Claim Back Your Bank Charges

Claim Back Your Bank Charges

First things first, this is NOT one of those ‘have you been miss sold PPI’ posts! This IS about helping people on a low income claim back charges for returned direct debits and overdraft charges. Do your payments get returned unpaid as you don’t have enough money in your account? Then you end up with charges?

There is an Act of Parliament which over-rides banks taking charges from your account if you are in receipt of any of the following benefits.

• Income Support
• Tax Credits
• Child Benefit
• Job seekers allowance
• Incapacity benefit
• Disability living allowance
• Attendance Allowance
• CSA payments
• Other DWP payments

There are ways to claim back those charges and here I will show you how.

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is request your past charges under the Data Protection Act . The bank can charge you £10 for this. Do this in writing and make yourself a copy to keep for your records. Don’t make the mistake of asking for past bank statements as they will charge you a lot more. Your bank has 40 days to respond to this. When your list of bank charges comes back, highlight all the ones that you think were unfair,

Step 2 

Now you need to write to your bank again, but this time asking for your money back. Be sure to sound firm but fair. Explain that you were/are under financial hardship.  Go on to say how the charges have impacted you and caused or worsened your financial situation. Mention that you will take the case to the Ombudsman if they refuse. I have heard lots of different stories from people who have got up to £700 back to people who were given £10 as a goodwill gesture.

Step 3 

You will get a letter saying they have received your request but it could take a few weeks to get a decision from them. If they agree to pay you back your charges then great! If they offer you an amount you’re not happy with then simply give them a ring and explain that you’re not happy and tell them the amount you are willing to accept as a fair reflection of your circumstances. This is kind of like a compromise so don’t sound greedy and ask for £2000 if they have offered you  £500.

Success Stories 

Halifax do it. I got over 500 quid back. I used their online complaints from. Done it on a Thursday and the money was back in my bank on Tuesday. – Chelsea 

I applied for mine. Just write how much you were charged & what you are claiming back. then give them a week & if not heard anything give them a call. Some advice from experience, stand your ground & don’t take no s**t. the lady on the phone to me put me on hold & when she came back she said yes they can refund but only £180 of it (I’d was owed £320 in overdraft charges) & said they can only give me that money if I took that & didn’t/can’t have the rest.

If I didn’t take it, they would take me to court & fight against paying back. because I was young & needed the money I stupidly took it. now.. I would have told her where to shove the money & taken it further then sued for more money due to trying to blackmail me. x – Carley

I emailed my bank halifax in August they refunded me £220 so deffo worth a go xx – Megan

Been refunded £35 for now as goodwill while they look at the rest. It’s looking good though xx -Robyn

I wrote an email and got all mine back. Also done it for my partner, he got £300 back and my mum got just over £700 back x – Jade

Let us know if you have any luck in the comments below.

Claim Back Your Bank Charges


  • Karen says:

    Has anyone successfully claimed charges back from Barclay’s?

  • Please get back to me regarding my bank charges please

  • kym says:

    who do I write to as I have this problem with lloyds tsb (from about 4-5 years ago.. unplanned overdraft ) but they have changed into two separate banks now.. compleatly confused, also my debt has now been passed on to debt colloctors who I’m still currently struggling to pay can I still claim back the charges?

  • *** says:

    You are not automatically entitled to bank charges back. There is no Act of Parliament. There is something called right of appropriation which entitles you to tell the bank how you want funds coming into your bank to be spent i.e. not on charges. To exercise this right you need to tell the bank before your benefit money goes in otherwise once the money enters the account the bank is well within their right to use it to cover charges. However, use this option too many times and the bank may opt to close the account depending on policy

    The government says:

    The purpose of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 Section 187 and section 45 of the Tax Credits Act 2002 is to prevent people’s benefit money being at risk by it being assigned over to a third party in settlement of a debt. It is not intended to prohibit the application of bank charges. Bank charges are in the nature of an expense, and are incurred by the holder of the account; tax credits and benefits are payable in order to help customers meet their expenses, and as such it is legitimate for banks to deduct charges from the balance of an account held in that bank, whether the money paid into the account comes from tax credits, benefits or other sources, such as earnings.

    • Karen says:

      How interesting! So have we been given false info about being able to claim charges back,would people be wasting their time?

      • *** says:

        Basically people have heard something and ran with it. Banks still end up giving money back because we all know if people kick up enough of a fuss that is what happens. From the legal perspective there is no automatic entitlement to get the money back, people have misinterpreted one piece of legislation.

        And it isn’t exactly a waste of time, if you do it and end up getting some money back then great, if you don’t then you are no worse off.

  • priscilla hastings says:

    Hi I’ve always been charged 30 a mth for overdraft charges and returned direct debit charges,now I get charged 75 aday which is now 23 a month,what exactly do i say/put in writing as no idea .can some1 please help me as would love to get some money back as sure I’ve paid charges for 10 plus yrs

  • Angela mcevans says:

    Hi saw this last night I but a complaint in with Halifax online straight away and the phoned me today at 8pm to say they was going refund me £150.00 in 5days time just look at my online bank and it’s in ok great response and service with Halifax also gave a good advice

  • Angela Milnes says:

    This is a fab idea kez I didn’t know about this and it sure would have helped when I was having charges taken month after month! I changed banks though back in 2014 and haven’t had charges since then. Could I go to the old bank and request this? Angela from Daysinbed

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