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Courtesy of a friend in Australia, note this  Sydney Morning Herald article  by Adele Ferguson and Michael West on huge new billion dollar class actions against banks in Australia. The class actions arise from excessive bank fees. Litigation  funder IMF Australia, mentioned yesterday in this post,  is once again said to be squarely behind the litigation action.  Maybe it’s time to rethink whether to attend the RAND litigation funding conference on May 20 and 21 in the DC area.

Key excerpts from the article are set out below:

"Australia’s banks face the biggest class action in corporate history for overcharging their millions of customers about $5 billion in penalty and late fees over the past six years.

"Leading litigation funder IMF Australia will pay for more than 10 class actions against the banks, including the big four – Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and National Australia Bank – in an effort to claw back at least $400 million in what its lawyers will claim is a systematic gouging of banking customers.

The action comes at a delicate time for the banks as politicians accuse them of exploiting their heightened market dominance – in the aftermath of the global financial crisis – to rachet up fees and charges to unreasonable levels.

 

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Besides the big four, another seven Australian banks are expected to be targeted for alleged wrongful and unfair overcharging. These include the Bank of Queensland, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Suncorp, HSBC and Citibank."