Six high street banks broke CMA information rules

by | Jul 22, 2022

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Six high street banks were found to have broken rules imposed by the Competition and Markets Authority under the Retail Banking Market Investigation Order 2017, it was revealed on Friday.
The banks included Metro Bank, which has refunded affected customers, as well as the Bank of Ireland, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and NatWest.

Under the order, banks and building societies are required to follow strict rules when it comes to informing customers of their services, the competition watchdog explained.

Those rules included showing correct interest rates for current accounts, using accurate promotional materials online and within branches, and accurately displaying the right locations and opening times.

Barclays failed to keep information on interest rates up to date for overdrafts on two of its web pages, while the Bank of Ireland listed incorrect details of branch locations through Open Banking, after some had permanently closed, as well as wrong information about some current account charges.

Tablet users were also not provided with a link to information on the Bank of Ireland’s service quality via the banking app.

HSBC failed to publish information about the maximum amount it could charge customers for overdrafts in all the places it should have done.

It also showed out-of-date information relating to interest rates for their business account overdrafts on one of its web pages

Lloyds Banking Group published incorrect service quality rankings relating to personal and business current accounts in leaflets and branch posters, which gave potential customers a misleading impression of its performance.

It also failed to keep information in relation to interest rates up to date for one of its overdrafts on one of its web pages.

Metro Bank overcharged 92 customers for entering an unarranged overdraft, while NatWest failed to update its records following branch and ATM closures.

It also listed incorrect interest rates for small business loans when sharing information with independent price comparison tools.

All six banks had confirmed to the CMA that they were making changes to their operations to prevent further breaches, ranging from destroying out-of-date promotional materials, to updating internal checklists and retraining staff.

Metro Bank also refunded the affected customers.

“We all have a right to expect up-to-date and correct information when making important decisions about our finances,” said CMA senior director Adam Land.

“It’s therefore very disappointing that these 6 major banks have failed to uphold rules that have been in place for the last five years.

“Customers have been let down, some of whom will receive refunds, so these high street names must get their act together.

“We will remain vigilant to ensure the rules are followed.”

Reporting by Josh White at Sharecast.com.

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