"Unfair Bank Charges"

  Si_L 14:12 24 Apr 2008

This will no doubt be of interest to a lot of people, including myself, that have been charged for going over the OD limit.

click here

When I claimed the charges back, I was told that the decision has been frozen (along with thousands of other) in order for a court to determine if the charges were fair or not. The banks have just lost.

No doubt there will be a lot of people on here who will argue that they are fair (I vaguely remember this the last time this topic came up), but I am owed 120 pounds by my bank due to circumstances that were outside my control. It will be interesting to see what my bank says in May, when the ruling comes into effect.

  al7478 15:34 24 Apr 2008

cant be challenged under common law? I realy must bone up on my law, because that makes the ruling for the oft sound like quite a waste of time, to the uninitiated.

  Si_L 15:38 24 Apr 2008

The banks are still allowed to appeal against the ruling though, not over yet.

  Bingalau 17:29 24 Apr 2008

Try Martin Lewis at click here He is on the ball with this problem.

  Forum Editor 18:12 24 Apr 2008

No they haven't.

What has happened is that a Judge has said the Office of Fair Trading may rule on the fairness of these charges. He also said that his ruling doesn't necessarily mean the charges are unfair.

The OFT is investigating, and the banks have until 22nd May to lodge an appeal. They may well do so, in which case the situation could be on hold for many months more, or even a year or so. On the other hand, they may decide to gracefully admit defeat. If they do, many people will be happy.........for a while. An admission from the banks that they have made unfair charges may be the trigger for all current accounts to attract an annual bank charge.

  Si_L 18:21 24 Apr 2008

Yes they have. Are you reading the same article? The one that begins "The UK's biggest banks have lost a test case...."

  Forum Editor 19:08 24 Apr 2008

but I'm actually reading it, as opposed to being swayed by the title.

As I've already said - the judge did NOT rule that the charges were unfair, he simply ruled that it's up to the OFT to decide, and they haven't done so yet. It's highly likely that it will do so, of course, because it was the OFT that instigated the test case. The banks can appeal the judgment however, and as has already been said - at least twice - the game isn't over yet.

  Bingalau 19:22 24 Apr 2008

Just got this in an E-mail from Martin Lewis...
This is not all of the e-mail but may be of some interest..

STOP PRESS! Major step to victory for bank charges reclaiming!
Free template letters to put your claim in now

24 April 08. An urgent update on the Bank Charges situation from MoneySavingExpert.com
Today (Thurs) a High Court judge confirmed what bank charges campaigners have been arguing for two years, that consumer contract regulations do apply to bank charges meaning that 'fairness' counts. The next step is for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to assess whether they are actually unfair but as it's the one who took the banks to court, that seems likely. Then it'll try to reach agreement with the banks, and if not, go back to court.

To use a football analogy, before we were kicking the ball around the middle of the pitch, now we're at the penalty spot...though the judgement's massive and the nitty gritty may throw more up.

What happens next?

On 22 May 2008, there will be a case management meeting; at which point it's possible the banks will put in an appeal. Until then, all cases remain on hold. As explained above, my hope is, not long after that, the regulator will lift the hold on reclaiming that was apparently put in place to 'protect consumers' from inconsistencies.

Yet now the law is clear and binding - bank charges are required to be 'fair' - so hopefully it will soon allow people who think they're legally unfair to reclaim again, after all, the banks are still charging these charges!

If it's on hold, why put in a reclaim now?

Simple, the statute of limitations says you can only claim back six years' worth of charges in England, five in Scotland. The longer you leave it, the less far back your reclaim goes... as many people have had lots of charges stretching back over years, this means if you don't put a claim in sooner, you're less likely to get the old ones back.

Plus hopefully when the FSA ends the waiver on reclaiming, it means you'll be ahead in the queue, and should be dealt with more quickly.

What if my case is already on hold?

We’re still waiting for the FSA to end the waiver; as explained above, my hope is that this should happen in the next couple of months. Until then, sadly, you’ll just have to keep twiddling your thumbs. As always, all news will be included in the weekly email.

  namtas 19:34 24 Apr 2008

I don’t see that one can say anything other than that the Banks have lost the case, the consumer affairs watchdog, the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) was defending that it be allowed to continue its probe into bank charges this has been upheld, in this it has won a High Court legal victory. Last July, seven major banks, the Nationwide Building Society and the OFT, agreed to stage what amounted to a test case to determine the OFT's jurisdiction regarding bank charges. Evidence was then heard in January and February - the result being the judgment handed down now.

  laurie53 20:03 24 Apr 2008

The banks haven't lost until they start repaying, and there's no sign of that yet.

In the meantime they are still earning interest on the charges they have already made.

  charmingman 20:29 24 Apr 2008

QUESTION IS "How much do they owe us all"...i can tell u i am owed @ least £500....can anyone beat that..?

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