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Metro Bank to waive overdraft interest on temporary basis

By Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent

Metro Bank has joined a growing number of providers in offering customers temporary relief on overdraft charges.

It said personal current account customers will not be charged any interest for using their overdraft for a period running from the start of March until the end of June.

This applies to both new and existing customers, Metro Bank said.

It will happen automatically and customers do not need to contact the bank.

Kat Robinson, director of bank accounts at Metro Bank, said: “We’re mindful of the uncertainty caused by coronavirus and are committed to supporting our customers whose personal finances may be impacted at such a challenging time.

“We will therefore waive all overdraft interest due from the beginning of March until the end of June for personal current account customers.

“We hope that this will provide some flexibility for our customers as we all adjust to the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in.”

Meanwhile, Santander UK also announced on Friday that it will introduce a £350 interest-free overdraft buffer for three months from April 6.

This means it will automatically waive interest on up to £350 of any agreed overdraft limit.

On Thursday, Nationwide Building Society said it will not charge overdraft interest from April 20 until July 1 for those financially impacted by Covid-19.

Customers can request a fee-free overdraft interest holiday by completing an online form.

Several other banks have previously announced automatic help with overdraft charges for customers.

Barclays UK said overdraft interest will be waived from March 27 to the end of April, meaning no charges for customers to use their agreed overdraft.

It said customers do not need to call to set this up, as interest will automatically be removed from March 27.

Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland have announced that from April 6, customers will be able to access a £300 interest-free overdraft.

Their customers who have an agreed overdraft do not need to take any action as this will automatically be available for three months until July 6.

As of Thursday, HSBC UK has introduced a temporary £300 interest-free buffer on overdrafts for customers with its Bank Account and Advance Account for a period of three months.

HSBC will apply the change to customers automatically, so they do not need to contact the bank.

Banks and building societies across the industry have previously been shaking up their overdraft charging structures as they prepare to comply with new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) overdraft rules coming into force in April.

The rules mean that from April, banks can only charge overdraft users a simple annual interest rate – without additional fees and charges.

Many providers have previously announced their intention to charge overdraft interest of around 40%.