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Press Room

07 September 2009

NatWest and RBS Cut the Price of Unarranged Borrowing

Unpaid item fee cut to 5

NatWest and RBS today announce that they are to significantly reduce the charges for customers who go overdrawn without agreement or exceed an agreed overdraft limit. The cuts, which will be effective from 1st October, will see the fee for returning a cheque, direct debit or standing order cut to 5. The fee for paying an item when overdrawn will be cut by half to 15 per day.

Announcing the moves, the new CEO of the UK Retail Bank, Brian Hartzer, said: "This is good news for customers, not least because the fees for unarranged borrowing have been an area of ongoing concern for them. As we look ahead there are many issues to consider, but we thought it was time to move this particular customer concern forward by cutting our charges.

At RBS our support for our customers must be at the core of all that we do as we work to return the bank to standalone strength. We are changing what we do as a bank and the way we do it. Today's announcement is one more example of the determination we have to support our customers.

As it relates to past charges we are awaiting the outcome of the industry-wide bank charges test case. Our aim, which has remained unchanged throughout the case, has been to gain legal clarity around this issue and we remain fully committed to it through the legal process.”

Details of the reductions are:

  • Unpaid item fee reduced to 5 from 38 (maximum 50 per month, reduced from 114 per day)
  • Paid referral fee reduced to 15 from 30 (maximum 90 per month)
  • Guaranteed card payment fee reduced to 15 from 35 (maximum 90 per month, reduced from 105 per day)
  • Maintenance charge reduced to 20 from 28
  • Unarranged borrowing rate of interest reduced to 19.24% EAR

Helping Customers Avoid Fees

The Bank has already taken a number of steps to help customers avoid fees.

NatWest and RBS customers can avoid paying any unarranged borrowing charges by agreeing their borrowing requirements in advance, which is a simple and straightforward process. The Bank also offers customers a current account option that suits customers who frequently use an unarranged borrowing service. This account option carries unarranged borrowing fees pegged at 5 if customers pay a monthly fee of 10.

Customers are also able to keep a check on their account through branch, cash machine, phone and Internet, as well as through a free text alert messaging service which provides advance warning if they reach a certain limit determined by the customer.

Note to Editors

  • The OFT along with the Banks involved in the test case introduced a stay for all bank charge claims whilst clarity is reached through the courts.