News National Thousands of customers take on banks over fees

Thousands of customers take on banks over fees

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Hundreds of thousands of bank customers will be part of a class action against ‘excessive’ credit card fees to be lodged by law firm Maurice Blackburn today.

The case is shaping up to be the broadest class actions in Australia legal history, with hundreds of thousands of customers fighting their banks over “extravagant” credit card late fees, according to a Fairfax report.

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Lawsuits will be filed against ANZ, Citibank and Westpac today, with lawsuits against NAB, Commonwealth Bank and American Express expected to follow.

The new class action, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, is part of a longer Federal Court case by Maurice Blackburn against ANZ which has been running since 2010.

In February, Justice Michelle Gordon found that ANZ’s credit card late fees of up to $35 were “extravagant and unconscionable” compared to the cost to the bank of as little as 50 cents. 

The action will be an “open class”, automatically including every customer of the target institutions who have been stung be late fees in the class action, making it difficult to estimate the size of the claim.

If Maurice Blackburn wins the the appeal, the law firm is expected to lodge more class action lawsuits.