If you’re feeling a bit strapped for cash it might be worth finding out if your bank owes you money.
Martin Lewis, founder of moneysavingexpert.com, says people still regularly get some of their excess charges back from their bank.
“They can add up to £1,000s, joining the £1bn already repaid,” he writes on his website.
If you were ever charged for going over your overdraft limit or for bounced cheques and direct debits, you could still be owed money back.
Before November 2009’s Supreme Court ruling charges were hefty, but in recent years they have dropped to an average of around £15.
If you have incurred a one-off charge you can simple ring your bank and ask them to refund you the money.
However, if you have been charged multiple times over the years there are still ways you can claim the money back.
In August 2014 Oliver Foster-Burnell reclaimed £743 in overdraft charges, plus interest and an additional £1,000 in damages, after taking his complaint against Lloyds TSB to court, Martin claims.
And other MSE fans have written to the money guru to reveal their financial successes.
One said: “I was on MSE looking for PPI templates when I saw that people had also been claiming back bank charges.
“I had opened a student account in 2003 with Bank of Scotland, and paid various charges over the years for my overdraft.
“I sent one template letter and was immediately credited £889 into my account.”
While another said: “I got my refund after calling Natwest to claim for charges for failed direct debits and exceeding overdraft limits.
“They said they understood my situation and refunded me £456 (which was the vast majority of the money).
“Thank you for this great website and the advice it gives.”
There is no guarantee your bank will give you the money back but it’s a risk-free, cost-free process, so worth a try.
Dumpster diving – People throw away a lot of items that cna be sold on for a profit.
How can I claim money back?
The independent Financial Ombudsman Service will still look at certain cases.
Martin Lewis reveals a step-by-step guide on his website. This includes information on whether you’re eligible, how much you can reclaim and a template letter to send to your bank.
He recommends sending the letter to your bank first, but if you aren’t able to negotiate a satisfactory settlement this way, you can then complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
There’s a specially-designed complaint form that you need to fill in, which can be obtained in two ways:
Call free on 0800 023 4567 (from a landline or mobile)
Go to the FOS website, you can complain online or download Microsoft Word and PDF versions of the form to fill in.
For more information about what to write on the complaints form and to download a complaint letter template go to moneysavingexpert.com.