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OFT test case, lack of room for public - letter to MP

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I received an email from Stephen Hone, on his mailing list PenaltyCharges site, in which he asks us to send letter to our MPs to back an Early Day Motion, which is going to be raised by his MP in Parliament on Monday 14th January 2007, on the lack of room of public to attend.


I have a template letter which I hope you find useful, and please get your MPs support it, here goes:


In regards to: Office of Fair Trading ("OFT") Test Case on legality of Unauthorised Overdraft (bank charges) and request for you to support an Early Day Motion by Gary Streeter MP on Monday 14th January 2008


Houses of Parliament




Dear ,

Subject: OFT Test Case on legality of Unauthorised Overdraft (bank charges) and request for you to support an Early Day Motion by Gary Streeter MP on Monday 14th January 2008

I am writing to bring to your attention important information about the OFT Test Case on the legality of bank charges and to ask for your support with an Early Day Motion raised by Gary Streeter MP.

The whole issue of bank charges impacts on most of the people in our constituency and I hope you will support the Early Day Motion by Gary Streeter MP which he will raise on Monday 14th January 2008..


In 2005 a law student and current bank charges campaigner, Stephen Hone brought a civil court action against Abbey National PLC on the grounds that the banks Unauthorised Overdraft charge of £32, which they charged him numerous times, was "disproportionate" to the costs incurred by the bank.

His claim alleged that the charges are in breach of the Unfair Terms of the Consumer Contracts Regulations ("UTCCR") 1999, which state that a consumer should not pay a disproportionately high amount of compensation if he or she fails to meet an obligation.

His Claim was commenced in Plymouth County Court, he stated that his claim was for £2000 over a period of 6 years, his claim was filed, but Abbey National PLC failed to submit a defence therefore Stephen Hone won his case by default.

District Judge Andrew Moon found in favour of Stephen Hone and ordered the bank to pay him an undisclosed amount, however Abbey National PLC was granted a retrial after claiming it had failed to offer a defence because it was not notified of the court date, but before the case could come to court again the bank Abbey settled by paying Hone £5,000.

Since the success of Stephen Hone's case others have followed his example.

OFT Case and the 14th January 2008 Early Day Motion of Gary Streeter MP for Devon South West

On 27th July 2007 the OFT, with the agreement of UK banks, Abbey National PLC, Barclays Bank PLC, Clydesdale Bank PLC, HBOS PLC, HSBC Bank PLC, Lloyds TSB Bank PLC, Nationwide Building Society and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, commenced proceedings in the High Court for a declaration of the application of the law in respect of Unauthorised Overdraft (bank "penalty charges), preliminary legal principle of whether the provisions of the UTCCRs that deal with unfairness apply. It will also address the additional point of law of whether the charges can be a penalty at common law. It will not lead to a judgment as to whether charges themselves are fair or not. The OFT will decide after the initial judgment what steps to take should it win the test case and conclude from its financial investigation that any of the charges are unfair.

However, according to the OFT, the case will now not be heard in the High Court, it will instead be heard in the International Dispute Resolution Centre on 16th January 2008.

The problem is that the International Dispute Resolution Centre only has place for 11 people, which will consist of press and public, therefore it will be difficult for both press and public to get a full picture of the trial, access to the trial will be on a first come first served basis.

The whole issue of bank charges and the legality is definately of grave concern to most people, especially those who have unfairly been subjected to bank charges, especially those on low income, disabled and the elderly and therefore it is obviously in the public intrest, so therefore it makes sense that the hearing should take place where lots of members of the public and press are actually able to attend.

On Friday 11th January 2008 Stephen Hone met with his local MP, Gary Streeter MP for Devon South West who agrees that the lack of seating for members of the public and the press is a disgrace and as a result he will be raising an Early Day Motion, I ask that you support his motion.

The importance of you supporting the Early Day Motion is that bank charges are a major contributor to the UK's debt crisis and social exclusion, especially in our constituent.

Yours Sincerely

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Nice one, but there is some debate over what influence the Government can have over a civil case, however, the more publicity the better. You may want to look on the HSBC forum for my thread Prime Ministers Website as it has email addys and a template email for the press and the more that support this the better...






(feel free to click the scales on the left if I said something that helps)

Due to recent issues I have had....

All posts written by me and involving my opinions and written without any legal knowledge are....

Without Prejudice

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hi pen can you put a link on here cheers







Advice & opinions given by patrickq1 are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional

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