New rules from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are shaking up the way bank balances are presented to account holders. Here’s why your bank balance is going to look a little bit different…
What’s going on?
The FCA – a financial regulatory body in the UK – has brought in new rules that will change how available balances and overdrafts are displayed to customers. This will have no impact on the amount you already have saved in your bank account, so there’s no need to panic; you won’t lose any money!
What’s the change?
You may find that when you look at your available bank balance, the total in your account includes your agreed overdraft limit too.
Basically, the new rules will mean that the overdraft amount will be removed from your total savings, so you can clearly see how much of your ‘own money’ you have in your account.
Why the change?
This new rule has been put into place to give customers clarity on how much they really have in their bank account. If you see your overdraft limit included in your account balance, you may believe you have more of your own savings to spend.
This change will help you see what savings you have and what overdraft limit is available. This means you can manage your spending better and decide whether to dip into your overdraft.
Which banks will be affected?
All banks will be affected by this change. This includes all major high street banks, as well as online-only banks.
When will the changes come into place?
The new rule that states banks cannot include your overdraft in the overall balance will come into place on Wednesday 18th December 2019. All banks will be rolling these measures in their own time, but they’ll still have to meet the deadline.
It may be worth checking your bank account now to see if it looks different, just so you can get used to the amount you have available. If you are unsure of anything, it may be worth contacting your bank for more information.
What’s the expert opinion?
Jane Clack, one of our money advisers, had this to say:
“This change is great news for customers, who may now be able to better manage their finances as a result.
“Keeping the available bank balance and overdraft limit separate will give customers clarity about how much they really have available in their account.
“It’s important to understand this new rule, so I would urge customers to speak to their bank if they are unsure of any changes.”