A BANK'S decision to charge for current accounts will hit poor families, an MP said today.
Dewsbury Labour MP Shahid Malik condemned the decision by online bank First Direct to charge £10 a month.
He is preparing a Parliamentary motion on the issue.
Mr Malik said: "This is a move that will punish families on low incomes, pensioners and those who work part-time.
"My fear is that it will drive people away from the mainstream finance sector and into the hands of less scrupulous firms."
To avoid the fee, customers will need to pay in a minimum of £1,500 per month - the equivalent of a yearly salary of £24,000 before tax.
It is thought that up to 200,000 customers of the HSBC-owned bank will be affected.
Mr Malik said: "Let's not forget that this is a company which last year made profits of almost £12bn, the equivalent of £1,000 per second.
"Now they're telling us that they'll have to impose fines on loyal customers because they're unfortunate enough to fall into a low income bracket."
"I'd like to see First Direct think this one through again. Punishing those on low incomes to line the pockets of major shareholders is no way to conduct business."
Chris Pilling, chief executive of First Direct, said: "I want to focus our efforts on our most important customers - those who use us as their main bank, or who have a number of products with us."