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News & views

Tense future as ‘going forward’ marches on at RBS

[29 May 2013] That verbal weed ‘going forward’ continues to attach itself, burdock-like, to the future tense, if the opening line of a leaflet sent to all RBS’s current-account holders is anything to go by. The missive informs them that ‘Going forward, we will no longer offer the Current Account to our customers.’ 

The leaflet also gives an outing to ‘functionality’, which the RBS must imagine is well understood by all its customers: ‘When your account changes, you’ll keep all your existing account features and functionality, including your existing account number, sort code and security details.’

The leaflet emphasizes the importance of customers reading all the new terms and conditions that will apply to their new, shiny gentrified ‘Select Account’. But the booklet uses a small, condensed font so that there are more than 100 characters and spaces to the line (50–75 is usually recommended for easy reading). And the terms total more than 17,000 words, so most people will only ever delve into them if something goes wrong. One of the sections is aptly headed ‘Remote banking terms’.

There’s some good news in amongst the terms, though. In any one ‘charging period’ (usually a month), RBS has capped at 15 the number of unarranged overdraft fees it can charge a customer: ‘We are introducing a new cap on our Unarranged Overdraft Fees so that a maximum of 15 Unarranged Overdraft Fees (£90) can be incurred in any charging period.’

At £90 apiece, that would be a little matter of £1,350 a month. In fact, though, the fee is £6 a time, totalling only £90. Phew.

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