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Press Room

27 October 2010

NatWest and RBS Simplify Unarranged Borrowing Fees and Launch New ‘Act Now’ Alerts

  • 4 separate charges reduced to 2
  • Pre-emptive text and email alerts to prompt customers to take action

NatWest and RBS today announce that they are radically simplifying charges for customers who go overdrawn without agreement or exceed an agreed overdraft limit. The changes, which will be effective from 1st February 2011, will see four separate charges reduced to two.

The Banks are also launching the new ‘Act Now’ Alerts text and email service. This service prompts customers, at risk of incurring a fee, to pay in funds to cover any payments due to be debited from their account.

Susie Wands, Head of Overdrafts said: "This is good news for customers. Through our Customer Charter we have committed to listening to our customers and making banking easier. We asked our customers about products and charges and they told us they wanted them to be simple and easy to understand. These changes and the launch of the ‘Act Now’ Alerts do just that, giving customers more control and making managing their accounts more straightforward.”

Details of the changes are:

  • The ‘Maintenance Charge’, ‘Paid Referral Fee’ and ‘Guaranteed Card Payment Fee’ will be replaced with a single daily fee called the ‘Unarranged Overdraft Fee’. The fee will be 6 for each day that the account is in excess by more than 6.
  • We are changing the name of the ‘Unpaid Item’ Fee to ‘Returned Item’ Fee to better explain what this fee is for. This fee is increasing from 5 to 6 (capped at 60 per month).
  • There will no longer be interest charged for unarranged overdrafts

Helping Customers Avoid Fees
The Bank has already taken a number of steps to help customers avoid fees, but the new ‘Act Now’ Alerts text and email service go one step further to give customers more control of their accounts. Customers who register for the service will receive a text and/or email warning them that a fee may be incurred and prompts them to pay in funds to cover any payments due to be debited from their account. Customers can thus avoid having any items returned unpaid and incur a charge. In some situations, customers will be able to avoid charges altogether; in others they will be able to stop further charges from accruing. A reminder alert will be sent after five days if the customer has not corrected the position.

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

NatWest Overdrafts