Bank Charges

I understand that the case was determine the OFT's authority over bank charges; the learned Judge has been at pains to stress that his judgment does not mean that bank charges are unfair.

Nonetheless it's a step in the right direction.
The Order of Mr Justice Andrew Smith in the High Court records the declarations set out in Smith J's judgment which was handed down on 24 April 2008 were:

(a), that the OFT had succeeded in establishing that the banks' terms and conditions imposing charges on their customers for unauthorised overdrafts are subject to the test of fairness in the Unfair Terms and Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 ("UTCCR");

(b), that (largely) the bank's documents containing these terms were in "plain intelligible language" within the meaning of regulation 6(2) of UTCCR; and

(c), that none of the terms giving rise to the charges examined by the Court amounted to a penalty clause at common law.

All of the Defendants have been given permission to appeal against the declaration set out at (a) above.

The order also sets out the future timetable of the test case. A hearing has been listed commencing on 7 July 2008 with a time estimate of three days, during which the Court will determine whether any other terms and conditions in the bank's documents (which were not covered by the previous judgment) could give rise to charges capable of being penalties at common law; and whether the terms imposing charges contained in the representative sample of historic terms and conditions which were disclosed in the course of the litigation can also be assessed for fairness under UTCCR.

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