Fri, 24 May 2013
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Banks set to appeal OFT charges ruling
The decision in the bank charges case has been hailed as a victory by consumer organisations, and to a large extent it is. Although the judge held that the bank charges are not penalties and are therefore not to be struck down under the common law (some small comfort!), he did find that the charges are governed by the fairness requirements of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.
It remains possible, therefore, that the charges will eventually be held to be unfair and therefore prohibited by the Regulations. If that were to happen, it would lead to a fundamental change in what we pay for personal banking services.
But the fight is not over. Will the banks appeal? Most probably. This one is likely to go the whole way to the House of Lords, possibly more than once, as there is so much at stake. Indeed, it will be interesting to see how the banks' share prices react in the meantime."
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