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Banks to appeal overdraft charges decision

Banks are today expected to formally challenge the recent High Court ruling which cleared the way for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate overdraft charges. The High Court has ruled that the OFT can scrutinise the charges levied by bank accounts providers when their customers go overdrawn or when their cheques bounce. However, at a case management meeting between the two parties today, the banks named in the case are expected to launch an appeal against the decision. Should they opt to do so, it could mean that the case will be heard in the Appeal Court and in the House of Lords - potentially delaying its resolution by as much as two years. Banks stand to lose an estimated £3.5 billion annually in the form of income from overdraft charges in the event of an outcome favourable to the OFT. Some of the cases involving customers who have been hit with fees have seen them charged more than £30 for going overdrawn without the prior consent of their current account provider.

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