5 Feb 2014

Court finds ANZ late fees illegal

12:37 pm on 5 February 2014

The Federal Court in Australia has found that ANZ Bank's late payment fees on credit card accounts are a breach of contract. However, claims against other types of bank fees were dismissed.

Justice Michelle Gordon on Wednesday ruled that $A25 - $A45 honour and dishonour fees, over limit charges and non-payment fees were allowable.

AAP reports the case is the first of eight class actions brought by law firm Maurice Blackburn on behalf of more than 180,000 ANZ customers.

In her ruling, Justice Gordon agreed that ANZ was improperly imposing penalties on customers with its late-payment fees.

Those fees were described as "extravagant, exorbitant and unconscionable".

ANZ admitted that it was not permitted to charge such fees under the contract, Justice Gordon said.

Justice Gordon said the other fees were not a penalty and therefore not a breach of contract.

ANZ customers who are part of the class action will be entitled to be awarded damages.