The rate at which British consumers are complaining about their financial service providers has risen sharply in recent months.
Figures from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) have shown that the number of complaints it received from dissatisfied consumers increased by some 27 per cent during the past 12 months.
With millions of people suffering with serious money problems and debt management issues, close to 800,000 inquiries and complaints were made to the FOS over the past year.
Among the major areas of concern for consumers was the perceived unfairness of unauthorised overdraft charges, the FOS explained.
"In the first quarter alone of the 2007/08 financial year, we received some 20,000 new complaints about these charges," remarked Sir Christopher Kelly, chairman of the FOS.
The High Court recently ruled that the Financial Services Authority should have the power to assess the fairness of unauthorised overdraft charges in the UK, in a decision the British banks are now appealing to have overturned.