Half a million people are expected to join Australia’s biggest class action against excessive bank fees.

The litigation is against twelve banks and an estimated five billion dollars in fees over the past six years.

Elke Byrne reports.

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Some banks charge customers a fee of up to $60 for an overdraw, late payment or bounced cheque when the cost is much less.

Christopher Zinn, Choice Spokesperson: “The law is pretty clear on this, that they can cover the costs your infringement might put on them but they can’t actually ramp up the costs.”

Financial Recess, the company behind the case, says anyone who has incurred at least one of these fees can qualify.

James Middleweek, Managing Director Financial Recess: “If the case is unsuccessful, the funder – our parent company the IMF – picks the entire costs up, and if the case is successful, then the funder gets 25 per cent of the compensation.”

IMF Australia says individuals are expected to claim up to $2,000 and businesses up to $6,000.

Vox one: “I do think the banks need a bit of a shake-up so it wouldn’t hurt.”

Vox two: “They’re making enormous profits and part of that is through the fees which they really don’t need to charge. It’s greed.”

Around 1,000 people an hour are signing up to be part of the class action.

Elke Byrne, QUT News