Never ever bank with Alliance & Leicester. They just tried to charge me £400 (apparently not including admin fees, even though that entire sum was one huge admin fee) for a 98p overdraft I had outstanding on my account which, at the time it was made, was allowed on my account. I have never used my account since signing up for it because I was provided with a 9 digit long bank account number that none of my employers were able to pay me into; A&L said that I should have known that they're "9 digits long because you take the first digit off to use it". This was never explained to me, ever, while I was signing up, and it's clearly not as obvious as they seem to believe as none of my employers knew how to use it either.
They also claimed that they sent me letters informing me of my overdraft and also their policy change on charging for overdrafts. I never received these, and then discovered that they'd put a "no longer lives at this address" flag on my account (even though I've lived here for three years now, far longer than I've ever had an account with A&L, and I've never had a problem getting mail from anybody else).
Though I got my money back, I was furious at how they had attempted to scare me into paying this ridiculous sum of money all for the want of 98p. Further investigation shows that Alliance and Leicester charge £5 A DAY for every day that a customer is overdrawn, with no limit as to how far they extend that charge! They also only send letters informing you of this every couple of months apparently, instead of every day when they apply the charge, so by the time I realised what they were doing to my account they had charged me over £400.
I advise anyone who banks with this particularly corrupt and money-grabbing bank to close their accounts. Try First Direct or even Barclays. I really can't believe how corrupt their overdraft policy is - I know that banks are in hot water over this at the moment and no bank is ideal, but £5 a day without limits is atrocious and is going to put so many people in the red that do not deserve to be...
Additionally, they only refunded the money back to the 98p that was originally outstanding, which meant that unless they froze my account, I'd get charged £5 a day for the five days it took for the money to get cleared into the account, or that I'd have to go into a bank to pay in 98p by the end of the day. The woman speaking to me said quite calmly that it "probably won't matter if I freeze your account, you'll get a mark 3 on your credit rating but that probably will never matter". I can't believe she actually breezily advised me to get a mark against my credit rating instead of dropping £1 into my account that day, which is of course what I did.