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The OFT Case


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I understand precisely what your trying to say but if you think this case is NOT to the benefit of the banks I don't where you have been. It has had the effect, as they knew it would, of bringing to an abrupt halt their having to return millions of pounds to consumers

 

& it was the banks who instigated this action not the OFT - I wonder why

 

The banks, like us mere mortals, want clarity on what is and is not kosher. Can you blame them though since they have been absolutely hammered in over 99% of the cases brought against them!

 

Now that the banks have lost the first case do you reckon this is a set up so they can go to appeal, win that and then look squeaky clean there on in?

 

Mailman

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WARNING TO ALL

Please be aware of acting on advice given by PM .Anyone can make mistakes and if advice is given on the main forum people can see it to correct it ,if given privately then no one can see it to correct it. Please also be aware of giving your personal details to strangers

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They haven't lost nor have we won as according to the Judgment

he's decided the OFT can rely on the UCCTC whilst at the same time stating that that doesn't mean the penalty charges are unlawful or unfair

This if correct is of course true because this case was never about their lawfulness it was always about the power of the OFT.

Now the question is what will they do with their new found power? Rule the same as they did with credit cards whilst saying their decision wasn't binding in law as only a court could decide if the fees are unlawful

It would appear that we are back to square one & that after all this delay little has been achieved other than that the banks have been allowed to stop refunding charges & to add insult to injury continue applying said charges to customers account

So whilst the banks may be forced to reduce their charges by the OFT, as some have already done, (whilst jacking up others) the consumer will still have to chase, threaten & possibly litigate to recover their money.

As I stated this case was never about there lawfulness but about the power of the OFT which frankly I think this judgement has exceeded & because of this may well be struck down at any appeal as this is a function was never envisaged as being part of the OFT's remit to exercise price controls

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I have just watched the lunchtime programme on BBC2 and they have said that 'you must get your claims in now', don't wait for any further outcome as the judgement only applies to todays terms and conditions, so if you are relying on the past six years, that time is being eaten up so get them in now so they are in the system.

 

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I for one would welcome banks to start fee paying for accounts as opposed to free banking as customers can then go to cheapest fee bank thus bringing competition for business, which will end up back to free banking... with reasonable charges for mistakes made by customers....

Only direct action by the masses will work....

 

Look at all successes they have never come from negotiation!!!

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I have just watched the lunchtime programme on BBC2 and they have said that 'you must get your claims in now', don't wait for any further outcome as the judgement only applies to todays terms and conditions, so if you are relying on the past six years, that time is being eaten up so get them in now so they are in the system.

Which is exactly what we have been saying to people for months, but would they listen? :razz:
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I'm confused. I thought this case was to determine if the OFT had the authority to rule on the fairness of the charges. The judge has said they have, therefore barring any appeal, why are the BBA talking about the court deciding on the fairness of charges? I also seem to remember that the OFT had investigated the banks charges but hadn't published their findings or am I mistaken?

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3. The law of penalties does not apply to overdraft charges because the charges are not payable on a breach of contract.

 

Huh? I though this was the whole basis of the customer's argument...?

If my comments have been useful please click the scales and let me know.

 

Me vs Rockwell/Tessara/RBofS: pending.

Me vs MBNA/1st Crud: Discontinued.

First Direct Overdraft: CCJ won.

IR: 2 CCJs 1 won.

Birmingham Midshires: pending

BT: pending

others to come....

 

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& it was the banks who instigated this action not the OFT - I wonder why

 

Really??

 

Before :

MR JUSTICE ANDREW SMITH

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Between :

The Office of Fair Trading Claimant

- and -

Abbey National PLC and 7 others Defendants

I thought claimant meant the party that started the action. You live and learn
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In this instance, Crash, the OFT started the action, but it was the banks which approached the OFT about seeking a resolution through the courts of the whole thing, so yes, the banks instigated the action, or at least that is how they spun it, although I am not convinced that it was that one-sided, and I suspect that if the banks hadn't agreed, the OFT may well have done it anyway. Done this way, the banks retained a modicum of control on the issues being brought to court, and by stipulating in advance to certain things, it made the case that much shorter, otherwise there would have moves to suppress this, moves to accept that, and just the pre-trial issues would have dragged on and on.

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Just read the update on the Barclays Personal Banking page :

 

quote:

Current Account Preliminary Test Case Judgment

 

Update 24 April 2008

1.The banks welcome the judgment that the court has issued on the first stage of the test case relating to unarranged overdraft charges. The test case process was initiated by the banks, with the OFT, to bring clarity to an issue which is of concern to a large number of bank customers. 2.This judgment - which contains important points for both the banks and the OFT to consider – marks the first stage in the test case process. The banks remain committed to resolving, through the court, the legal issues concerning unarranged overdraft charges. The judgment illustrates how complex those issues are. The banks and the OFT agreed that the case should move forward as quickly as possible and this has been achieved, with assistance from the court. The banks expect that the case will continue to progress as quickly as possible and will work with the OFT to achieve that. 3.The court has decided (subject to appeals) that the banks’ current terms and conditions relating to unarranged overdraft charges:

4.The banks are pleased that the court has agreed that their current charges are not unenforceable penalties. The banks believe that the same analysis will apply to charges under their historic terms. 5.In relation to the UTCCRs, the court has emphasised in the judgment that the question of whether the banks’ charges satisfy the fairness requirement of the UTCCRs has not been determined by the court. That is a question that can only ultimately be decided by the court and not, for example, by the OFT. 6.The court also reached the following conclusions:

  • Unarranged overdrafts are one of the essential, real and identifiable services which the banks provide to their personal current account customers.
  • As a matter of legal analysis the terms and conditions of many of the banks accurately reflect the fact that when a customer tries to make a payment without sufficient funds or an arranged overdraft, the customer is requesting an unarranged overdraft.
  • The banks’ current terms and conditions are in “plain intelligible language” but the court found that, in “certain specific and relatively minor respects”, the current terms and conditions of some banks (namely Abbey, Barclays, Clydesdale and HBOS) were not.

7.A further hearing or hearings will now be required in order for the court to determine the issue of fairness (and any outstanding issues relating to the application of the principles in the judgment to the banks’ historic terms). The banks believe their charges are fair and that the charges will therefore be upheld by the court at this next phase. 8.The timetable for the next steps in the test case will be decided by the Court at a hearing on 22 May 2008. The banks are keen that all outstanding issues should be resolved as expeditiously as possible. They will be making case management proposals at the hearing on 22 May 2008 which are consistent with this aim. The banks and the OFT will each have to decide by the time of that hearing whether they wish to appeal any aspects of the judgment. 9.As previously agreed with the Financial Ombudsman Service and FSA, customer complaints relating to unarranged overdraft charges will remain on hold. The banks will continue to ask County and Sheriff Courts to keep cases relating to unarranged overdraft charges on hold until the test case process is concluded.

Follow these links to find information on the websites of:

Interesting reading, seems Barclays are not answerable to OFT and that they believe their charges are fair and only a court can decide!

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smutley like I have already said it's all back to square one unless the OFT take this all the way to it's final conclusion..........in the meantime the banks keep their stay........& what might be our money

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I have read most of what has been written this week in the papers and on the web, the Banks are trying to spin it that they won, but the OFT have to come down on our side or they wouldn't have taken the case.

 

Do you think the banks are going to want how much it cost to come out? I don't so I recon a deal will be struck and agreed before the court date and the banks won't appeal that part....well i can hope.

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I have to say, the cynical me feels that the judgment is a slap to us, the little people who took the law and fought for our rights. To me, I read: "yes, the UTCCR apply so the OFT can deal with it" = Let the government people do their job

"no, the charges are not for breach of contract" = You lot don't know what you're talking about and you shouldn't have created such a fuss in the first place.

 

So, tug your forelocks, peasants, and let the very same OFT (and FOS, incidentally) who 2 years ago, wouldn't deal with cases like ours and would send us scurrying back to our hovels, now become the consumer's champion and don't you dare presume to try to educate yourselves into what the law means and challenge the masters ever again. :-(

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I have to say I agree with you BW...The powers that be certainly don't like it when the peasants are revolting

 

My view is that consumers should turn to publicising, through the media, the banks many wrong doings & all to often appalling treatment of consumers.

 

I don't mean the odd story but a real concerted effort to get heard more. As the banks ain't exactly flavour of the month the press appear now much more ready to stick it to them

 

This I think would have a much more profound effect on the public consciousness particularly those who have no problems regarding debt. If that was the case then surely more politicians wouldn't be far behind

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I also agree with you both BW and JC. The chances of 'the system' saying, in effect, "you can do what you like with your bank accounts, borrow as much as you like from the banks in unauthorised fashion, and you won't be charged" are nil.

 

However, I do feel that in the end something similar to the current situation with credit card a/c's and the £12 charge, is likely to be the final outcome, with the banks and the OFT informally agreeing this, without anything actually 'being carved in stone' as it were.

 

If that is the case, then re-vamping existing claims by claiming everything over £12 until the point is reached when the a/c balance would not have been o/drawn, and then claiming everything from that point on, would seem to be the way to go. I'm contemplating that very seriously with both of my existing claims, and have done the groundwork. The end result is that the claims are only a few hundered down in over 7 thou, taking into account the 8% SI. What do you think?

 

I also totally agree, JC, that maximising publicity for the banks many wrong-doings could do us no harm at all, and would in all probability help us very considerably. It just needs a co-ordinated effort to collect and collate the information, and present it to the media.

 

All the best - Adam.

I do my best to be helpful, but at the end of the day I'm not a professional - please seek further advice if you're not sure. On the other hand, if I have helped, please click my scales - thanks ;)

 

Current Claims (all for friends!) -

 

Abbey - over £4k - Court claim issued & AQ filed ('Tish vs Abbey'). Alloc'n Hearing 21 Sept - Claim stayed 29/8/07.

Cap One - just under £2k - WON (just over 2k!)('Tish vs Cap One')

Cap One - just under £1000 - WON (just over £1k) Nov 07 (JimmyBoy vs Cap One)

Lloyds TSB - £3.5k - Court claim issued, defence rec'd and AQ filed; Alloc'n hearing 7th Sept Claim stayed 29/8/07! (JimmyBoy vs Lloyds')

MBNA - over £1k for mis-sold PPI - WON - approx £1500(IpswichWitch vs MBNA . . .)

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Hi All,

 

I met with a friend of mine on Friday who works for a major consultant of the major banks and they are advising the banking sector to prepare to settle all of the claims.

 

I cant name names or reveal my source as it would get him/her in trouble, I believe the banks are going to take the advice so be prepared for more offer letters!

 

Cheers

 

Lee

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