HSBC and Santander forced to repay bank charges:

Following action from the Competition and Markets Authority HSBC and Santander have been required to refund customers where bank charges were made and an earlier legal order was broken.

Under part 6 of the CMA Retail Banking Market Investigation Order, banks are required to give text alerts before you are charged for going into the red without permission (an unauthorised overdraft).

The order came into force in February 2018 – so if you have been affected – and some 115,000 customers have, you will be owed a refund. You should also ask the bank to pay compensation for any additional costs that might have arisen because of these banks failing to follow the regulations.

If you are not able to reach an acceptable agreement with the bank you are always entitled to bring your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (

This service is free to you, but costs the bank. You do need to have approached the bank first, to let them try to resolve the problem, before the Ombudsman service will consider you case. You can submit your case using the service’s online form, or in writing. It is always a good idea to keep records of your correspondence.

More information about complaining about a bank is available from the Citizens Advice Online Advice Guide at

You can see the full ruling at

Tom Togher

December 4, 2019.