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Bank charges claims set to soar

23 November 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent

Claims over 'unfair' bank charges look set to soar as the Supreme Court's judgement is expected on Wednesday, consumer group Which? has claimed.

According to Which?, around 12 million people have been hit with bank charges for unauthorised overdrafts since 2001, but more than three in five have not put in a claim to get their money back.

The test case, which has been ongoing since 2007, is to decide whether bank charges can be governed using fairness rules, if they can the banks may be forced to pay back billions.

Around 42 per cent of the claims waiting to be resolved are for amounts of £500 or more according to Which?, and four in 10 people who have made a claim said they would use the money to pay off bills and debts.

Commenting, Which? personal finance campaigner, Phil Jones said: "If the Supreme Court rules against them, the banks could find themselves staring down the barrel at millions of fresh claims.

"This is in addition to the huge backlog that's already built up since the waiver was put in place.

"With so much money at stake, the banks may well try to drag the process out even longer, so we'd warn people not to make any plans for their refunded cash just," he adds.

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