Clegg: We’ll stop overdraft charges

By staff

The Liberal Democrats will scrap disproportionate overdraft charges if they come to power, Nick Clegg has said.
Speaking ahead of a day in which he launches the party’s Welsh campaign, Mr Clegg said the charges could not be justified when banks were still paying out bonuses.
“A Liberal Democrat government will legislate to ensure that no bank can charge its customers unfairly for going over their limit or bouncing a cheque,” he said.
“Banks should, of course, be able to pass on the costs they incur in dealing with these problems.
“But they should not be able to profiteer from customers making small mistakes. We will outlaw unfair charges from now on.
“Bank bosses should look to their consciences and give back the money they took from their customers in unfair charges.”
The party’s manifesto for consumers, published today, will also pledge a cap on interest rates charged by credit cards and store cards, and real-terms cuts in rail fares.
“I believe bank bosses have a moral obligation to pay that money back,” Mr Clegg said of the overdraft charges, which have been a major source of consumer anger over the last few years.
“If they had a shred of moral decency, they would never have imposed these charges and they would never have refused to pay them back.
“Together Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and RBS have given out more than £7bn in bonuses in the last year alone.
“How can they refuse to return a few hundred pounds they wrongly took from people struggling to make ends meet from week to week?”
Mr Clegg’s tour of the United Kingdom continues apace today, as the Liberal Democrat leader launches the party’s Welsh campaign, with a trip to a Cardiff residential centre with Central Cardiff MP Jenny Willott.
Coming hot on the heels of trips to Scotland, Liverpool and the south-east of England, Mr Clegg will also be launching regional manifestos for the West Midlands and Yorkshire.
Vince Cable, who has taken on a dominant role in the campaign as his personal popularity rockets, will be travelling to Cambridge with Lib Dem candidate Julian Huppert.