Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor, Vince Cable, says: “The Which? report and Liberal Democrat research clearly shows that the penalties for small errors are becoming penal.
For those close to their overdraft limit a little mistake can prove more expensive than a speeding fine.
“For a simple mistake you could find yourself facing over £70 worth of charges. To make matters worse banks tend to put charging information in the small print so many aren't aware of them until it's too late.
“To add insult to injury many of the problems occur in the banks themselves. The long delay time for clearing cheques means that customers are charged even though the transaction may be fully covered.
“Although some banks offer clemency periods for irregular mistakes – most don't.
“Banks have always argued that they do not make excessive profits at the expense of their customers as was alleged in the Cruikshank Report.
“Yet this is an area where, at first sight, banks are imposing charges which are well in excess of their own costs.
“I have asked Office of Fair Trading to investigate charges on those overdrawn to judge whether excessive profits are being made.”