Litigation & Regulatory Update: No Knockout Blow In Bank Fees Class Actions (Paciocco V Anz)

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OVERVIEW -

Both sides claimed victory when Justice Gordon of the Federal Court of Australia delivered her decision in the bank fees litigation, Paciocco v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited [2014] FC 35 (Paciocco v ANZ) and both sides are contemplating their respective positions in terms of an appeal. Therefore, the much anticipated clarity around the doctrine of penalties may be shortlived.

Justice Gordon found that ANZ’s credit card late payment fees are 'penalties’ and are unenforceable. A necessary element of this finding was that her honour considered the late payment fees were extravagant and unconscionable. However, it is important to note that Her Honour commented that '…there was no allegation of dishonesty, oppression or abuse of a commercially powerful position and none existed.

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