Bank Charges – Test Case
OFT Bank Charges Test Case
Following the UK Supreme Court’s ruling in November 2009, the Office of Fair Trading has decided to drop its investigation into the fairness of bank overdraft charges.
For the last couple of years, all complaints about unfair bank charges have been put on hold by UK banks and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) pending the outcome of the OFT’s test case. Since the case has now concluded and the OFT lost, it is likely that if you have an on-going complaint (one which had been on hold) against a bank, it will be rejected unless you amend your complaint.
Most banks will now tell you that because they won the test case they will not be refunding any bank charges, and that this issue is now closed. However, the SRC and the Govan Law Centre believe that it is incorrect to suggest that bank charges are ‘fair’ or cannot be challenged. This is because the OFT lost the case on a technical point and a consensus remains that bank charges are legally unfair and excessive.
Indeed, the UK Supreme Court made it clear that “it remained open to question whether bank charges were fair” in relation to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations.
If you have an ongoing complaint about bank charges, which you now wish to amend, please have a look at the sample letters provided here.
For more information or to discuss your own case, please contact the Advice Centre.