14 May 2010

NZ lawyers consider action against banks

1:14 pm on 14 May 2010

New Zealand lawyers are considering taking legal action against some of the big banks, for what they believe are unfair dishonour and late fees.

A class action being taken across the Tasman alleges Australians were illegally charged more than $5 billion of bank fees over the past six years.

A lawyer from Christchurch-based law firm Wakefield Associates, Gary Wakefield, says the case here would be similar to that being pursued in Australia.

Mr Wakefield says the litigation could cost several million dollars, and adequate funding has yet to be found.

Massey University senior lecturer in banking Claire Matthews says she struggles to understand what basis such a case could be brought in New Zealand.

She says Australia has legislation which has opened up the possibility of such action but New Zealand does not.