Metro Bank and 5 other major banks break CMA banking rules

  • Banks must make changes to avoid further breaches
  • Ninety-two Metro Bank customers reimbursed after being overcharged for their overdraft

The the banks found guilty of breaching the rules are Bank of Ireland, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Metro Bank and NatWest.

Under the order, banks and building societies are required to follow strict rules when it comes to informing customers about their services – from displaying correct interest rates for current accounts , the use of accurate promotional materials online and in branches, the accurate display of correct locations and opening times.

The shortcomings are:

  • Barclays does not hold information on up-to-date interest rates for overdrafts on two of its web pages
  • Bank of Ireland listing incorrect branch information via Open Banking (after some have been closed for good) as well as incorrect information information on certain current account fees. Tablet users also did not receive a link to information on Bank of Ireland’s quality of service via the banking app
  • HSBC does not publish information on the maximum amount it can charge customers for overdrafts in all of the places it should have. It also posted outdated information related to interest rates for overdrafts for their business accounts on one of its web pages.
  • Lloyds Banking Group published incorrect quality of service ratings for personal and business current accounts in leaflets and branch posters which gave potential customers a misleading impression of its performance; and failing to maintain up-to-date interest rate information for any of its overdrafts on any of its web pages
  • Metro Bank overcharging 92 customers for taking an unarranged overdraft
  • NatWest does not update records after branches and ATMs close. They also listed incorrect interest rates for small business loans when sharing information with independent price comparison tools.

All 6 banks confirmed they were making changes to their operations to prevent further breaches – ranging from destroying outdated promotional material to updating internal checklists and retraining staff. Metro Bank has also refunded affected customers.

Adam Land, Senior Director at CMA, said:

We all have the right to expect up-to-date and correct information when making important decisions about our finances.

It is therefore very disappointing that these 6 major banks have not complied with the rules in place for 5 years.

Customers have been left disappointed, some of whom will receive refunds, so these big names need to pull themselves together.

We will remain vigilant to ensure compliance with the rules.

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