The Office of Fair Trading's High Court bid got underway today (27 July) with all the City's leading litigators participating.
The test case revolves around the claims from tens of thousand of consumers that bank overdraft charges are unfair. The OFT filed High Court proceedings after the Financial Ombudsman Service and the county courts were told that in some cases 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 case and are expected to refute the OFT's claim that the unfairness rules of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations apply.
The banks up in court are Abbey National, Barclays, Clydesdale, HBOS, HSBC Bank, Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland and Nationwide Building Society.