Thousands of aggrieved bank customers have rushed to sign up to a class action against ANZ Bank in response to yesterday’s announcement that court documents would be filed early next week.
Fair Play on Fees lawyer Andrew Hooker said more than 3,000 ANZ customers had registered for the class action in the past 24 hours ahead of Monday’s (June 25) deadline. The surge in interest takes registrations at fairplayonfees.co.nz to over 28,000 since the campaign launched in March.
They will be seeking to recoup money unfairly charged by the bank as default fees.
“We are encouraged by the growing interest in this very important litigation because it shows that New Zealanders are aware of the unfair treatment they have received at the hands of the major financial institutions and they are willing to do something about it,” Mr Hooker said.
“People are sick of these fees because they know that they’re unfair,” Mr Hooker said. “They’re thrilled that this case is getting off the ground.”
The Fair Play on Fees legal team has called on ANZ to provide evidence its bank fees reflect the cost of the transactions after the bank claimed it had done extensive analysis on its fee structure.
Mr Hooker says he welcomed ANZ’s decision yesterday to respond to allegations of overcharging for the first time since the class action was announced in March. However, he said customers deserved to know more.
“It’s interesting to hear ANZ say over the past day that analysis has been done connecting the costs of default to the fees, because that’s not what they said in Australia,” Mr Hooker said.
“If ANZ can show that their fees are proportionate to the cost then the case will be over, so they should come forward with that detail.”
“My client’s aren’t buying ANZ’s excuse. To say that an automated computer process costs $15 or $20 per transaction simply doesn’t add up.”
Hooker said ANZ’s view, as expressed by the bank on TV3 program Firstline, that it was being targeted because it had done “such a good job on brand advertising” was wrong.
“To suggest ANZ customers want to take their bank to court just because they are big demonstrates the level of understanding they have about their customers and why this case is before them today,” Hooker said.
ANZ customers must complete their registration by 11:00pm on 24 June 2013 to ensure they are included in the action. Announcements about cases against other major banks will be made over the coming months.
New Zealanders can join the action against unfair bank fees by registering at www.fairplayonfees.co.nz.