High Court dismisses change to ANZ’s late payment fees

Sally McMullen 27 July 2016

ANZ pays penalty for overdraft law breach

ANZ customers are still required to fork out an additional fee if they pay their credit card bills late.

A request driven by thousands of ANZ customers requesting the bank to lower it's credit card, mortgage and home loan late payment fees has been dismissed by the High Court of Australia today. In February, the class action saw ANZ bank customers challenge excessive late bank fees. Customers argued that the late payment fees aren't proportionate with the cost owed, with some customers claiming they were charged $25 and later $20 when the cost to the bank was as little as 50 cents. ANZ currently charges a flat fee of $20 for both credit card overlimit and late payment fees.

When the complaint was first made in 2014, the Federal Court ruled in favour of ANZ customers after labelling the fees as extravagant and exorbitant. However, the Federal Court reversed the decision in 2015, claiming that the bank was justified in enforcing the $35 late payment fee. The law firm appealed the verdict and the class was taken to the High Court earlier this year. Had ANZ lost the case this week, the bank would have been required to pay a massive compensation of millions of dollars.

ANZ isn't the only bank under fire, though, with class actions taken against big banks including the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, NAB, Citibank, St.George, BankSA and Bankwest. However, given the verdict with ANZ, it's likely that the challenges will be dismissed with the other banks too.

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