Personal Finances
26th February 2009


The Consumer Council’s long battle over excessive and unfair unauthorised overdraft bank charges took a step forward today. The statement came as the Court of Appeal in London rejected an appeal from the banks in the latest round of the legal battle over unauthorised overdraft charges. The Consumer Council is now calling on the banks to do right thing and allow this court case to proceed so that consumers can find out once and for all what a fair bank charge should be.

Alison Donnelly from the Consumer Council said, “The Consumer Council has fought long and hard for a fair deal for all consumers who accidently slip into the red.  We don’t disagree with the fact that you must pay a charge but our firm view is that they are excessive.  While these long legal battles go on, consumers continue to pay heavy charges.  We are pleased with the latest step forward but we are frustrated at the length of time it has taken for consumers to get a fair deal when they go into red without permission.

“Today’s judgement means that the banks must now prove their unauthorised overdraft charges are fair.  This is good news for consumers but it is only a small step.  If the court rules that the current charges are unfair, Northern Ireland consumers could be in line for a refund of thousands of pounds.”

  1. Consumer Council media contact: Paula Gunn, telephone, 028 9067 4816 or e-mail, [email protected]
  2. The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about electricity, natural gas, coal and passenger transport.
  3. For more information, visit our website at