Should we be charged for using a bank account?

Should we be charged for using a bank account? Photo: Reuters

Now - you can just imagine how this is going down.

We are all struggling to pay even the basic bills - and now a banking official says he has a new way to help customers.

It turns out his idea is to charge them for something we are all used to getting free. There are 54 million accounts in Britain and we are virtually unique around the globe in having free current accounts as long as you stay in credit.

Now Andrew Bailey who is executive director of the Bank of England (to give you an idea how high up he is - he's the guy who's signature is on £20 notes).

He says "nothing in life is free" - the banks just charge in different ways. He thinks that leads to a situation where there is lack of clarity or proper competition.

So how do they make money from so called free banking? Go overdrawn and you can get stung £50 a time.

They sold (and mis-sold) £9 billion pounds of PPI to customers. And they already get fees from 15 million current accounts by "packaging" them with add-ons like travel insurance.

This senior banking official says it would be better if they just openly charged us for running a basic account as happens elsewhere around the world.

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