UK banks cashing in on overdrafts

Banks in the UK are making an estimated £4.1 billion a year from overdraft charges, up by 40 per cent in the past two years, new figures reveal.

A report by price comparison website uSwich.com indicates that almost 14 million Britons now use their current account overdraft facility and, for many, it has become a necessary part of keeping financially afloat.

The site suggests that the combined overdraft for current account holders in the UK is £10.1 billion, with a third of Brits reliant on their overdraft.

The average amount current account holders are overdrawn is £-677 and around 3.5 million Britons are now permanently overdrawn and two million account holders remain overdrawn on pay day.

Almost half of current account holders who are overdrawn (44 per cent) do not know what rate of interest their bank is charging them and men are more likely to run up a steep overdraft than women.

Nick White, head of personal finance at uSwitch.com, said: "Overdrafts are now an everyday part of life, but we are concerned about the increasing reliance that people are placing on them."

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