Coventry Building Society is axing overdrafts for 15,500 users

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Coventry Building Society is axing overdrafts for 15,500 users



COVENTRY Building Society is about to axe overdrafts for 15,500 customers while 34,000 users will have their debit cards withdrawn too.
The move affects the three savings accounts in its MoneyManager range, and will force customers in need of current account features or overdrafts to switch to another bank.
1 Coventry Building Society is axing overdrafts for 15,500 customersCredit: Alamy
The accounts are called “MoneyManager (Debit Card)”, “Telephone MoneyManager (Debit Card)” and “MoneyManager (Coventry First)”, and they haven’t been offered to new customers since 2015,
Yet 34,000 customers still have them, and 80 per cent have used the current account features in the past year.
The Coventry First account is the only one with overdraft features and it has 15,500 customers – although the overdraft is currently only used by a few hundred of them, the building society told The Sun.
The current account and overdraft features will be removed from all accounts from September 10, which is when the debit cards will be replaced with Link ATM cashcards.
These can be used to take out cash at ATMs but not to make any payments online or by using a card machine.
Customers with active overdrafts will also need to pay these off or move them before this date.
The accounts themselves will remain open though, and other functions such as direct debits and standing orders will remain the same.
How to switch bank accountNOT sure how it works? Here’s all you need to know and what you should check before:

Under the Current Account Switching Service, swapping banks should take seven working days. That includes all your payments, direct debits and standing orders being moved too. Just open your new account and then ask your new provider to close your old account using the switch service.
Make sure you are eligible. Most accounts have certain requirements, such as paying in a minimum amount of cash each month.
Watch your overdraft. Check your new bank will offer you the same limit — and does not have higher costs for using it.

What to do if you have a Coventry account
If you use the current account features on your Coventry Building Society account, you’ll need to switch to another bank before September 10.
Check out our round-up of the best accounts depending on your salary here.
If you’ve fallen into the overdraft on your account, you’ll need to act too.
Of course, the best thing would be to pay off the overdraft before the cut-off date, but if you’re unable to do this, you still have a couple of options.
The first one is to switch to an account with a 0 per cent overdraft.
Some bank accounts offer overdrafts at 0 per cent interest, meaning you can focus on repaying the overdraft instead of racking up high interest charges.
Just be aware that these accounts usually come with some restrictions – for example, the 0 per cent amount might be capped or you could get the 0 per cent for a fixed time period only.
The current best buy is offered by First Direct, as its “1st Account” allows you to fall £250 into the red before you’re hit with interest of 15.9 per cent.
The second best is offered by M&S Bank, which gives customers a 0 per cent overdraft on balances up to £100. After this, you’ll be hit with the same 15.9 per cent rate in interest.
The other option is to shift your overdraft to a 0 per cent money transfer credit card.
These cards will pay cash into your bank to pay off your overdraft, so you then owe the card instead.
They can charge a hefty transfer fee though, so make sure you do your research before you apply.
There are no fee-free card options currently around, meaning the longest deals are generally the best.
These are offered by MBNA and Tesco Bank at 28 months, with fees of 2.99 and 3.94 per cent respectively.
Just be aware that as with all credit cards, you’ll need to pass a credit check to be able to open the account.
Use an eligibility calculator, such as one at MoneySavingExpert, before you apply to see your chances of being accepted.
A spokesperson for Coventry Building Society told The Sun: “Providing current account facilities on a savings account is increasingly costly and complex to do for the small number of members who use them, and is out of step with our straightforward business model of providing great value mortgages and savings.
“While it has been a difficult decision to make, we’ve done it with the best interests of our membership as a whole and are doing all we can do to make the change as straightforward as possible.”
If you’re worried about paying off or moving your overdraft, you can call the building society on 0800 121 8899 to discuss your options.
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In February, Nationwide axed its debit and credit cashback scheme for 400,000 customers.
Meanwhile, Santander is to pay £1.4MILLION to 20,000 users who weren’t told they’d used overdrafts.
Last month, Coventry Building Society brought back its top-paying 1.5 per cent Cash Isa.
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