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Three more NZ banks face class action

Three more NZ banks face class action
Three more major banks in New Zealand are facing a legal bid seeking compensation for alleged excessive fees.

Fair Play on Fees says it's issuing proceedings on February 28 against Westpac, BNZ and ASB as part of the class action.

It follows legal action launched last year against ANZ and Kiwibank.

The campaign says the penalties for unarranged overdrafts, dishonour fees for rejected payments on deposit accounts, exceeding credit limits and late payment fees are unfair.

It says it's unlawful for any business to charge a penalty fee for a default or breach of terms which is out of kilter with the actual cost of the transaction.

Anyone who wants to be part of the class action must register at Fair Play on Fees' website.

More than 38,000 New Zealanders have already joined the campaign, including 7300 Westpac customers, 5000 BNZ customers and 6000 ASB customers, Fair Play on Fees lawyer Andrew Hooker says.

'This launch means that the five banks with over 90 per cent of the retail banking market will all face a Fair Play on Fees case.'

The lead plaintiff in the BNZ case is Chris Beere, who says he's accumulated more than $1400 in default fees in the past six years after a major health issue forced him out of work.

Former bank employee Alison Withers, the lead plaintiff against ASB, says fees are significantly higher than when she worked for a bank before the electronic age.

'These days everything administration-wise is conducted electronically and yet the fees are a multitude of what they were in the past,' she said.

The Australian Federal Court last week ruled that late payment fees on ANZ credit cards in Australia were a breach of contract, but claims against other types of bank fees were dismissed.



Last modified onWednesday, 12 February 2014 06:20

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