Banks win right to appeal over overdraft charges
Once you've got their money, never give it back. It's a rule of acquisition, an old charter or something, and one the banks are sticking by no matter what the courts have to say on the matter. They're getting away with it too; as of yesterday, any chance you have of recovering trumped up account charges have been dealt by a blow from the House of Lords.
Last year, the High Court in London ruled the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) could decide on whether unauthorised bank charges were fair or not. At up to £35 a pop, most customers would say not. Seven banks and one building society appealed against the decision, obviously unhappy at the prospect of handing back money during a recession - overdraft charges generate an estimated £2.6 billion for banks every year.
Tough, said the Court of Appeal in February, who also stated there'd be next to no chance of getting their decision overturned. Except the Court of Appeal hadn't reckoned on the old boys in the House of Lords, who yesterday sided with the banks and agreed to their right to appeal. Now the case has to go back to court with a resolution unlikely for at least another twelve months, with more legal shenanigans funded by public coffers.
The long and the short of it is that if you've already submitted a claim to get your money back, don't expect to see it anytime soon. Banks are able to suspend charge complaints until the test case is over because of a long-standing FSA waiver, but the likes of Which? recommends customers continue to submit claim requests in the event of a favourable ruling sometime beyond the Second Coming.
If you haven't already submitted a cliam, This Is Money has templates and instructions for every step of the procedure.