The High Court has given ANZ
and National Bank customers until December 13 to sign up to a
lawsuit over fees, according to a group taking the
Fair Play on Fees lawyer Andrew Hooker lodged documents
against the ANZ - New Zealand's largest bank - in June.
At the time around 13,500 ANZ/National Bank customers had
registered to take part in the case and there was no
guarantee that others would be able join it.
Hooker said today the court ruling would give thousands more
people people the opportunity to sign up.
"We are very happy for those ANZ/National Bank customers who
came to us wanting to join the campaign after the court
documents were lodged. We have over 1000 clients in this
"It is important that everyone who wants to take part in the
action gets the opportunity to do so."
Hooker said there could be tens or hundreds of thousands of
Kiwis still eligible to join the case.
"We will be doing what we can over the next seven weeks to
ensure that as many people as possible know about their legal
rights to join the case."
The case alleges that default fees charged by the bank in
situations such as unarranged overdrafts, bounced cheques and
late and over limit credit card fees are "unenforceable
penalties" and should be paid back to customers.
Hooker said the case had also been allowed to continue as a
whole rather than being broken into six groups covering the
different fees as the ANZ bank had requested.
"The reason that an unarranged overdraft fee on a deposit
account is unfair is the same reason that a credit card late
payment fee is unfair - these fees are set far above what it
actually costs the bank to manage the default that arises."
The next administrative hearing is expected to take place on
November 28. A trial date is expected to be set early next
- By Tamsyn Parker of
the New Zealand Herald