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Watchdog tells six high street banks to tighten up after breaking rules on customer information

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NatWest is one of six banks that has been told to overhaul the way it releases information to customers (Matt Crossick/PA) (PA Wire)
NatWest is one of six banks that has been told to overhaul the way it releases information to customers (Matt Crossick/PA) (PA Wire)

Metro Bank, Lloyds and NatWest are among six high street banks have broken rules about the way they provide information to customers prompting action from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The problems range from overcharging for overdrafts at Metro Bank to failure to keep up-to-date records about closed branches and cashpoints at NatWest.  Lloyds had out-of-date information on part of its website about interest rates on overdrafts and also published incorrect service quality rankings. Metro Bank has pledged to refund the customers affected.

The CMA said all six were making changes to their operations to comply with the rules, which were set out under an order it made in 2017.

“It’s very disappointing that these six major banks have failed to uphold rules that have been in place for the last five years,” said Adam Land, senior director at the CMA.

“Customers have been let down, some of whom will receive refunds, so these high street names must get their act together. We all have a right to expect up to date and correct information when making important decisions about our finances.”

The other banks contacted by regulators were Bank of Ireland, which had incorrect information about current account charges; and HSBC, where details about maximum overdraft charges were missing from some places they should have been listed.

All six banks have confirmed they are making what the CMA called “operational changes” to prevent further breaches. In the five years the regulator has enforced the rules, more than £47 million has been paid out in refunds to customers due to incorrect information.

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