Consumer group Which? shines a light on insurers’ “sneaky charges”

24th July 2014

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Consumer campaign group Which? has launched a campaign aimed at clamping down on financial firms that trick people with sneaky fees.

With its Stop Sneaky Fees and Charges campaign, Which? is calling for all financial fees and charges, including on insurance policies, mortgages, bank accounts and credit cards, to be upfront, fair and for providers to make it easy to compare the overall price.

A survey by the organisation found that almost half the population have paid a fee or charge on a financial product or service in the last year, and more than two thirds, at 68%, agree that companies use separate fees or charges to trick people into thinking that the cost of their product or service is lower than it is.

A Which? investigation into the car insurance market found that overall while premiums have been falling, fees have however been on the rise.

Nearly half of the 28 car insurance providers it looked at have increased administration or cancellation fees over the past three years.

Shockingly it found that insurer Endsleigh, had tripled its cancellation charge to £75 – a massive 200% increase, while Churchill and Privilege have doubled theirs.

Which? also found:

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd said: “Consumers are fed up with being hit with unexpected, additional costs for financial products that lead to them paying more than they bargained for. These fees can be hard to avoid, and people often don’t know what they’re really paying for.”

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