Bank penalty charges
In late 2004, I starting fighting against Britain's High Street banks to help unfortunate customers recover penalty bank charges. Over the next couple of years, I was joined by other individual campaigners in the fight against the banks. During this period, I acquired the title of Bob the Bankbuster (courtesy of the Sun newspaper).
Until July 2007, the campaign was immensely successful. In the first half of 2007 alone, Britain's banks paid out over £700 million to its customers; I personally helped individual consumers recover over £300,000. We campaigners had successfully used the laws of the land and the Courts. It was probably the most successful grass roots consumer campaign of all time.
We received no help from organisations such as the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) despite the fact that the OFT has a statutory duty to ensure fair treatment for Britain's consumers. We certainly received no help from Her Majesty's government. The whole thing was an embarrassment to the establishment.
Then at the end of July 2007, the OFT stepped in. They and the banks decided to fight a "test case" in the courts. Immediately, all claims in the court system were put on hold and the banks stopped paying out. So, instead of helping the campaigners who had been so successful, the OFT, in collusion with the banks, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Financial Ombudsman, took away the campaigners' only weapon: they disarmed us.
The test case proceeded at a snail's pace through the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords (now rebranded as the Supreme Court). Finally, in November 2009, it was decided in favour of the banks. See News item on Supreme Court ruling.
After mulling over the judgment for a few weeks, on 22 December 2009, the OFT unconditionally surrendered to the banks. See their press release at OFT surrender.
This is a gross betrayal of British consumers by the OFT. It is a shameful day for justice. The establishment has once again taken back control from the revolting masses.
This website now serves merely as a reminder of the battles that have been fought. For a longer reflection on how badly the test case was handled, see reflection.
I am sorry that it has come to this.
LATEST NEWS JANUARY 2020 - and it is Good News!
Wow! Just over 10 years after the notorious Supreme Court judgment, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has intervened and forced all the high street banks to cease charging their extortionate unarranged overdraft fees and to reduce the fees charged for unpaid items.
It has taken a long time and, over the past 10 years, the least well-off people in this country have suffered not just 10 years of austerity but many of them have also suffered from the crippling penalty charges imposed by Britain's high street banks.
It is nice for once to be able to praise a body such as the Financial Conduct Authority.
For details of the changes that they have forced on to the banks, see
Incidentally, some commentators have criticised the interest rates that will still be charged on unarranged overdrafts. Although they seem high in percentage terms, the actual cash amount charged should be low because, typically, unarranged overdrafts are on relatively small amounts. The interest charged will be a small fraction of what is currently being charged on the daily fee basis. See examples on the FCA website.
Note: this website has been created by a program that is no longer compatible with the latest system software. As from 1 March 2021, this website will not be updated at all. However, it will be left online as a historical record of the campaign and a source of information. Bob Egerton's website can be found at www.bobegerton.co.uk
Published and promoted by Bob Egerton, TR2 4RS