ANZ Seeks Reversal of Aussie Federal Court Decision on Credit Card Late-Payment Fees

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By Vittorio Hernandez | March 7, 2014 9:36 AM EST

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The Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Banking Group said on Thursday that it would appeal the landmark Federal Court decision in February that declared late-payment fees on credit cards collected by the bank were illegal.

The decision by Justice Michelle Gordon actually found legitimate the collection by ANZ of four other types of fees. The ruling has potential impact on similar late fees charges by telecommunication providers and utilities that could reach billions of dollars.

In turn, Maurice Blackburn, which led the class action suit against ANZ, would also appeal the court ruling that honour fees, dishonor fee and over-limit fees were legal.

The late-payment fees, which could reach up to $35, were described by the court as extravagant and unconscionable since the cost to ANZ of handling the late payments were only between $0.50 and $5.50. However, ANZ insisted that the cost could actually reach thousands of dollars since it could be a precursor to a bad debt.

Of the 2.5 million card customers of ANZ, 42,500 joined the class action suit.

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