The first question that you may have in your mind: why you need to think to reclaim bank charges? You are certain that you are wrongly charged by the bank, but you are not sure whether the laws support you to reclaim bank charges, or whether you are right at your place when you go to reclaim bank charges?
Well, you have the answers to all these questions. On 5 April, 2006, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) concluded that default charges over £12 are automatically presumed to be unfair in terms of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations–it is noticeable here that unfair terms are legally unenforceable. These charges may include late payments on credit cards, unauthorized overdrafts, unpaid direct debits and standing orders, and missed payment fees on store cards and mortgages. So, if you think that you are wrongly charged by the bank, you are entitled to reclaim bank charges.
This does not mean that charges below the £12 limit will never be deemed as unlawful and you can reclaim these bank charges; but the difference is that the OFT will take enforcement action only for charges above £12.
The law behind reclaiming bank charges
The law behind the concept of reclaiming bank charges is simple to understand–it states that any charges that banks levy on their customers must be proportional to the actual costs they incur. However, most of the time, the set amount of charges levied by the banks are quite in excess than they actually have to incur, and therefore, you are entitled to reclaim bank charges.