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11 September 2015
The class action run by lawfirm Maurice Blackburn v ANZ

15 November 2010
And still the banks persist in illegal “con”tracts. Please see the extract from Bankwest’s conditions of use booklet

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Banks Are Thieves
John Curtis, NSW


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Recent Outcomes

Bank penalty fee reimbursment claims

Probably the most satisfying achievement was an estimated $18,000 to $20,000 by a very determined woman, then an unemployed single mother, in Bundaberg, Queensland; (the bank, Westpac, included a confidentiality clause in their settlement agreement, which is why the plaintiff could not divulge the exact amount). She visited the web-site only a couple of months after it had been established and, with tutoring, extending to over 70 emails and some phone calls, took Westpac to court and beat one of the four major banks at their own game.  Only some of this payout was the recovery of her penalty fees - 2/3rds of the payout was interest.

The highest ratio for exemplary damages known to is, in two cases, a figure TWENTY TIMES the sum of the total of the penalty fees plus interest.  The bank involved is ANZ. These were cases run by on behalf of two clients. There were numerous "late payment" and "honour/dishonor” fees.  The bank settled out of court after legal proceedings were commenced.  One settlement came to over $21,000.00, the other exceeded $10,000.00.

Banks usually settle rather than comply with a subpoena requesting that they substantiate their claim(s) for these outrageous fees, which they seem to have great difficulty in doing. tank web

Another person asked his bank (again one of the four majors) to refund the two "penalty fees", totaling $70.00, applied to his credit card account and ADD 10 TIMES THIS AMOUNT TO HIS ACCOUNT.  The bank initially refused the exemplary damages request but reimbursed the account of the person the amount of the "penalty fees" over the telephone.  The person then commenced legal proceedings and about a week before the case was to be heard an offer from the bank for $700 was received to settle the case.  Revealing the name of the bank or the terms of settlement would breach the Confidentiality Agreement he signed.

Previously the person in question used to get back DOUBLE the amount of the penalty fee over the telephone as compensation (as well as the "penalty fee" refunded) and I can vouch for this as I've done the same.

There are now many people who are not charged any "penalty fees" by their bank/financial institution after raising the matter of their illegality and demanding refunds. 

Another gentleman, without any assistance from, contacted the Financial Ombudsman Service.  He obtained $470 back in exception/default/penalty fees stolen from his account.


Yet another man rang his financial institution about some other matter, and he merely happened to mention that he would like a penalty fee removed from his account.  The bank’s customer service officer immediately apologised, said that the money would be refunded and told him that it would never happen again.

There have been some other mixed outcomes but every story  heard involves the bank, or financial institution, refunding at least part of the money.

It can only help your case if you mention the O'Dea v. Allstates Leasing Systems (W.A.) Pty Ltd judgement where it was ruled by the full bench of the High Court of Australia that a party, in breaching any contract, is only liable for "liquidated damages" - or what it actually costs the opposing party because of the breach.  This judgement by the full bench of the High Court of Australia, called a precedent, is binding on all other lower courts.