HSBC “unreasonable charges” estimated at £303m
by Gill Montia
Story link: HSBC “unreasonable charges” estimated at £303m
While the outcome of the High Court case on unreasonable bank charges is awaited, HSBC has revealed that it could have to pay out a further £303 million in refunds to its British customers, should the Office of Fair Trading win the case.
The bank also acknowledges, via its annual accounts, that the final figure could be considerably higher.
HSBC handed back £115 million to successful claimants during 2007, and is the first high street bank to publish an estimate of the amount it could yet be forced to return to customers.
In 2007, profits at HSBC’s high street consumer business fell 16% to £740 million; however, savings deposits increased by 15%.
HSBC describes the rise as suggestive that: “people are either deferring purchases or that there is a flight to quality” as a result of the Northern Rock crisis.
Analysts estimate that over the past six year, the banking industry profited by around £10 billion through applying heavy penalties to current account customers who breached their overdraft limits.
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