Bank customers 'facing end of free banking'

consumers face and end to free bankingPic: AFP/Getty

Customers could soon be forced to pay charges for their own current accounts, one of the UK's bank bosses has suggested.

According to Ross McEwan, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, there are no plans at present to end free banking for UK customers, but he claims that is the way the industry is headed.

The Daily Express quotes Mr McEwan as saying: "I think ending free banking is something that will be addressed in the market place. It's not something that's on our minds at the moment, but I think it is where it is going to end up longer-term in this industry, as customers realise they are going to pay for it in some shape or form."

He added: "It's around transparency. If that's the most transparent way of doing it, the industry will end up there."

And Mr McEwan isn't the only one who believes current account fees would help to put an end to hidden charges in the industry.

Commons Treasury Select Committee chairman, Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie told the paper: "Millions of retail customers deserve more choice and competition from the banking services they use.

"Ross's remarks are a step in the right direction to securing more competition, which is a regulative objective [the regulators] can and should help take forwards - the sooner the better."

A survey last year by consumer watchdog Which? revealed that the idea of free banking was already a "myth" for many Brits, with customers able to rack up more than £2,000 a year in overdraft and refused payments charges.

What do you think? Would you be happy to pay a fee for your current account? Leave your comments below...