Bank fees fight for customers heads back to the High Court
6 May 2015
Media contact - Cameron Scott
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers will return to the High Court in a final bid to resolve the bank fees battle for customers, once and for all.
Today the firm, backed by litigation funder IMF Bentham, filed applications for special leave to the High Court, where it will argue that the recent judgment of the Full Court of the Federal Court erred in law, and as a result, customers that paid late payment fees should be compensated.
National head of class actions at Maurice Blackburn, Andrew Watson, said the case on behalf of hundreds of thousands of everyday Australians, has been on foot since 2010, with victories in the Federal Court and in the High Court throughout the course.
“There has always been a strong public interest in rigorously testing the fees, and it is fitting that the highest court in the land will ultimately resolve Australia’s biggest consumer class action,” Mr Watson said.
“There are important principles of consumer protection and consumer rights at play here, and we believe that it is the right thing to do for all banking customers in this country.”
The applications that have been made deal only with the late payment fees, which were found to be penalties in the Federal Court’s original decision by Justice Gordon, which was overturned by the Full Court of the Federal Court.
The process now is as follows:
plaintiff has 28 days to file submissions detailing why special leave to appeal should be granted.
ANZ then has 21 days to file submissions in response.
then the High Court may set a hearing date for the parties to very briefly appear in person, where the plaintiff needs to convince the Court to hear the appeal in full.
the High Court will usually decide on the day whether or not to hear the full appeal.