01.Unfair bank fees on trial
Australian consumers are fighting over $220 million in unfair bank fees, with Maurice Blackburn taking a class action lawsuit against ANZ to the High Court.
The High Court today ruled that the various fees being changed by banks are in fact penalties. The ruling means that the case can be taken back to the Federal Court as many different types of fees can now be included.
Consumers can still sign up
to the class action.
Maurice Blackburn class actions principal, Andrew Watson, says the action is an opportunity to return unfair fees to Australian consumers.
“We have a strong case to make at the High Court today and we intend to continue taking it up to the banks to help hundreds of thousands of everyday Australians get back money we believe they shouldn’t have had to pay."
The class action follows on from the Fair Go On Fees campaign launched by CHOICE and the Consumer Action Law Centre in 2007.
Since 2007 many banks have stopped charging penalty fees, a fact highlighted in the latest data from the Reserve Bank of Australia which shows penalty fees paid by households falling 63% between 2009 and 2011.
Maurice Blackburn has launched class action law suits on behalf of over 170,000 consumers against ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank, Citibank, St George, BankSA, and Bankwest.
The class actions are being funded by IMF (Australia) Ltd, on a no-win no-fee basis for participants. New claimants can still register for the actions through IMF’s subsidiary Financial Redress.
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