Bank fees target of legal threat

Bank penalty fees are the cause of legal action being taken on both sides of the Tasman. In addition to a $5billion class action suit started this week in Australia, two Christchurch law firms are planning a similar suit. Gary Wakefield from one of the firms, Wakefield Associates, told the Dominion Post that Kiwi banks had gouged customers the same way as the Aussie parent companies, with penalty fees estimated at $100 million a year in New Zealand alone.

The New Zealand case is being bankrolled by wealthy investors in return for a proportion of any compensation awarded.  Interest in the Australian case is very high, with the class action funder receiving 1000 calls an hour yesterday to their hotline.

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