OFT walk away from further court action over bank charges
The Office Of Fair Trading has announced that it is calling time on its court action against the banks over their deployment of excessive charges against their customers. The OFT say it will look at other methods as it attempts to get the banks to reduce the charges to a reasonable level.
The news comes weeks after the Supreme Court ruled against the OFT and in favour of the banks following a two-year legal fandango. Although the Court ruled in favour of the banks, it tantalisingly hinted that their might be other legal avenues that the OFT could pursue.
But after weeks of exploring the possibility, the word from OFT HQ is this:
"The OFT has concluded that any investigation it were to continue into the fairness of current unarranged overdraft charging terms under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations (UTCCRs) would have a very limited scope and low prospects of success. Given this, it has decided against taking forward such an investigation."
Which is rotten news for the thousands of customers who are still holding out for a refund, with banks raking in £2.6 billion per year from the grossly unfair charges, that have led to some customers spiralling into huge debts.
Both the OFT and the Treasury have stated that they hope the banks will voluntarily bring the charges down to a fair level, although that’s possibly about as likely asking a weasel to stop being slippery. The OFT have hinted at further legal action if the banks don’t start playing fair, while government legislation is also a future option.