In the UK, banks do not charge for providing basic and standard current accounts or for services such as setting up direct debits, receiving statements or online banking.
However, there are a number of different charges that banks and building societies do make so it’s important to ask about these when you open your account. It is also a good idea to read and make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your account. These will be given to you along with other paperwork when you open your account.
If your account comes with an overdraft facility you may be charged an arrangement fee and you’ll also need to pay interest on any money you borrow via the overdraft. See our section on interest to find out more.
If you go overdrawn without arranging an overdraft or spend more than your agreed overdraft limit, it’s likely you’ll be charged for this and fees can easily mount up if you let this happen.
If a cheque bounces or there isn’t enough money in your account to cover a payment such as a direct debit, you’ll also be charged for this.
You usually get charged if you want to transfer money overseas or make a same-day transfer to another bank.
There are certain premium accounts that charge a monthly fee and come with a range of perks such as free travel insurance or free car breakdown services. It is a good idea to check whether you actually need these services before you open a premium account.
Cash point fees
Banks and building societies don’t make charges when you use their cash points to withdraw your money even if you don’t have an account with them. However, there are a number of other companies that operate cash point machines and many of these do make a charge each time you use them. The charge will come straight out of your account and if you make regular withdrawals, particularly for small sums of money, these can add up. You usually find these cash point machines in convenient locations such as inside newsagents or pubs. They are supposed to make it clear that you will be charged and how much the charge is.