Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


“Fair Play on Fees” Launches Class Action Against Banks

11 March 2013


“Fair Play on Fees” Launches Class Action Against Banks


Three firms have today launched a call for New Zealanders to sign up to participate in class actions which will claim back excessive bank default fees.

The litigation will be the largest class action in New Zealand’s history, with banks unfairly charging around one billion dollars in fees over the past six years. More than a million New Zealanders are eligible to join.

The legal action is being led by New Zealand lawyer Andrew Hooker, Australian class action experts Slater & Gordon and litigation funder Litigation Lending Services (NZ).

Fair Play on Fees Lawyer Andrew Hooker says banks have been overcharging Kiwi customers on default fees for years.

“Customers are charged an average of $15 every time they overdraw their accounts, pay their credit card late or bounce a cheque when the cost to the bank is actually just a few cents,” he says. “These fees are excessive and add up to around one billion dollars over the past six years. It’s time Kiwis fought back.”

Hooker explains that the case will be based on a principle of contract law which places a limit on the amount a customer can be charged if they default on an obligation. If a default fee is higher than what it costs the other party then it is an unenforceable penalty.

“We understand that a bank is a business and they have to charge fees. But these fees also have to be fair and lawful. That is what this class action is about.”

Hooker says banks have been ignoring the principal of contract law for years and customers have been helpless to fight them. “Banks are in the privileged position of having access to customers’ funds and can just extract these fees from customers without much of a right of reply. They have also relied on individuals not making the effort to take the banks to court. A class action is the only way banks can be held accountable and prevented from charging excessive fees now and into the future.”

The litigation will be structured so that claimants have no upfront costs and nothing to lose. “The entire litigation process is funded by Litigation Lending Services (NZ) so all legal fees will be rendered on a no win, no fee basis.”

New Zealanders can join the action against unfair bank fees by registering at www.fairplayonfees.co.nz.

ENDS


About Andrew Hooker

Andrew is an Auckland based lawyer specialising in civil litigation. He has more than 20 years’ experience in litigation. His current practice largely involves representing customers against their insurance companies.


About Slater & Gordon

Slater & Gordon is Australia’s largest consumer law firm. For 75 years, Slaters have been standing up for the rights of ordinary working people, not big companies. Slater & Gordon have been pioneers in Australian class actions over the past 25 years. They will be lending their expertise in tough, large-scale litigation to this case as legal advisors.


About Litigation Lending Services (NZ)

Litigation Lending Services (NZ) Limited is a litigation funding firm which will provide financial support to the case. Its parent company, Litigation Lending Services Limited, has been operating for over 13 years in both Australia and New Zealand. Having established itself funding general commercial claims, the company has expanded over the past five years and has also funded a number of successful class actions.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Warming: Warming Signs From State Of Climate Report

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 'reflect trends of a warming planet' -- says the latest State of the Climate report, launched by U.S. and New Zealand scientists. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Embrace Falling Home Affordability, Says NZIER

Despair over the inability to afford a house is misplaced and should be embraced as an opportunity to invest in more wealth-creating activity, says the principal economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Shamubeel Eaqub. More>>

Productivity Commission: NZ Regulation Not Keeping Pace

New Zealand regulators often have to work with out-of-date legislation, quality checks are under strain, and regulatory workers need better training and development. More>>

ALSO:

Callaghan Innovation: Investment To Help Deepen Innovation Reporting

Callaghan Innovation, the government’s high tech HQ for Kiwi business, is to help deepen New Zealand media coverage of the commercialisation of innovation through an arms-length partnership with independent business news service BusinessDesk. More>>

ALSO:

Tax Credits, Grants: Greens $1Bn R&D Plan

In the Party’s headline economic announcement, the Greens have launched their plan to build a smarter, more innovative economy which has as its centrepiece an additional $1 billion of government investment in research and development (R&D) above current spend, including tax breaks for business. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news