Sir David Walker – who was appointed last week following the Libor rate rigging scandal which rocked the banking giant – said he favoured scrapping free banking “in principle”.
The comments will come as a blow to the ordinary families who have been stung by the payment protection racket and sky-high overdraft fees.
Sir David, 72, said mis-selling dodgy interest rate swap deals to small companies and other revelations which have outraged the public were simply “the consequence of not charging for bank accounts”.
He added: “Because banks are not charging, it drives them inexorably into this sort of position.”
Labour Treasury spokesman Chris Leslie MP responded by saying: “This is a major blunder for the new chairman who should be focused on rebuilding trust not talking about how to charge their most loyal customers.
“The idea that millions of people could be charged for having a charge card and cheque account is quite objectionable.”
Tory MP Douglas Carswell added: “At last the senior bankers have admitted they’ve been ripping us off. If we ever wanted proof that the big corporate banks have got out of control this is it.”
And Pat McFadden, a Labour member of the Treasury Select Committee, added: “Banks don’t have the authority to introduce charging. Or, more bluntly, I don’t believe the public will wear it.”
Free banking was introduced when Midland Bank, now part of HSBC, decided to scrap current account charges to win more customers in 1984. The other high street banks followed suit.
Watchdog Consumer Focus previously warned that customers could end up with “the worst of both worlds” if banks re-introduced charges, where they pay for accounts but still endure unfair charges, poor service and aggressive mis-selling.
Richard Lloyd, of consumer magazine Which?, said the suggestion that bank accounts are free was a “complete myth” He added: “Customers pay more than £9billion a year in fees and lost interest on accounts.
“The idea that if banks charged more, they would stop trying to mis-sell other financial products is unfounded.”
Barclays’ Sir David also said he wanted to see a significant change at the bank and hinted he would overhaul its bonus culture.
The City veteran’s appointment comes less than a month after Marcus Agius and ex-chief executive Bob Diamond resigned after the Libor scandal.
OP: Yep. All you greedy sods who wanted free banking who didn't gamble on derivatives that NOBODY understood the meaning of, that didn't want huge bonuses for making a bad situation immesurably worse and who didn't nearly bring down the whole capitalist system with your ego and hubris, its all YOUR fault.