Nationwide will offer interest-free overdraft holidays to customers

Britain's biggest building society will offer fee-free overdraft interest holidays to customers who have been financially affected by coronavirus.

Nationwide Building Society said it will not charge overdraft interest from April 20 until July 1 for those financially impacted by Covid-19.

Customers can request a fee-free overdraft interest holiday by completing an online form, which will be available from Friday March 27.

Nationwide will email or text to acknowledge requests.

The move is part of a package of measures Nationwide has put in place to help customers.

Further information is available at www.nationwide.co.uk/support/coronavirus.

Sara Bennison, who oversees Nationwide's products and propositions, said: "Our support package is aimed at providing short-term relief to those who have been financially affected by coronavirus and to ease their worries by giving greater reassurance."

Several banks have previously announced automatic help with overdraft charges for customers.

Barclays UK said overdraft interest will be waived from Friday March 27 to the end of April, meaning no charges for customers to use their agreed overdraft.

It said customers do not need to call to set this up - as interest will automatically be removed from March 27.

Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland have announced that from April 6, customers will be able to access a GBP300 interest-free overdraft.

Their customers who have an agreed overdraft do not need to take any action as this will automatically be available for three months until July 6.

Last week, HSBC UK said that, as of Thursday March 26, it has introduced a temporary GBP300 interest-free buffer on overdrafts for customers with its Bank Account and Advance Accounts for a period of three months.

Like Barclays, and Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC will apply the change to customers automatically, so they do not need to contact the bank.

Banks and building societies across the industry have been shaking up their overdraft charging structures as they prepare to comply with new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) overdraft rules coming into force in April.

The rules mean that from April, banks can only charge overdraft users a simple annual interest rate - without additional fees and charges.

Many providers have previously announced their intention to charge overdraft interest of around 40%.

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