Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Fair Play on Fees Launches Case Against Westpac, ASB And BNZ

Fair Play on Fees Launches Cases Against Westpac, ASB AND BNZ

Fair Play on Fees has today announced that proceedings will be issued against major New Zealand banks Westpac, BNZ and ASB as part of its group legal action against unfair penalty fees.

Fair Play on Fees lawyer Andrew Hooker said it would lodge court documents against the three banks on Friday 28 February 2014. Westpac, BNZ and ASB customers must register at www.fairplayonfees.co.nz by 11pm on Thursday 27 February 2014 to confirm their inclusion in the case.

The launch of Fair Play on Fees has seen more than 38,800 Kiwis sign up to date, of which over 7300 are Westpac customers, 5000 are BNZ customers and 6000 are ASB customers.

Cases against ANZ and Kiwibank were issued last year.

See media files including video interviews of plaintiffs for TV and online media here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1gv8zxah79a4pvw/YK0vN0zjiZ?lst A presentation is also attached to this email.

“The reason why it’s important to launch these next three cases is that there are customers of these banks who have paid these penalty fees and wish to be represented in this legal action,” Hooker says.

“The research we have done suggests the penalty fees they have been paying are at a similar level to those other banks so these customers are entitled to have their fees back as much as Kiwibank and ANZ customers. This launch means that the five banks with over 90% of the retail banking market will all face a Fair Play on Fees case.”

The lead plaintiff for the case against BNZ is Chris Beere. Chris has banked with BNZ for approximately 35 years and in the past six years has incurred more than $1400 in default fees.

“There are times when the penalty fees, excessive or not, can cause significant problems,” Beere says. “I had a major health issue five years ago which meant I had to cease work abruptly. Unfortunately, the fees that I was incurring as a result of that situation kept piling up. When I went back through my bank statements I was a bit disturbed to find that I’d incurred nearly $1400 in these fees during a six year period.”

The lead plaintiffs for ASB and Westpac are Alison Withers and Renee and Mike Hau respectively. Alison worked for a bank when she left school and says customers are charged fees at a significantly higher rate now in the electronic age.

“The cost of banking administration these days astounds me, predominantly because I use to work in a bank and back then everything was done manually. These days everything administration wise is conducted electronically and yet the fees are a multitude of what they were in the past. I just can’t see what justifies these excessive fees.”

Hooker says the penalty fees include unarranged overdrafts (account out of order fees), rejected payments on deposit accounts (dishonour fees), exceeding credit limit (over limit fees) and late payment fees.

“The case against the bank is based on the principle of penalties. It is unlawful for any business to charge a penalty fee for a default or breach of terms which is out of kilter with the actual cost of the transaction,” Hooker says. “Our legal system in New Zealand recognises that businesses such as banks can’t charge more than the actual cost otherwise it’s deemed to be unlawful and must be repaid.”

Last week the Australian Federal Court ruled that ANZ in Australia had been illegally imposing penalties for late payments on credit cards in Australia.

The team behind the case is New Zealand lawyer Andrew Hooker, Australian class action experts Slater & Gordon and litigation funder Litigation Lending Services. The litigation is structured to ensure claimants have no upfront costs and nothing to lose by joining the action. All legal services are provided on a no win, no fee basis.

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


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Hi and welcome to the 47th edition of Werewolf, published on the eve of Anzac Day. Its become a cliché to describe Gallipolli as the crucible of this country’s identity, yet hold on... Isn’t our national identity supposed to be bi-cultural... and wouldn’t that suggest that the New Zealand Wars of the 19th century is a more important crucible of national identity than those fought on foreign soil?

Yet as Alison McCulloch eloquently reveals in this month’s cover story, New Zealand devotes a mere fraction of its attention span and funding resources to commemorating the New Zealand Wars compared to what it devotes to the two world wars, Vietnam and Afghanistan... More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news