Charges For Financial Products Increasing

By: Abbi Rouse

Britain is facing more fees on financial products than they did last year, the products affected are, secured loans, personal loans, credit cards and mortgages, also current accounts and savings, according to the latest research from moneysupermarket the online comparison service. They state that across five of the top financial products British consumers now face a total of 112 fees, slightly higher than the 110 faced this time last year. They were looking specifically at mortgages, credit cards, savings, current accounts and loans, with the findings of the research dubbed as "galling" by the moneysupermarket's managing director, Stuart Glendinning.

"It is unbelievable that five financial products can be the root of so much penalty pain. With so many default fees and charges in place, even the most astute consumer can fall foul. People deserve financial penalties to be transparent and fair from the outset," Mr Glendinning said.

Mortgages were found to be the cause of most problems when it came to fees and penalty charges, with a total of 51 different fees attached to the products. Although exit fees have been curbed, other fees have replaced them, according to moneysupermarket, such as charges being made for copying documents, or changing payment methods, they have also introduced other means for the banks to make money.

Some 11 different fees and charges are attached to loan products, according to the website, with personal loans, secured loans and debt consolidation loans in certain cases carrying late payment fees or early settlement fees.

Unpaid direct debits or bounced cheques related to loans can set consumers back about 35 pounds a time too, moneysupermarket claimed.

Credit cards and overdrafts attached to current accounts, two further methods of borrowing, also carry fees. While the Office of Fair Trading has capped credit card fees at 12 pounds, moneysupermarket notes that the number of credit card charges has risen from 17 to 19, suggesting that the providers are introducing further fees to replace capped revenue. Where current accounts are concerned, slipping over the agreed overdraft limit can result in a charge, as can having a payment bounced, just two of 27 possible charges consumers face in relation to their current accounts.

"A year on and providers are still giving with one hand and taking with the other. You can understand why the banks want to recoup any profit lost as a result of the tightening up of fees. But we are seeing sneaky tactics by some providers, who are renaming charges or introducing a new fee in their place - a practice that doesn't treat customers fairly," Mr Glendinning added.

Savings accounts was the area that had the least fees or charges attached to it, with only four penalties being imposed. Withdrawal charges or problems through not depositing the required monthly funds are two of those involved, but these are far less in number than those associated with loans or mortgages especially.

Last month, the managing director of Picture Financial emphasised the importance of structuring debt in the best possible way to make payments more manageableFree Articles, something that would potentially avoid some of the fees highlighted by moneysupermarket.

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