Australian law firm Maurice Blackburn has filed open class actions against five banks over late credit card fees totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. Since the statute of limitations has been removed in the case, an unlimited number of customers could join the current pool of hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs.
The suit alleges that banks ANZ, Wespac, St George, Citibank, and BankSA overcharged Australian households for so-called exception fees between June 2009 and July 2010. Exception fees are charged in cases of insufficient funds, when credit card limits are exceeded, or when a credit card payment is late.
There is no limit in the case for how many years may be taken into account in assessing damages.
Maurice Blackburn commented that it planned to extend the action over nine financial institutions in total, including National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, American Express and BankWest.