16th Barclays were introducing a new way of paying for overdrafts.
Rather than a fixed charge for going into your overdraft at any point in a month they will now be charging
daily for every day that your account is in its agreed overdraft range.
Now I looked at this and it took me seconds to consider the aspects of this change and add up the
numbers, honestly whole seconds of time before I realised just what a significant impact this would have
on those least able to afford it.
Prior to yesterday if you were in your Barclays overdraft you paid around about £10. Now you will pay
£0.75 per day.
Wonderful, I’m sure those people who only go into their overdraft a few days a month will be happy with this
one. They will be paying no more than a few pounds rather than the full tenner.
But here is the problem, there is no cap. It doesn't stop when it hits the old £10 charge, it counts every
So if you are in your overdraft for the month that’s £21. A bit more than double what it used to be.
Well how many people are going to be affected, how many are going to be permanently in their overdrafts.
How many are going to find they are now paying twice as much.
The unemployed, people on jobseekers or disabilities, pensioners on just the state pension, any household
struggling to make ends meet due to part time work, zero hours contracts, no work at all.
So actually quite a lot of people potentially hurt by this.
Given that there are a million people who need food banks to put food on the family table, five million who
earn below what is considered a living wage and need tax credits to help them, millions more on some form
of non working benefits, millions more on minimum state pensions. That's a lot of people.
Now obviously not all of them bank with the New Bank of Tory town, Barclays. But I’m sure a lot of them do
and I doubt they are going to be able to clear those overdrafts quickly or move to another bank with an
outstanding overdraft hanging over them.
To those of you who don’t think £20 is a lot of money, good for you, I'm happy you are doing well in life.
The problem is I’m sure that’s the attitude that is prevalent at Barclays where people who think nothing
of spending that much on Starbucks in a week created this brilliant idea.
But to an out of work youngster on £50 a week, that means their overdraft bank charges now constitute
10% of their income. For adults on £70 a week it is still a chunk of money they can probably ill afford to pay.
Even to someone on a pension it is a new cost they must pay each month or they lose their bank account.
I suspect this money grabbing is just Barclays trying to recover the money it lost in fines when it was caught
cheating various financial systems not so long ago, they will say they are making things fairer for people who
only go overdrawn for a few days a month.
Well team Barclays, how about being fair to everyone. How about capping it at the £10 that it used to be, those
overdrawn for only a few days benefit. Those always overdrawn still pay the same. Of course that would
require one of Britains high street banks to actually notice that hundreds of thousands of its customers are
living hand to mouth because of the current economy and economic situation.
Hardly something the big banks are seen doing that often, they have something of a reputation for not noticing
or caring about the proles and the plebs.
How about it Barclays, cap the overdraft fees or become the new Tory bank, cruel and nasty to the poor
and desperate. Your choice.