Nine High Street banks and building societies have pledged support for overdraft customers after Money Mail demanded action.
We called on banks last week to halt overdraft charges for households struggling in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
With the cost of borrowing at a record low, we asked them to postpone planned fee hikes and instead waive charges altogether for those forced to go into the red to get by. Within hours, Barclays responded to our call.
Call to help: With the cost of borrowing at a record low, we asked banks to postpone planned fee hikes and instead waive charges altogether for those forced to go into the red to get by
Many more were quick to follow. Some banks have gone much further than others, while several have still to offer any help at all.
Here, Money Mail explains which has done what for overdraft and credit card customers.
If you are a Barclays customer you will not be billed any interest on overdraft borrowing between March 27 and the end of this month.
Charges will be waived automatically for everyone, no matter the size of your overdraft.
Barclaycard has also pledged not to charge its usual £12 late-payment fee for 90 days and has removed its £2.99 cash advance fee for those using their credit card to make withdrawals from ATM machines.
As of March 26, HSBC Bank Account and Advance Account customers will automatically get a £300 interest-free overdraft buffer for three months — up from just £25.
The bank has not agreed to waive credit card fees, but says it is working on solutions including a temporary increase in credit card limits.
Counting the cost: Many of the UK High Street banks are temporarily writing off overdraft fees for customers or supporting those with credit card debts
From April 6, Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers will also automatically get a £300 interest-free overdraft.
This will be available for three months, until July 6. The banking group is also waiving late-payment fees for credit card customers for three months, and is expected to begin offering credit card customers repayment holidays within days.
The bank is automatically waiving all interest charges on overdrafts between March 1 and June 30.
Metro Bank has not yet announced official support for credit card customers but has said it will help borrowers on a case-by-case basis.
Britain’s biggest building society has said it will not charge customers any interest on overdraft borrowing between April 20 and July 1 if they have been hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic.
Nationwide is also offering to reduce credit card repayments to just £1 and waive any late fees for three months.
Customers will be notified of this in their next statement period, with the holiday starting the following month.
Nationwide customers have to fill in an online form to apply for waived overdraft fees or reduced credit card repayments
To apply for the credit card repayment reduction online, go to nationwide.co.uk/support/coronavirus/credit-card-payment-holiday.
For an overdraft holiday, fill in the form found at nationwide.co.uk/support/coronavirus/overdraftsinterest-holiday.
Nationwide will then text or email the next steps. Vulnerable customers can also call 0800 464 30 40 to discuss missed payments, or 0800 464 30 40 if worried about future payments.
The taxpayer-backed bank has pledged to freeze its overdraft rate at 19.89pc for all customers for at least three months from March 30.
NatWest had originally planned to increase its overdraft interest rate to 39.49pc from March 27.
It has stopped short of halting fees altogether or offering an interestfree buffer. The bank is waiving its usual £2.75 fee for unpaid items (where a payment for a bill bounces) for three months from March 30.
And it has said that credit card customers can apply for a credit limit increase and request a refund for any fees for ATM withdrawals if they need to access cash in an emergency.
From today, late-payment fees on credit cards will also be waived for three months.
From April 6, customers with agreed overdrafts will not have to pay interest on the first £350 of borrowing for three months.
Santander also stopped charging credit card customers late payment and cash advance fees from March 30.
IF struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus crisis, customers are asked to contact the bank for help.
TSB says it may waive overdraft fees or freeze interest on a case-by-case basis.
Customers with the Virgin Money Group, which includes Virgin Money, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, will be given access to a £500 interest-free overdraft buffer for three months from April 1.
The group has not announced any support for credit card customers but says it will offer help on an individual basis, including payment holidays and credit limit increases.
Call 0800 011 3210 for Virgin or 0800 678 3320 for Clydesdale or Yorkshire Bank.
Lloyds unveils its new helpline just for over-70s
Lloyds has set up a phone line for customers who are over 70 to provide support and help protect them from fraud.
NHS workers and the vulnerable can also access a priority service from the banking group, which includes Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland.
Lloyds has set up a phone line for customers who are over 70 to provide support and help protect them from fraud
The bank will write to more than three million over-70s to inform them of the dedicated number.
NHS workers and the vulnerable will be prioritised through existing lines, where possible.
The bank will also allow those self-isolating, but who don’t bank online, to name a trusted person to do their banking in branch.
Customers should ask their nominee to provide ID to branch staff, who will then ring customers to check.
Lloyds Banking Group retail director Vim Maru says: ‘The new measures we’ve announced will allow us to offer more practical support to our most vulnerable customers, ensuring we can give them access to their cash.’
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