Crossmaglen man wins bank battle

MARK Adamson is not alone in not liking bank fees.

But while most people are waiting on the outcome of a class action court case, the Crossmaglen based television director is already claiming his own victory.

He has recouped almost half of the default fees his bank had charged his personal and business accounts in the past decade.

“It was simple really, although I have to say it was a frustrating and drawn out process,” Mr Adamson said.

His battle started after a Facebook conversation with a friend in England where millions of people have been reimbursed for bank fees which the English courts ruled to be illegal.

“My issue was specifically with the charging of overdrawing approval fees and overdrawing account fees,” he said.

“Basically my bank had charged me up to $50 when an account had been overdrawn by as little as $10 due to timing differences in the cycle of internal payments and transfers. What I was really angry about was that the bank charged these fees even though they knew I had thousands of dollars in other accounts I held with them.”

After extensive internet research, Mr Adamson put his case to be reimbursed for $576 in default fees he’d been charged since 1999.

“Initially the bank offered to reimburse me $75 on the condition that I signed a waiver acknowledging that I didn’t take their ‘generosity’ as an admission of liability and that I wouldn’t pursue the matter any further,” Mr Adamson said.

“Subsequently, over the course of two months I was offered $125, $200 and finally $213 which was the amount I had been charged in overdrawn fees in the past 12 months.”

Mr Adamson said he accepted the offer and signed a waiver saying he wouldn’t purse the matter any further because he had neither the time nor financial ability to take the bank to court for the remainder.

“The argument I used was that because of my bank’s sheer size, I was disadvantaged by a lack of bargaining power,” he said.

“I argued that without my consent they allowed my account to be overdrawn because I couldn’t authorize them to now allow that to happen.

“I also pointed out that a legal precedent had already been established in the UK that the fees being charged were unnecessary and unconscionable to protect the banks interests.”

“Banks already make a fortune out of having you as a customer. I only wish our politicians had the guts to legislate to stop them from continuing to rip all their customers off.”

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