always found FD to be very reasonable, have let me off lots of charges in the past and I claimed back my charges successfully recently using the letters on moneysavingsexpert. they do charge a £25 fee for overdrafts, but I think compared to most banks that's pretty reasonable.

they're very efficient and have never ballsed up a payment or left me in the lurch, so I'm a big fan.

claricebeansmum Mon 07-Jul-08 20:55:02

Yup - you have an agreement with them and you broke it.

What would happen if they accidentally took a couple of quid of yours every now and then without warning you?

I don't understand why people feel that is they go overdrawn without permission they consider the banks to be in the wrong.

When the bank charges fiasco has settled down we will see a subtle change in the way banks charge. There will be an end to free banking across the board.

LittleMyDancing Mon 07-Jul-08 21:06:13

Quite. In Australia all banks charge a fee just for having an account - we were charged $5 a month before we did anything.

There's no such thing as a free bank account.

frazzledgirl Thu 10-Jul-08 10:54:09

I'm with FD and had exact situation as OP except I went over twice by less than amount of OD charges.

Rang up, spoke to customer services, explained that if they imposed charges I would claim them back and probably get them, so how about we save time and paperwork and not take the money in the first place. They agreed.

Then got letter about charging me for OD itself. Phoned up in complete fury and said that I should have been warned at the time the charges were lifted that really it was only a temporary respite AND that I was prepared to take my account elsewhere.

And they agreed and returned the money.

Might be worth trying.

Was annoyed by all this, but must say that in my experience, First Direct are lots more reasonable and responsive than any other bank I know.

HermanMunster Thu 10-Jul-08 11:39:02

thieving bastards.
charging you for a service that you wished to avail of and could have easily found out the cost of said service.

YABU

ruddynorah Thu 10-Jul-08 11:43:26

would it have been better for you if they hadn't paid the bill for you that took you overdrawn....sorry the 3 bills that took you overdrawn??

wannaBe Thu 10-Jul-08 11:45:40

yabu.

It is you who is the "thieving bastard" you took money that didn't belong to you.

I have been with fd for years and I find them excellent. And, unlike most other banks, their call centre is in the UK.

ib Thu 10-Jul-08 11:57:47

Don't you have text message warning? I used to have this with FD which meant that if I ever got overdrawn I'd get a text and I could then pay in the money by the end of the day and they wouldn't charge me.

Swedes Thu 10-Jul-08 13:35:58

YABU

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