If I told you you could earn £5 per day for an outlay of just £3.95 you’d be interested, right?
No effort involved, just a passive income of £5 per day.
OK, so £5 a day won’t get you a holiday in the Bahamas, or an executive house in the country, but that’s £35 per week or £1,825 a year.
OK, so how?
Start a bank!
I have a current account with a major bank which I opened some time ago to take advantage of a 12 month offer of 5% interest when you pay in at least £500 per month. The 5% interest was only paid on the first £2,500 in the account, but it beat any instant access savings account that was around at the time (and 5 year fixed rate account for that matter).
This offer ended some months ago and the interest rate fell back to something like 0.5%, but the funding requirement of at least £500 per month remained. Fail to fund the current account with at least that amount in a month and an “under funding” fee of £5 would be applied to the account.
I should have probably just closed the account at the end of the promotional period, but thought it might actually be useful to have another current account. I’d just have to make sure I remembered to transfer at least £500 in a month. Easy, right?
During a particularly busy month in September I managed to forget to make the transfer to the account and I found out only yesterday that a £5 under-funding fee had been applied to the account in November. OK. My fault. I’m a naughty boy and I accept my punishment.
As it’s only a “spare” current account, I often run the balance down to next to nothing. No point in having money sat in there earning peanuts when I could earn interest in one of my savings accounts. And anyway, there aren’t any transactions going through that would reduce my balance so that’s OK.
No transactions except for the £5 fine for being a naughty boy!
This took the account £3.95 into the red (balance was £1.05, and the £5 fine put the account £3.95 into overdraft).
But to add insult to injury, as the account has no overdraft facility set up (didn’t need one as I had no intention of using such a facility), a £5 a day “unauthorised overdraft fee” started being charged.
£5 a day for a £3.95 “investment” by the bank. Hardly a punishment that fits the crime.
And as I don’t really use the account I don’t log into online banking on a regular basis so it was 9 days before I realised this £5 a day fee was being applied. So that’s £45 in charges being applied because a £5 charge took the account into the red. Charges on charges, I didn’t think banks could do that any more.
Yes, it’s my fault for not keeping an eye on the account, but come on, it was an overdraft of £3.95 – it’s hardly enough to cause the bank to collapse!
I immediately fired off an email to the bank (which still hasn’t been dealt with) and posted a few Tweets on Twitter to what I thought was the Bank’s Twitter account. But, again, no response.
So I decided to go into the local branch this morning. I thought a face-to-face discussion might result in a more favourable outcome (for me) that waiting for a faceless drone to respond to the email or Tweets.
I was right. The bank employee was very friendly and helpful. She checked the account history and could see this wasn’t a regular occurrence and arranged for the £45 unauthorised overdraft fee to be waived. Result. Common sense wins the day.
And while I was there she tried to get me to apply for their new credit card. Who said bank staff were just sales people 🙂