You are here: Home - Credit Cards & Loans -

Consumers baffled by bank smallprint

Written by:
Banks' terms and conditions are too long and complex and often leave consumers confused.

According to a report by Which? the terms and conditions of standard current accounts from eight major banks to the test, asking consumers a series of questions to see if they understood the T&Cs correctly. 

Despite the testers being given unlimited time to answer the questions, for none of the banks were they all answered correctly.

The percentage of correct answers across all banks ranged from Lloyds’ score of 53% to Natwest, who scored highest, with 67%.

It also took a significant amount of time for our testers to discover the right answers in some cases, with one person taking 17 minutes to correctly answer a question on First Direct and another taking 15 minutes on Halifax.

Peter Vicary-Smith, Which? chief executive, said: “It’s completely unrealistic for banks to expect their customers to plough through 30,000 words of financial jargon and small print.

“Banks should drastically reduce the length of their terms and conditions, so that their customers are not put off from reading them in the first place, and make sure they are clear, jargon-free and easy to understand.”

Only one in ten said they had read their bank’s T&Cs thoroughly when they opened their account.

Which? say that this is unsurprising when their research suggests it would typically take between 25 minutes and over an hour and a half to read a set of terms and conditions from the ten major banks.

HSBC topped the table for the longest terms and conditions running to nearly 30,000 words which would take an average person over an hour and a half to read.

First Direct and Halifax would also take more than an hour to read with both of their T&Cs at over 20,000 words.

Tag Box




Financial fitness

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Are you a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage?

Look no further, get the help you need by searching for your perfect mortgage

Five ways to get on the property ladder without the Bank of Mum and Dad

A report suggests the Bank of Mum and Dad is running low on funds. Fortunately, there are other options for st...

The essential Your Money guide to the April 2018 tax changes

As we head into the 2018/19 tax year, a number of key changes take place to existing policies while some new i...

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co... Awards 2018

Now in their 21st year, our awards recognise the companies offering the best products and services to consumers

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
66% of providers offer HIV life assurance

A detailed study policies found that 66% of the major Life Assurers in the UK now offer HIV life assurance