Fair Play on Fees has reached 20,000 registrations at www.fairplayonfees.co.nz, with more Kiwis signing up to the fight against bank penalty fees every day. The enthusiasm for the case from claimants contrasts starkly with the silence from the banks on the issues raised by the case.
Fair Play on Fees lawyer Andrew Hooker says the figures are very promising but there are still thousands more people who could benefit by signing up to the action. “The incredible response so far gives us confidence that giving Kiwis a voice against these fees is the right thing to do. However, the rules governing how class actions currently run in New Zealand mean that people have to actively sign up to make a claim. This will be New Zealand’s biggest class action; we don’t want people to miss out.”
Fair Play on Fees launched a call for New Zealanders to participate in class actions to claim back excessive bank default fees last week. Default fees occur when banks charge a fee of around $15 for going into overdraft, being unable to pay an automatic bill payment or paying a credit card late. The case hinges on the disparity between the fees and the actual cost to the bank.
“It’s telling that the banks have said nothing about what it costs them to administer these default transactions. Their silence appears to confirm the central plank of our case – they are making profit off their customers’ defaults. This is against the law.”
The legal action is being led by New Zealand lawyer Andrew Hooker, Australian class action experts Slater & Gordon and litigation funder Litigation Lending Services (NZ).
New Zealanders can join the action against unfair bank fees by registering at www.fairplayonfees.co.nz.