Hi Caro. Long Time
I received a defence and letter from Lloyds' solicitors.
I also contacted my county court and they informed me that the court
has stayed all claims until the decision to be made in Dec.
Below is the correspondence I received after Filling my claim with the court:
SECHIARI, CLARK & MITCHELL - SOLICITORS
Department SO, PO Box 499, Upper Ground Floor, 1-5 Queens Road Quadrant, Brighton BN1 3XJ
Telephone: 01273 205381 Fax Number: 01273 745356 DX: 36675 Brighton 2
Our Ref Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Strictly Private & Confidential
Dear Sir / Madam
In the ********** County Court
************* -v- Lloyds TSB Bank plc
Claim Number: **************
We have acknowledged receipt of your above claim and issued notice of intention to defend it.
Lloyds TSB believes that its current account fees and charges are clear and represent a fair charge for a banking service that is valued by its customers. However, Lloyds TSB (along with other major UK banks) has now become involved in legal proceedings with the Office of Fair Trading ("OFT") in relation to unauthorised overdraft charges. We believe this 'test case' will resolve the legal issues about the fairness and legality of these charges.
We intend to ask for any court cases dealing with these bank charges to be postponed ('stayed') until the banks' proceedings with the OFT have been resolved. As a result, your case is likely to be put on hold until the outcome of this test case is known. We or the court will be contacting you about that soon.
During the legal proceedings between the banks and the OFT, the Financial Ombudsman Service has decided to put all investigations concerning the fairness and legality of unauthorised overdraft charges on hold, until a decision has been made by the courts. Similarly, Lloyds TSB has asked the Financial Services Authority ("FSA") to suspend the normal timetable for dealing with bank charges complaints, and the FSA has agreed to this request subject to conditions that protect customers' rights.
We will keep you updated about the proceedings with the OFT as soon as we are able to do so. You can also check the latest position on Lloyds TSB's website, Welcome to lloydstsb.com. As a general matter, Lloyds TSB will ensure that your claim will not be adversely affected by the stay of your court proceedings.
Once the legal proceedings between the OFT and the banks finish, Lloyds TSB will try to resolve your claim as quickly as possible applying the principles established in that case.
Please do keep all your documentation as you may need it following resolution of the test case.
If you have any questions, please contact us on the above telephone number. Your faithfully
Sechiari Clark & Mitchell
This firm is regulated by The Law Society Form 1007A 01/06
IN THE **************** COUNTY COURT BETWEEN:
LLOYDS TSB BANK PLC
1. The Defendant Lloyds TSB Bank plc (the Bank) is a Bank whose registered office
is 25 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7HN. It is admitted that the Claimant has
been a customer of the Bank at all material times. >
2. By opening an account with the Bank, the customer enters into a commercial
arrangement with the Bank for the provision of banking services. The Bank is
entitled, as part of that arrangement, to charge for those services. At account
opening a customer is provided with details of the Bank's charges, currently in a
leaflet a guide to our banking charges. By using the account, the customer
acknowledges that the charges are incorporated into the contract. For personal customers, a number of services are provided for free, notwithstanding that they are an expense to the Bank. Such services presently include, but are not limited to, providing;
the facility to make payments by direct debit and standing order
ATMs (cash machines).' .
3 By maintaining the account in credit, or within any limit agreed with the Bank,
the customer may avoid most if not all charges. If the customer fails to ensure
that there are sufficient cleared funds in the account to cover payments,
whether by cheque, debit card, standing order or direct debit, the customer
makes a request for a payment to be made from the Bank's own funds. If the
Bank makes payment, or returns the payment, it provides a. service as specified
in the leaflet and makes a charge in accordance with the terms of the contract.
On page 1 of the leaflet, the Bank explains that "there are normally no charges
for everyday banking at Lloyds TSB when your account is in credit.
When you use an agreed overdraft, there is no monthly fee and we only charge interest on the amount you are overdrawn each day. Where you go overdrawn without an agreement or where you use special services, such as copy statements, we will make a charge. This guide explains how these charges work, and when they will apply.
If you want to use a service that we haven't listed, we'll tell you the cost of that service before you give us the go-ahead".
There is no breach of contract; the charge cannot therefore be a penalty, consequently there is no requirement that the charge be a pre-estimate of the Bank's loss.
5. The customer is given advance warning of charges being imposed; statements
show the charges, if any, the customer has incurred during the course of a
month, and which will appear as debits on the following month's statement.
Customers are warned by letter when they go overdrawn or over their agreed
limit without arrangement with the Bank. If the customer fails to remedy the
position, and payments such as standing orders and direct debits are refused
then again the customer is warned by letter.
6. The charges are fair and reasonable, and it is denied that they are unlawful.
7. The customer is notified of the charges in plain intelligible language at the
conclusion of the contract, and on each monthly statement. The charge are
terms which relate to the price payable by the customer for a service provided
by the Bank, and pursuant to Regulation 6 of the Unfair Terms in Consumer
Contracts Regulations 1999, are not subject to the assessment of fairness.
8. In the premises:
8.1 the charges are for banking services, and are not damages nor a penalty;
8.2 the Bank is entitled by contract to impose the charges, which are fair and
8.3 it is denied that the charges are unlawful or contravene any statute or
9. The Claimant's claim is denied in its entirety. It is further denied that the Claimant is entitled to the sum claimed or to any sum from the Bank.
Statement of Truth
The Defendant believes that the facts stated in this Defence are true. I am duly authorised by the Defendant to sign this statement.
Full name: Joanne Storey Team Leader for the Defendant.
Served 19™ day of September 2007 by Sechiari Clark a Mitchell of Department SO, P.O. Box 499, Upper Ground Floor, 1 - 5 Queens Road Quadrant, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 3XJ: Telephone 01273 205381: Fax 01273 745356: Reference
Solicitors for the Defendant.