Donors allowing charities access to their bank accounts to collect agreed donations may wish to revisit the wisdom of this after charity Concern helped themselves to up to 100 times the agreed amounts from the accounts of 25,000 donors.

This left many in the red and liable to pay their banks exploitative unauthorised overdraft fees. One had £1,500 taken from their account, instead of the usual monthly donation of £15. Rose Caldwell, executive director of Concern, which helps the poor to combat hunger, has apologised for the errors and pledged that none of her donors would lose money over them.

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