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


Deadline Set for Kiwibank Customers to Sign up for Class Act

7 March 2014

Deadline Set for Kiwibank Customers to Sign up for Class Action

The High Court in Auckland made a series of initial orders yesterday in the bank fees class action against Kiwibank.

Importantly, the Court has confirmed the opportunity for thousands more Kiwibank customers to sign up to the case, ahead of a final deadline of 31 March 2014.

Fair Play on Fees lawyer Andrew Hooker says the ruling is great for potential claimants. “We’ve not been able to guarantee the inclusion of those Kiwibank customers who’ve come forward since we issued the case in November last year. Now we can confirm that all Kiwibank customers have three weeks to come forward and join this important action.

As part of this procedure Kiwibank provided the Court and its customers with an assurance that customers who participate in the case will face no discrimination from the bank.

“We expect that thousands more Kiwis out there who are still eligible to join the case. We will be urging Kiwibank customers to consider their rights to join over the next three weeks. Anyone coming forward after 31 March will find that it is too late to join this case”.

The High Court has also given the proceeding the green light to proceed as a representative action, and approved the litigation funding arrangements between the claimants and funder Litigation Lending Services.

Mr Hooker said “This case shows the advantage of class action proceedings. To run this kind of case on your own would be almost impossible but together we can challenge the banks’ fee charging practices.”

The case alleges that the following default fees charged by the bank over the past few years are unenforceable penalties which should be returned to participating claimants:

• Unarranged overdraft fees;

• Dishonour fees;

• Credit card late payment fees;

• Credit card over limit fees.

Fair Play on Fees has announced that, in addition to the ongoing cases against ANZ and Kiwibank, it will also be issuing cases against ASB, BNZ and Westpac.

A similar action run in Australia resulted in a judgment last month which found that credit card late payment fees were unfair penalties that the bank was required to repay. Lawyers for the claimants in that case lodged an appeal this week against the court’s findings that the other default fees were not penalties. That appeal is likely to be heard later this year.

The Australian case also found that claimants who operated under the belief that the bank was entitled to charge the fee were not constrained by the usual six-year time limit for bringing a claim.

“The law in New Zealand regarding time limits closely mirrors the relevant Australian legislation, so we are hopeful that these cases will now be able to claim unfair fees going back decades.”

A court date for trial proceedings in the Kiwibank case is expected to be set later this year.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Oceans: NOAA Declares Third Ever Global Coral Bleaching Event

As record ocean temperatures cause widespread coral bleaching across Hawaii, NOAA scientists confirm the same stressful conditions are expanding to the Caribbean and may last into the new year, prompting the declaration of the third global coral bleaching event ever on record. More>>

Scoop Business: A Decade Of Government Pre-Seed Investment

More publicly-funded science is being commercialised after a decade of government ‘pre-see’d investment, according to an independent review. More>>


Solid Energy: Plan To Shut Unprofitable Huntly East Mine

Solid Energy, the state-owned coal miner in voluntary administration, plans to shut down its unprofitable Huntly East mine and lay off 65 staff after deciding the site stands "no chance whatsoever" of finding a buyer. More>>


E Tū: Merger Creates NZ's Biggest Private Sector Union

E tū has been created by the merger of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Service and Food Workers’ Union. It represents more than 50,000 working New Zealanders in industries as diverse as aviation, construction, journalism, food manufacturing, mining and cleaning. More>>


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news