UK banks are being forced to change the way your overdraft/available balance is shown on your bank account, and it's already causing confusion!
From the 18th December 2019, UK banks are being forced, by the Financial Conduct Authority, to no longer show your overdraft figure in your bank accounts available balance.
So as an example, if you currently have a overdraft of £1,000 and £100 of actual funds, then your bank account will currently show you have an available balance of £1,100, under the changes, your bank will no longer show your available overdraft balance, and therefore your available balance is going to only show £100.
If you are using your overdraft, say £400 of your £1,000 overdraft limit, then you bank account will now show your account balance as -£400.
The rules are being changed to help people understand and engage more with their overdrafts, making it clearer that overdrafts are a debt and not actual funds you own, so will only show funds that you actually have, at not anything that you owe to the bank.
The change has already been implemented by HSBC, First Direct and the M&S Bank and although the banks have informed customers, many customers have been confused by the change and have flooded the banks customer service departments, worried that their account may have been hacked, or their overdraft facilities removed.
As the other UK banks implement the change, further confusion is expected, but banks are working hard to get the message out to customers to let them know of the change, and so hopefully further customer confusion will be more limited.
If you are struggling with debt, you can find lots of advice on the government run, Money Advice Service website, where you will find lots of useful advice on how to deal with any debt related questions or problems.