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Barclays scraps overdraft charges until end of April

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Barclays is temporarily scrapping fees on overdrafts, offering relief to customers struggling financially during the coronavirus crisis.

The change comes into force on Friday 27 March until the end of April and will be applied automatically so there’s no need for customers to contact the bank.

Customers can still apply for an increase to their overdraft limit via the Barclays app or online.

Earlier this week, the bank changed the way it charged for overdrafts from a daily fee to a flat interest rate of 35%. This was in response to new rules from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) aimed at making overdraft charges clearer and easier to compare.

Barclays said it will continue to send text alerts when customers go into their arranged overdraft to help them manage their money and warned these alerts might still include reference to a 35% interest charge. However, it confirmed no charges will be applied between 27 March and 30 April.

Gillean Dooney, managing director at Barclays, said: “It’s crucial we offer the right support to our customers through this challenging time. We have therefore decided to waive all overdraft interest until the end of April, meaning there will be no charges for customers to use their arranged overdraft.

“We are reviewing all options to help customers after this time to ensure we support those in financial difficulty.”

Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at investment platform AJ Bell, said: “Given that the public stepped up to the plate when the banks were in peril in the last financial crisis, it’s good to see at least one major provider help the public in their time of need.

“It would be nice to see other banks follow this move to help those people who’ve been hit the hardest through this terrible time.”

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