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Appeal Court Rules That The Office of Fair Trading Does Have The Power to Investigate Bank Charges

The appeal by eight banks against the decision of the High Court regarding whether or not the OFT have the authority to deal with the fairness of bank charges has been thrown out.

The judges also told the banks that they could not take the case to the Lords for a further appeal but it is almost certain they will ignore this and ask the House of Lords for permission to make a further appeal against this decision.

The hundreds of thousands of claims frozen will remain this way until the investigation by the OFT is concluded

The OFT were said to be pleased with Appeal Court ruling, they were quoted as saying “We expect to reach a final decision on fairness later this year,”

One of the arguments by the banks was that the banks customers do not have protection under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations (UTCCR) the court found that consumers do have protection under the UTCCR as they are not part of the core or essential bargain between a consumer and their bank,

Master of the Rolls, Sir Anthony Clarke, dismissed the appeal, he said the four Appeal Court Judges had now come to the same conclusion as High Court Judges on the issue of the OFT’s jurisdiction, he also told the banks they should now allow the OFT to decide whether the banks charges were fair or not he then dismissed their request for a further appeal.

The Banks Next Move

Regardless of the High Court decision and the Appeal court agreeing with this decision the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) still believe the Regulations do not apply to bank charges, a spokesman was quoted as saying

“The banks continue to believe that the Regulations do not apply to these type of charges,”
“The banks will apply to the House of Lords for permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision.”
“The banks will work with the OFT to ensure the next stages in the test case process are progressed as quickly as possible,”

 

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