ANZ Bank fees class action steps up a gear tomorrow

2 October 2011
Australia's largest consumer class action will return to the Federal Court tomorrow with Maurice Blackburn representing around 34,000 ANZ customers who have filed against the bank in protest against the bank's exception fees.

A two-week hearing has been set down in Melbourne with Maurice Blackburn seeking a ruling on the rights of ANZ customers to protect themselves against exorbitant fees and charges.

Maurice Blackburn's class action principal Andrew Watson said tomorrow's hearing would mark the first major step in the case since proceedings were issued on September 22 last year.

"This hearing will answer important questions regarding the definitions within the contracts between ANZ and its customers of what is a fee or a charge," Mr Watson said.

"We know that customers who were late paying a credit card or overdrawing their account were charged $30 or more. We believe that it did not cost ANZ anywhere near that amount in terms of managing an overdrawn or late payment on an account.

"We will argue that ANZ has to show that an exception fee is a reasonable estimate of the loss caused to ANZ when a customer does not pay on time, or overdraws an account, and that if it cannot show that, its customers are entitled to a refund. ANZ says these rules do not apply to it, because the charge is just a fee for a service offered to its customers.

"This hearing will answer important questions about the rights of ANZ customers to protect themselves against exorbitant fees and charges, and about whether banks have a right to charge whatever fees they want.

"This is the first time that a court has considered the questions at the heart of this historic case."

Hearing Details: John Andrews & Ors -v- ANZ Banking Group Limited

When: Monday October 3, 2011

Time: 10.15am

Where: Court Room 8G, Federal Court, Owen Dixon Buildings, Corner of William and Latrobe Streets, Melbourne