Current Account Charges

Charges when you're in credit

All the major banks, and the building societies which offer current accounts, offer 'free banking' as long as your account is in credit - this means that you pay no charges for the standard services such as payments by cheque, standing order or direct debit, or cash card withdrawals. But even if you're in the black, banks may charge you for a variety of other fairly humdrum services - see the Table below. Building societies offer fewer extra services and, where they do, they're less likely to charge.

Extra Current Account Charges

Service Example of charges

Duplicate statement From nothing to several ££s for each page

Stopping a cheque From nothing to several ££s

You might also be charged if someone stops a cheque for you

Special presentation of a cheque (to get it cleared in less time than usual) From nothing to several ££s

Bounced cheque, you may be charged if a cheque you pay into your account bounces From 50p to several ££s

Banker's draft (used mainly for paying large sums when a cheque won't be accepted) From nothing to £40 or more

Cashing a cheque at another branch (eg for cheques over the guarantee card limit, or for less than this but without presenting your cheque guarantee card or cash card) From nothing to about £15

Arranging 'open credit' so that you can draw cash regularly at a different branch from yours without using a cheque card From nothing to about £40

Getting a bank reference if you want to check the financial standing of someone you do business with. (You don't pay if the bank is asked for a reference about you) From nothing to several ££s

TIP - Banks don't always inform you about charges for extra services when you open the account, and some charges are at the manager's discretion, so make a point of asking for details.

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What Current Accounts Offer

The services associated with current accounts are:

- cheque book: this is the most commonly used alternative to paying for items by cash. Some of the building society accounts and a few bank accounts don't include a cheque book - a serious drawback for most people

- cheque guarantee card: this ensures that your bank will pay out on a cheque up to a given limit. In most cases, the limit is £100, though it's £400 with some accounts, and some banks will issue to particular customers cards with a limit up to £450. The >- cash card: you can use this in 'hole in the... see: What Current Accounts Offer

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