Latest News:  


"Unfair" bank fees trigger New Zealand's biggest class action lawsuit


13:58, March 11, 2013

WELLINGTON, March 11 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's registered banks are being targeted in what is set to be the country's biggest ever class action lawsuit as three law firms attempt to reclaim " excessive" bank default fees for bank customers.

The legal action by New Zealand lawyer Andrew Hooker, Australian class action experts Slater and Gordon and litigation funder Litigation Lending Services (NZ) will claim the banks unfairly charged around 1 billion NZ dollars (821.89 million U.S. dollars" in fees over the past six years.

More than a million New Zealanders were eligible to join the Fair Play on Fees action, Hooker said in a statement Monday.

"Customers are charged an average of 15 NZ dollars every time they overdraw their accounts, pay their credit card late or bounce a cheque when the cost to the bank is actually just a few cents," he said.

The case would be based on a principle of contract law that a default fee was an unenforceable penalty if it was higher than what it actually cost the charging party.

"We understand that a bank is a business and they have to charge fees. But these fees also have to be fair and lawful. That is what this class action is about."

Hooker said customers had been helpless against the banks for years and a class action was the only way to hold the banks accountable.

"Banks are in the privileged position of having access to customers' funds and can just extract these fees from customers without much of a right of reply. They have also relied on individuals not making the effort to take the banks to court."

The litigation will be structured so that claimants had no upfront costs and would be fought on a "no win, no fee basis."

New Zealand's four biggest banks are Australian owned and the fifth, Kiwibank, is owned by the New Zealand government.

We recommend:

Japanese brands search for rebound

Inflation rebounds to 10-month high in Feb.

Halt urged to rising luxury goods prices

China well on way to being largest oil importer

Energy trade surplus for US

China seeks economic transformation

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiangJun、Zhang Qian)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Surveillance ships, helicopter patroling

  2. South Sea Fleet conducts strict training on sea

  3. Marriage ceremony held in Pakistan

  4. Cities in N China suffer dusty weather

  5. Beautiful Chinese female captains

  6. Spring snow hits Urumqi

  7. Japanese brands search for rebound

  8. Natural gas sparks emission hopes

  9. Winning images of CHIPP showed in Wuxi

  10. Mayday holds concert in Hangzhou

Most Popular


  1. Peking Opera education should start early
  2. Fake 3D triggers resentment
  3. Technology transforms art sharing
  4. Books for youngsters' the fastest-growing genre
  5. Life of the never-touch-a-pan generation
  6. Chinese films ought to tell Chinese stories
  7. Lei Feng spirit never out of date

What’s happening in China

Combined age of city couple 209

  1. Pig virus detected in Shanghai river water
  2. 5.2-magnitude quake hits Xinjiang
  3. E China road smash kills 7
  4. Grain production climbing toward record
  5. High school students want class act overseas