Banks lose appeal over unfair charges

26 February 2009

We’re planning a party – there’ll be hot dogs and cheese cubes on cocktail sticks, mini sausage rolls, crisps, juice and party games… and the banks are paying for the lot!

That’s because eight high street banks have lost their appeal in the High Court over charges levied by them against customers who had gone overdrawn or had payments returned. The banks were appealing against a ruling which decreed that the Office of Fair Trading had the power to decide whether the charges were fair or not.

On top of that, the banks were firmly told to scram by the Master of the Rolls when they tried to climb further still up the appeal ladder to the House of Lords. They have chosen to ignore that ruling and are planning to appeal directly to the Lords anyway, the howling shits that they are.

On a day when the Royal Bank of Scotland announce record corporate losses and with many banks partially in the hands of the taxpayer, their audacious attempt to use more of OUR money to fight a case which they hoped would stop them from refunding OUR money was nothing short of ridiculous.

Pending another appeal, the OFT now has the power to determine if charges are fair or not (get down the bookies and put all your spare cash on ‘not’) although the tens of thousands of pending claims remain on hold, so don’t start battering on your bank manager’s door demanding a bag of refunded charges just yet.

Another interesting side-issue has arisen. If and when these charges are deemed to be unfair and are billions of ill-gotten pounds refunded, it stands to reason that millions of credit files will have to be amended, with all references to exceeding overdraft limits struck from the record. Gonna be a lot of work for some number crunchers in the not too distant future.

TOPICS:   Banking   Complaints

17 comments

  • Chris H.
    what are the realistic chances of a customer-wide refund for such charges, should they be found to be found 'unfair' by the OTF?
  • Chris H.
    'should they be found to be ‘unfair’ by the OTF?' correcting my poor typing...
  • Alex T.
    "Another interesting side-issue has arisen. If and when these charges are deemed to be unfair and are billions of ill-gotten pounds refunded, it stands to reason that millions of credit files will have to be amended, with all references to exceeding overdraft limits struck from the record. Gonna be a lot of work for some number crunchers in the not too distant future." Not stickly true, isn't it that the fees they were charging were unfair, not that you went over your overdraft. I think that you will still get a mark on your record for doing that....
  • MinstrelMan
    No alex, a long long time ago (in a galaxy not too far away - Peterborough) I did my research when trying to reclaim my bank charges and found via the consumer action group website that marks on credit record shall be null and void. So, in the short sighted world of MinstrelMan - I'm owed roughly 1.5k and there might be some jobs opening up at experian, so get your CV's in, any downside to this news? probably - but lets face it we're used to getting raped for cash.
  • Lumoruk
    Banks won't have the money to give you back the charges anyway, like your savings debts owed to you by the bank are not covered by government backing.
  • Sparky
    Where you will of course pay is that the banks will have to find other ways to get income. ATM charges? Printing costs for cheques (RIP)? and anywhere else they can shove a wedge in. The unnoticed slow death of Switch/Meastro and migration to other debit cards may well be somewhere to pay attention to, especially if you were a store owner....
  • charlie&lola
    "Banks won’t have the money to give you back the charges anyway, like your savings debts owed to you by the bank are not covered by government backing." Shame we can't do to them what they do to us when we don't have enough money to pay their charges - just take it anyway, leave them completely knackered and overdrawn, charges more fees on top of that, plus interest and just say 'oh dear, not our problem' if they plead financial hardship because of these actions. hoorah - problem solved. Probably not......
  • jaysexy212005
    Looks like banks will have to borrow more from the Government.
  • Velma
    What an incredibly misleading first few paragraphs. Absolutely twisting the reality of the situation - which is that there's still every chance the banks are going to get their own way. They are going to appeal because even the Court of Appeal said they aren't 100% sure if they have made the right decision to let the OFT investigate! You can hardly blame the banks for stretching out the process for as long as possible in order to hold on to the money. I'd take this article with as big a pinch of salt as anything the banks themselves might say...
  • chocky
    If and when the banks refund the charges, will we get interest?
  • Tim
    And to think its damn RBS thats the bank that charges £38... damn bastards....
  • Fred C.
    The bosses and senior staffs of the banks exhibits precisely the behaviour that Karl Marx and Trotskites had wished to eliminate from this planet. When peasants go over £1 they get penalty for £40. When the FAT CATS go over £200 billion they get rewarded with bonuses and get a fat pension of up to £650k a year. I am astonished why the authority had taken such a long time to understand the word "unfair" in everyday pedestrian language. It seems to be that the authority chickens out when enough bankers say it is fair and it is industry practice, exactly the same climate as when the banks were booming with taking on huge bad risks and because everyone was doing it , they could not all be possibly wrong at the same time!
  • Paul D.
    Dont worry Banks will get there revenge,look whats happened now Banks havent got any money for refunds anyway
  • The B.
    Who on earth would want to work for Experian, absolute bunch of crunts the lot of 'em.
  • Now B.
    [...] from their latest victory against the major banks, the guys and gals at the Office of Fair Trading are gearing up to have a good rake around in the [...]
  • Honky S.
    Chocky, are you online on the moon? Over 40,000 people (incl me) took on the banks before the credit crunch (and prior to them having frozen the cases) and 'won' their money - most got interest too (I got £800 interest) Read CAG, Fool, MSE, BBC, Mail - everyone who is anyone in the finance world, has a pages on bank charges reclaiming and success stories
  • Dave S.
    Fred Goodwin ex senior director of The Royal Bank of Scotland should lose his pension. He hasn't done well for his company and should suffer the consequences. Should the senior director for any company not be held responsible? Letting him get away with such a big pension is ludicrous.

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