Norfolk man's bank charge bonanza

A Norfolk businessman has recovered a record £35,987 from his bank after accusing it of levying unlawful overdraft fees.

A Norfolk businessman has recovered a record £35,987 from his bank after accusing it of levying unlawful overdraft fees.

The man, whose name has not been revealed, had challenged NatWest about the fees it had imposed for bouncing cheques from his company.

NatWest said it settled the case because of spiralling legal costs.

The businessman is one of a growing number of customers who have found that their bank has caved in to a claim for a refund of current account charges rather than going to court.

Campaigners believe banks have adopted this strategy because a court could order them to admit how much it actually costs to bounce a cheque - possibly revealing an actual cost

in the region of £2 as opposed to

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the £25-£30 currently being charged.

Marc Gander, of the Consumer Action Group, said: "It certainly is a spectacular payout. It is the biggest one I know of so far that has been successful."

The businessman started his own windows and conservatory business in 1999. He employs 20 people and has an annual turnover of more than £1m, with a healthy bank balance. But in its early days the company experienced cash flow problems.

He said: "At times I was paying £2,000 to £3,000 a month in charges. I felt I was being ripped off. They were quite happy to take bank charges from us but were not willing to give us an overdraft."

He has since changed his account to HSBC.