Bank charges case reignited by new argument Go compare with our comparison table

Bank charges case reignited by new argument

17 December 2009 / by Andy Davies

Bank charges must be proved by banks to be fair, a new argument from claims.

Following the verdict of Supreme Court last month to rule in favour of the banks regarding whether unauthorised overdraft charges should be assessed using fairness rules, (MSE) has found a new argument to challenge the decision.

In light of the bank charges ruling, the consumer revenge website has obtained legal advice which it says now means the burden is on the banks to prove charges are fair rather than customers having to prove they are unfair.

In addition, MSE argues that as the Supreme Court ruled that bank charges are part of the price of an account, and since it is the FSA's responsibility to regulate bank accounts, MSE believes that the court's ruling could mean the FSA can now investigate the case directly, without the need for court.   

Commenting, Martin Lewis, creator of said: "The host of new legal routes to challenge the fairness should give renewed hope to the millions of people waiting to get the money back that was unfairly taken from their accounts.

Calling on the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for its support, he said: "The OFT has already provisionally said it thinks charges aren't fair, and having had legal advice, we believe there are substantial legal avenues available for it to challenge fairness. Therefore, it seems quite simple; the OFT cannot give up.

"Yet if the OFT refuses to live up to its name and fight for fairness then we and other consumer groups are looking to publish a fresh round of template letters - and possibly organising a group action."

But he said the cost of this "could run into millions" before warning that this could result in societies' poorest being "priced out of justice".

Supporting Martin Lewis' campaign, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, said: "Banks' must not be allowed off the hook after the astonishing court judgment last month - the fight must go on. The excessive fees imposed by banks are simply wrong and must be changed. There is a simple principle of fairness at stake that bank charges must be transparent and proportionate."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd


ProviderAccount Set Up FeeFee per monthFeaturesApply
N/A£12.50No credit checks.** Prepaid MasterCard. No account opening fee. More Info >
£4.95£9.95No credit checks**. Prepaid MasterCard. Credit Building facility. More Info >
£4.95£9.95No credit checks.** Up to 20 free payments and standing orders a month. Prepaid MasterCard.More Info >

**See Terms and Conditions