Barclays: Fees and Charges:Written question - 13987

Q
(Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)
[N]
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Asked on: 07 February 2020
Treasury
Barclays: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Financial Conduct Authority on Barclays' overdraft pricing changes planned for March 2020.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 12 February 2020

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with many organisations in the public and private sectors on a variety of issues.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is operationally independent from Government and carries out its functions, including its work on the High-cost Credit Review and reforms to overdrafts, within the framework of statutory objectives and duties agreed by Parliament.

In June 2019, the FCA announced new rules governing how firms can charge for overdrafts as part of their High-cost Credit Review. These include mandating that firms cannot charge more for unarranged overdrafts than arranged overdrafts, banning fixed daily and monthly charges, and a package of measures to improve the transparency of pricing.

Overall the FCA expects these changes to make overdrafts simpler, fairer, and easier to manage and will protect the millions of consumers that use overdrafts, particularly more vulnerable consumers. According to their analysis, 7 out of 10 overdraft users will be better off or see no change to their fees.

In instances where consumers see increased fees on their overdrafts firms are required to develop strategies to reduce repeat use harm and incorporate monitoring and identification systems into their processes. Firms must make appropriate interventions if they identify that a customer is in financial difficulty, including presenting options for reducing use. If constituents think these changes to overdrafts will put them in financial difficulty, or are worried about higher charges, they should contact their bank.

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