I am going to break my (self-imposed) silence and make a post on this. Following on from an earlier post on the situation in the UK it looks like the legal situation is the same here – or in Victoria at least. Today’s Crikey has a story on how one of their contributors took Citibank to the small claims tribunal over a $40 fee – and won, with costs, after Citi simply failed to turn up. Even better, Citi had paid out the claim even before it hit the tribunal.
The Crikey piece notes that this does not set a binding precendent, but
the fact that a full-time VCAT member provided a judgment noting that the bank-fee charged was unenforceable and amounted to an unfair term in the contract is an indictment on the conduct of a financial institution. While Citigroup did not defend the matter, the VCAT member would have been within his rights to dismiss the application if he was of the opinion that it was without merit.
So, this one is just waiting for a test case. We have an interesting possibility here. If you believe the fees you are paying are excessive then – claim them all back. All of them. Just find a lawyer willing to take on your bank.
Surprisingingly, Citi’s newsroom says nothing on the topic of this court loss.
Thanks to The Sheet for pointing me at this.