is an interesting article about claiming back excessive bank charges for going overdrawn etc. The guy that wrote it thinks that bank charges for this are unlawful. Therefore if you attempt to claim any bank charges for the last 5 years back from your bank, and you threaten them with legal action, they will offer you a settlement or pay them all back to you. They will probably close your account in the process so be sure to have another account set up. But if you've been charged hundreds of pounds in charges over the last 5 years then it is worth it.
The argument that these charges are unlawful goes roughly like this. In the old days when you went over your overdraft, the manager of the bank would personally write to you. Therefore, it was reasonable for the bank to charge £35 for his time. Now if you go overdrawn, a letter is automatically produced and franked and sent to you, which lets say costs the bank £1 at the most. The charge that they therefore levee on you is disproportionate to the cost of informing you. Sure, they can charge you interest on the money you 'borrowed' by mistake, but they should only be charging you a couple of quid tops in charges.
Even though the charges are part of your contract, it is argued that they are unfair terms in your contract because they are disproportionate to the cost, and that by English law could well make them unlawful. the reason why the banks will settle is that no case has made it to court yet & so none of the banks know what will happen, nor do they want their charges structure to be closely looked at. If it goes to court and is decided in the favour of the customer, then a precendent is set & bang goes a lot of easy money for the banks.
So, it's worth doing if you've a lot of bank charges. It happened to me once & they tried to charge me £52 for bing overdrawn for 1 day by £4!!!! I got it reduced to £25, but even that smarted greatly. If you do think about doing this then read the article on the link at the top carefully.