By Niamh Hennessy
Monday, August 08, 2011
CONSUMERS have been warned that banks will hit them with extra charges if they don’t have enough money in their accounts to cover direct debits.
Simon Moynihan of comparison website bonkers.ie said banks make a lot of money out of customers who don’t pay enough attention to their current accounts. Fees for returned direct debits and standing orders can be as much as €12.70 and customers will be charged for each returned transaction.
"A few missed transactions can really add up and as we know, the banks are all tightening up on their customers now," said Mr Moynihan.
Permanent TSB used to pay direct debits and standing orders as a courtesy to some customers who didn’t have enough to cover them, but they stopped that last month.
"Now they have a policy of bouncing all transactions where there isn’t sufficient funds and charging a tenner for it each time," said Mr Moynihan.
With direct debits that can change from month to month, such as for utilities, customers are warned to make sure they have enough to cover them, to avoid incurring penalties.
According to bonkers.ie, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank charge €12.70 for bounced payments, while AIB and Permanent TSB charge €10.
Customers have been advised to visit their bank’s website and download details of fees and charges.