Fair Play on Fees will today lodge the court documents that will commence legal action against ANZ Bank for unfair exception fees.

The court documents will be filed at 1pm at the Auckland High Court.  

Fair Play on Fees lawyer Andrew Hooker says today is an important milestone in the case. “Many people thought the case would not get enough support. Today we are here to say New Zealanders are behind the court action. Kiwis want heavy-handed and punitive behaviour from the banks to stop.”

Once the court documents have been filed, ANZ will be served with copies of the documents.

Fair Play on Fees also announced today the appointment of lead counsel Bruce Gray QC and barrister Daisy Williams, both of Shortland Chambers, to the Fair Play on Fees legal team. 

Bruce Gray QC is a leading commercial barrister whose recent cases include the Crafar Farms judicial review proceedings with the Overseas Investment Commission, Vodafone New Zealand Limited v The Commerce Commission, Ridgecrest NZ Ltd v IAG New Zealand Limited and a number of current defamation actions.  Mr Gray QC is also a member of the High Court Rules Committee and the New Zealand Bar Council.

Ms Williams has a broad-ranging commercial practice and is currently instructed on a number of high-value contractual disputes, including cases arising out of the Christchurch earthquakes. 

More than 32,000 people have registered to take part in the Fair Play on Fees action so far, up from 25,000 just a week ago when ANZ Bank was named as the first bank to be taken to court. The proceedings against ANZ to be filed today will include the claims of around 13,500 individuals and 1,800 small businesses across an estimated 30,000 accounts.

Hooker says the least ANZ and other banks could do is to immediately lower fees for future defaults. “If they are not willing to do that then we urge bank customers to start putting pressure on their banks to do so.” 

Hooker says customers of other banks including Westpac, BNZ, ASB and Kiwibank need to sign up if they want to be involved in the action. The next bank to be served court documents will be announced in coming months.

ANZ Bank customers can still sign up on the Fair Play on Fees website and all efforts will be made to include them in the case. 

New Zealanders can join the action against unfair bank fees by registering at www.fairplayonfees.co.nz.

Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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