FSA decision to further delay bank charges claiming process is "prejudicial to the consumer"

24 July 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Commenting on the decision by the FSA to maintain the freeze on reclaiming bank charges for a further six months, James Caldwell, Director at FairInvestment.co.uk said, "Consumers shouldn't have to wait any longer to claim their money when they have the law on their side.

"The test case was intended to help clarify the lawful status of bank charges. Local courts were receiving thousands of claims for bank charges but there was much uncertainty and inconsistency regarding who was in the right.

"The result of the test case was that High Court judge Mr Justice Andrew Smith said that the bank charges are liable for testing under unfair terms and conditions rules. Many feel that for the FSA to delay the claiming process even further is prejudicial to the consumer."

"In appealing the test case, banks are having their cake and eating it. While customers wait around for the appeal to be heard and a further decision to be made, the banks continue to rake in as much as £40 each time a customer exceeds their agreed overdraft or slips into the red without an overdraft in place, making as much as £3billion a year."

FairInvestment.co.uk works with specialist claims company Claims Financial. Brad Askew, Managing Director at Claims Financial added: "If consumers have to wait another six months to reclaim bank charges, then I see no reason why the situation should not be reciprocal.

"The banks should also be subjected to this hiatus, and not allowed to implement any further bank charges until consumers can claim their money back."

Mr Askew urges customers to continue sending in their claims forms as soon as possible, because this will put pressure on the courts and the banks, in the hope that it will help bring about a result which will be of most benefit of the consumer.

"Just because the FSA has prolonged the reclaiming process doesn't mean you can't put your claim in" Mr Caldwell concluded. "That way, you will have all the paperwork in place and be further up the queue for getting your money back if the consumer eventually emerges victorious."

Reclaim bank charges