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Tom Brennan v NatWest - This is a must-read!!!


calvi36
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I wish him all the best too, and I so cannot wait to see how they respond in court. He is forcing them into court as he is not only claiming his charges but also exemplary damages as the bank has profited from the use of the money nat west took from him.

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I'm sure we will all be watching his progress with interest.

 

If he were to lose, how will this affect the current claims going through? I think it would probably make the banks even more arrogant and could even give them cause to reverse the current trend of paying out.

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The way I read it he is going to try to force them to disclose their charging structure, this is what they are avoiding by paying out and not attending court. It will be up to the judge in the end to get them to prove their charges are ok.

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As the case is being heard in the County Court, no precedents can be set anyway as I understand so whatever this particular judge decides, does not necessarily mean another judge in another court will take the same view on what is a 'fair' charge. However, the publicity, especially if he wins, will be unprecedented I imagine.

 

I hope Friday 13th (court date) will be lucky for the barrister!

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Just seen an interview on BBC tv news with the producer of moneybox.

 

He says that Brennan is to argue that although he's been offered £4000

on his £2500 claim, the bank have still made a profit on the original charges. He also said that even if he fails, he has ''plenty of friends'', presumably legal buffs, who

will take the same action with other banks. He said he has good evidence

nat west charge costs are only £2.50 and not the 38 sobs he was charged. Lets just hope the judge plays ball...

 

According to the BBC, Nat west have hired some big gun legal suits to defend this case bur Brennan is looking at the bigger picture and seems hell bent on a discloser.

 

God bless him

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damn I missed it, waited all morning to see it and then had to take my dogs out.

 

Yeah it really ticks me off when the BBC trails a story but dont tell you when. The story is going to be featured on radio - today Money Box 12 pm.

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Yes I get that, but can this judge force the banks to disclose their actual costs for charges, or does that have to go to a higher court?

 

Enaid, judging from the interview with Paul Lewis, I think Friday's court appearance is just to apply to the judge for permission to sue the bank for damages and if the judge gives permission for that, the bank will have to come back to court for another hearing where they will have to jusify their charges. I wouldn't imagine it would be a higher court as the County Courts are for small claims and his claim is under £5,000.

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Depending on the outcome of this case, what are the wider implications??

I saw this on bbc and copied it from their website

 

 

 

 

A high street bank may be forced to justify its penalty charges in court for the first time.

 

No judge has ever ruled on whether charges of £30 or more to bounce a payment are legal as the banks have always paid up to prevent court action.

But a barrister now believes he can force the issue to court and is seeking a key ruling on Friday.

He is demanding the right to claim damages on top of a refund and has rejected an offer to settle the action.

Tom Brennan, who ran up £2,500 in penalties on an unauthorised overdraft when he was a law student, told BBC Radio 4's Money Box what he is asking the court.

"I am arguing for what are called 'exemplary damages'. Where a company acts unlawfully and then takes unlawful profits from a person they should face a substantial level of damages to strip them of those profits," he said.

He shares the view of many consumer groups that the charges levied by banks when people exceed their overdraft limit or a payment is bounced are illegal.

"Consumer protection regulations state clearly that you can't charge a disproportionate level of charges for any breach of contract," he said.

"The information I have from my experts it that it will cost £2.50 or thereabouts to bounce a direct debit. The bank charges me £38."

Consumer action

Major campaigns by consumer groups have led to tens of thousands of people recovering bank charges.

More than two million form letters have been downloaded from one website alone.

In every case the banks eventually pay up - sometimes at the court steps - so the legality of the charges has never been tested.

o.gifstart_quote_rb.gif They've offered me £4,000 but I've rejected it end_quote_rb.gif

 

 

Tom Brennan, barrister

 

 

Mr Brennan says his approach will force NatWest to defend its actions in court.

He has refused an offer well in excess of the penalty charges taken by the bank.

"They've offered me £4,000 but I've rejected it because they keep saying the charges are both fair and lawful but I don't agree," he said.

If the court rules against him he could pay a heavy price.

"If I lose and they state that I am acting unreasonably they can ask for their costs," he said.

"They are employing senior barristers. It would bankrupt me, and that prevents you being a practising barrister or transferring to be a solicitor.

"But that will only happen if the judge awards costs and he may not if he decides I am bringing this for public reasons. This case has a momentum of its own and is too important to walk away."

In a statement, NatWest confirmed that the case was being defended but "it would be inappropriate to comment further".

The case will be heard on Friday, 13 April in the Mayor's and City of London County Court at Guildhall.

BBC Radio 4's Money Box will be broadcast on Saturday 7 April 2007 at 1204 BST.

The programme will be repeated on Sunday, 8 April at 2102 BST.

 

 

 

 

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