Bank Fees Class Action

Maurice Blackburn issued proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against the ANZ bank in September 2010 in the first of a series of bank fee class actions for repayment of fees they have charged their customers over the last six years.

These fees include honour and dishonour fees on bank accounts, as well as over limit fees and late payment fees on credit cards.

Since issuing against ANZ, we have also issued proceedings against Citibank, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac (16 December 2011), St George and BankSA  (1 February 2012) and BankWest (18 April 2012).

More than 170,000 Australians who were charged these unfair fees by the banks have signed up online to be part of the action to redeem their money plus interest, with the claim size now estimated at more than $220million.

This is by far the largest collective legal action in Australia. The case against ANZ goes to trial on Monday 2 December 2013, and is scheduled to run for three weeks in the Federal Court in Melbourne, before Justice Michelle Gordon.

The claim against the ANZ, which will be a template for the other actions, alleges that exception fees are fees incurred as a result of a breach of contract by the customer which are more than a reasonable pre-estimate of the actual cost to the bank of that breach.

In other words, we will claim that the bank charged exorbitant fees of between $20-$45 for a service that cost them only a matter or cents or a few dollars at the most to administer.

The High Court last year ruled that these fees could be considered as a penalty charged by the bank - and if they're proven during the trial to constitute a penalty, rather than a fee for service, then those fees are lawfully recoverable.

We say that the charging of the exception fees was unconscionable, unfair and unjust. If we win on any of those arguments, then we will win the case for our clients.

The class actions are funded by Bentham IMF Limited, on a 'no win no charge' basis. This means that Bentham IMF Limited covers all the legal costs and only gets paid if the cases are successful. Bentham IMF Limited also agrees to meet the banks' costs if the cases are unsuccessful. There is no cost to class action participants unless they successfully recover money.

For more information about the bank fees class actions, go to the secure website Financial Redress is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bentham IMF.

If you have further queries after visiting the Financial Redress website you can telephone 1300 4 REDRESS (1300 473 373).

Please note: Maurice Blackburn is aware that scammers have been contacting people and asking for payment and bank account details in order supposedly to process refunds due from exception fees paid. Anyone who receives a call asking for this type of information should be wary. The calls appear to be designed to extract money or information from people fraudulently. Neither Maurice Blackburn nor Financial Redress ask anyone for such information over the phone, nor demands such advance payments.

Owing to the number of bank customers participating in the cases, please do not telephone our office as we will be unable to deal with your enquiry. Please call 1300 4 REDRESS (1300 474 373).

Bank fees class action judgment day - Filmed and edited on the 5 January, 2014

Bank fees class action goes to trial - Filmed and edited on the 2 December, 2013


Bank fees judgment: Paciocco v ANZ Banking Group 2014 FCA 35, 5 February 2014

Read our media statements:

Maurice Blackburn announces legal action against 12 banks

Fraudsters not stopping thousands of bank customers signing up for class action

ANZ first of the banks to face penalty fees class action

ANZ class action still open; members reminded of safety

Federal Court blasts ANZ over abuse of process in bank fees case

ANZ Bank fees class action steps up a gear tomorrow

Federal Court rules against bank's credit card fees

Five banks including the 'Big Four' in class action

More big banks drawn into class action on unfair fees

Regional communities stand up to unfair bank fees

Bankwest customers take class action on unfair fees

High Court victory in bank fees class action

High Court victory for customers in bank fees class action

Banking revolution begins with landmark Federal Court ruling

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