Heading Heading1 Heading1a Heading1b Heading1b1 Heading1b2 Heading1b2a Heading1b2b Heading1b2b1


Back to news index

25 November 2009

Supreme Court judgment finds in favour of the banks

The Supreme Court finally gave its ruling on the long-running test case. Unfortunately, their judgment has been a devastating blow to the hopes of claimants. After nearly two-and-half years of court cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords (now rebranded as the Supreme Court), the final decision is in essence that the banks can charge what they like. All the arguments put forward by the OFT and supported in the High Court and Court of Appeal have been overturned.

This decision was a surprise to all the claimants, all the campaigners, probably also to the OFT, and, I suspect, the banks themselves. It has been a "hand of god" moment as the banks snatched victory in the last minute of extra time.

The judges dressed up the decision in such a way as to suggest that the OFT could try using another part of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations but I doubt whether the OFT has the stomach or resolve to continue the fight. My guess is that some negotiations will go on between the banks and the OFT and the banks will agree to modify their charges a bit. But the chances of claimants getting payouts on existing claims are probably very small.

For the full judgment, see the Supreme Court website: Press summary or Full judgment.

See Guardian website for their analysis of the decision.

OFT website has a brief press release on the result.

Published and promoted by Bob Egerton, TR2 4RS