Reversal on court ANZ late payment fee decision

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Andrew Hooker says the reversal of a ruling in Australia that late fees charged by ANZ were illegal hasn't given him cause to give up. Photo: Greg Bowker.

The lawyer heading up a legal fight against New Zealand's major banks over fees says he won't be throwing the towel in despite a ruling in favour of the ANZ in Australia.

Australia's Federal Court said on Wednesday it would reverse a decision made last year that late payment fees charged by ANZ were an illegal penalty.

The class action was taken on behalf of more than 43,000 customers who claimed they had been charged excessive fees for years.

The law firm representing those customers has said it will now appeal to have the case heard in the High Court in Australia.

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Andrew Hooker, the lawyer in charge of New Zealand's

Fair Play on Fees Campaign said it would not stop him pursuing the New Zealand cases against the ANZ, Kiwibank, Westpac, BNZ and ASB.

"You can't expect to take ground breaking cases for consumers and give up at the first hiccup. No towel is being thrown in."

Hooker said the judgement in Australia was very complex and he had yet to have a chance to analyse the decision.

However its release has lifted a stay on the New Zealand action.

Hooker said last week all the parties involved had agreed to a stay until the Australian decision was released.

"The cases in New Zealand are no longer stayed."

Hooker said he had notified the court in New Zealand of the decision and would now await a court conference date.

The banks have previously said they would vigorously defend any action taken against them.

Source: www.nzherald.co.nz

Category: Bank

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