Top 10 banking turnoffs
Steep charges for going overdrawn are customers' biggest banking turnoff, according to an MSN Money poll.
The survey asked consumers what irritates them most about their bank and it revealed that high overdraft charges topped the list of banking bugbears with 20% of the vote.
Other common gripes include overseas call centres, which received 14% of the vote, new customers getting the best rates, which 12% of respondents said was their biggest bugbear, and the length of time it takes to clear a cheque (11%).
Simon Ward, spokesperson for MSN Money, says that customer satisfaction surveys constantly show consumers are unhappy with their banks for seemingly profiteering from customers' financial misery.
"Many people are not happy with their bank. And it's easy to see why when banks continue to make large profits but charge their customers huge fees for going into the red."
"While it is the customer's responsibility to make sure they don't exceed their overdraft limit, it's clear many people feel the fees are disproportionately high.
"It's also galling when banks neglect the simple things such as good customer service, rewarding loyalty, and even making sure they have enough cashiers in branches during busy periods, for example at lunchtimes."
Top 10 banking bugbears
1. High charges for going overdrawn
2. Offshore call centres
3. Best rates going to new customers
4. The time it takes to clear cheques
5. Poor customer service
6. Too few staff during busy periods
7. Paying to speak to a bank on the phone
8. Spending money on advertising rather than staff or training
9. Repeatedly having to produce documentation
10. Simple requests taking too long
MSN Money received 1,939 votes in its poll.
An overdraft is an agreement with your bank that authorises you to withdraw more funds from your account than you have deposited in it. Many banks charge for this privilege either as a fixed fee or charge interest on the money overdrawn at a special high rate. Some banks charge a fee and interest. And other banks offer a free overdraft but impose very high charges for exceeding the agreed limit of your overdraft.
The practice of locating your financial affairs (banking, savings, investments) in a country other than the one you’re a citizen of, usually a low-tax jurisdiction. The appeal of offshore is it offers the potential for tax efficiency, the convenience of easy international access and a safe haven for your money. However, offshore is governed by complex, ever-changing rules (such as 2005’s European Union Savings Directive) and, as such, is the exclusive province of the wealthy and high-net-worth individuals.