Bank charges case: Possible £150 billion pay out if banks lose
There’s been a curious twist in the ongoing bank charges legal wrangle. As the tussle between the OFT and seven of the big banks hits the House Of Lords, some new language has been introduced into the banks’ withering defence.
The Consumer Action Group have been at the forefront of the deluge of penalty charge claims for almost five years now, and they’re reporting that the banks appear to be shifting the nature of their defence, and attempting to head off what could turn out to be a catastrophically huge payout to customers, describing them as ‘dead men walking.’
For the banks, their major fear is that should they lose the case, they could be forced to reveal how much profit they have made from reinvesting the unlawful charges down the years. This could then lead to claims from customers for their share of those profits made from the money that the banks should theoretically never have had in the first place. Juicy stuff indeed crimefighters.
Additionally, in the event of a loss by the banks, it looks as though customers will be able to make claims dating back as far as 1995, instead of the previous six-year period. Juicier and juicier.
Of course, all of this is hypothetical and the Law Lords may still find in favour of the banks. By the same reasonling, Lewis Hamilton may also go on to win the 2009 Formula 1 Championship. Bundle all of these facts ‘n’ stats together (apart from the Lewis Hamilton one – that’s irrelevant) and the Consumer Action Group are estimating that the banks could eventually be forced to pay back £150 billion to punters.