All the City's big-hitting litigators have a role in an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) test case that got underway last Friday (27 July).
The OFT filed High Court proceedings in the wake of a deluge of claims that bank overdraft charges are unfair. The Financial Ombudsman Service and the county courts received tens of thousands of complaints regarding the charges, with some consumers claiming banks charge as much as £39 for exceeding overdraft limits.
Eight banks, which provide 90 per cent of the UK's current accounts, agreed to take part in the test case and are expected to refute the OFT's claim that the unfairness rules of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations apply.
In a statement the OFT said: "The OFT believes that they do [apply], and is seeking to establish this legal principle clearly in the court.
"The OFT considers that a quick determination of this point of principle will assist in securing a clear, orderly resolution of the fairness of these charges."
The banks going to court are Abbey, Barclays, Clydesdale, HBOS, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland and Nationwide.