Banks win overdraft charges battle

HIGH Street banks won their appeal today over unauthorised overdraft charges.

HIGH Street banks won their appeal today over unauthorised overdraft charges.

The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the seven major banks and a building society, which had challenged High Court and Court of Appeal decisions that the charges come under "unfair contract" rules and are therefore subject to regulation by the Office of Fair Trading.

Today's result was awaited by tens of thousands of customers whose refund claims have been frozen while the test case went through the courts.

Handing down the unanimous ruling today Lord Phillips, president of the Supreme Court, said: "It may be open to the Office of Fair Trading to assess the charge under other criteria.''


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Customers who go into unauthorised overdraft or breach their agreed limit can be charged as much as �35 or more for a single bounced payment. Campaigners claim the actual cost to the banks could be as little as �2.50.

If the banks had lost the test case, it could have cost them �2.6 billion a year in lost revenue and led to their having to make refunds of up to �1 billion.

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