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Page last updated at 07:45 GMT, Tuesday, 21 August 2012 08:45 UK

Banks 'must be honest' about current account costs


A growing chorus of voices from the banking world have questioned whether "free banking" is viable.

Peter McNamara, former head of personal banking at Lloyds, believes that "politically the idea of suddenly enforcing or regulating some charges on accounts is an extraordinarily unattractive one".

He explains however that banks need to introduce a regulation to make people who keep their current accounts in credit pay charges to "flatten out this distortion in the market".

John Howard, former chairman of the consumer panel at the Financial Services Authority, told the Today programme that customers do not know "what the real cost of providing that basic banking service is".

"Banks have to be honest with us about what it really costs to provide that bank account," he said.

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