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Supreme Court rules in favour of banks

Supreme Court rules in favour of banks

Category: Money

Updated: 04/01/2010
First Published: 25/11/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Consumers' hopes of clawing back billions of pounds in charges appear to have been dashed by the Supreme Court, which has ruled in favour of the banks.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) had hoped to be allowed to consider what constituted a fair bank charge. A ruling in its favour would have potentially cost the banks billions of pounds.

The OFT had previously been told it could investigate the fairness of charges for unauthorised overdrafts, but this ruling has been overturned.

Over a million consumers have cases pending but their hopes of being refunded overdraft charges appear to have been dashed. Many more had been expected to make claims if the case had gone against the banks.

Lord Phillips, president of the Supreme Court said consumers had agreed to pay overdraft charges as part of having a current account.

He did offer a glimmer of hope, however, saying the OFT could investigate charges under other legislation.

In a statement, the British Banking Association said: "The Banks acknowledge the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court to allow their appeal in respect of these charges.

"We recognise this issue has been of real concern to a large number of our customers and we are pleased that this decision now brings clarity for all parties.

"The Banks will work with the regulators to ensure that the outstanding customer complaints are brought to a swift conclusion. We will also continue to work together with the OFT in connection with its on-going Market study."

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