16 Jul, 2012 @ 09:00
1 min read

British couple in Estepona warn fellow expats of hidden bank charges

cheque charge too high

A BRITISH couple are warning other expats about hidden bank charges after Barclays charged them nearly €200 to send a cheque to England.

Sue and Les Holland, from Estepona, made a cheque out in euros to a friend for €1,761.43.

But when they received their bank statement the couple, who have since closed their account, were shocked to discover they had been charged an additional €176.45.

“We queried this and they told us the English bank had returned our cheque to Barclays in Estepona, via a ‘gestion de cobro’, to ensure there was sufficient money in our account,” said Sue, from Lancashire.

“We want to know why this charge was made without any warning.

“They insisted it was just normal procedure. But the charges are extortionate. It is disgraceful.”

When the Olive Press contacted Barclays a spokeswoman informed us it was a standard charge.

“We are unable to comment on this specific case without all the information but we will look into it.

“In general the amount depends on the kind of account you have and the kind of cheque it is.

“There are a lot of ways to send money to another country, this process is more secure and for that reason more expensive.

“But it is not a hidden charge. You can check all our charges on the website. We are sorry for this couple but if you don’t ask, you won’t know about the charge.”


  1. it seems naive to send a cheque from any country to another country because the receiving bank has to return the cheque for encashment doubling the banking costs. This amount could easily have been sent by SWIFT transfer for about 20 euros in total costs. Of course Barclays spanish employees should have had the courtesy to advise their customer accordingly but that does not happen in rip off spain.

  2. Spanish banks often have extortionate charges, I was going to be charged 180€ for la caixa to accept a currency transfer, I have opened an account with another bank and they charge nothing for receiving a transfer, they also charge nothing for transfers to other bank accounts whereas la caixa make a charge if its not to a la caixa account. You must enquire about the charges when you open an account.

  3. Lesley, you said it – you must inquire about the charges when you open an account. It is the responsibility of the individual to protect their money. People who don’t do due diligence end up baffled at why they have these fees and play the victim when simply doing a bit of research – or even asking a bank rep – is plenty to avoid the situation to begin with.

    If a person wants to send a check and the bank does as they wish then they did their job 100%. No sense in playing the victim when you get the bank fees that you agreed to when opening an account, especially if you didn’t ask ahead of time what the fee would be or if there is a more economical alternative.

    So the poor British couple isn’t warning us about any secret “hidden” bank fees, but simply playing the victim for fees that they would easily have known about had they done their due diligence and gone over the fees with a bank rep ahead of time.

    Just like the bank rep said: “But it is not a hidden charge. You can check all our charges on the website. We are sorry for this couple but if you don’t ask, you won’t know about the charge.”

    Had they asked they would have known.

  4. Yes, this is not a hidden fee as long as you can see in your statement. But there are other hidden fees and we have enough ground to be suspicious about bank behaviors after all these corporate scandals all over the US and Europe.
    Hidden fee is the one taken from you without your knowledge. This is not easy to prove but one is the deductions made in wire transfers. Yes, not all of it but a part of it called rebates..

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