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Charge Claimants Can Ask For Strike Outs
The campaign for people to reclaim excessive charges from banks has been hit by banks “playing the game” and stringing customers’ claims along until they are taken to court. More often than not, the banks then don’t turn up to court.

But now claimants are launching a fightback of their own. They have started using a fresh legal tactic, by asking the judge to strike out a bank’s defence as “abuse of process”.

Since the campaign began there have been tens of thousands of people who have reclaimed a sum of millions of pounds, having accused the banks of charging illegal amounts over the past six years.

Some cases have been paid off quickly by the banks if they have been presented with a written detailed demand for refunds.

But in many other cases, the banks have stalled, but then given in at the last moment. There have, for example, been payments made on the day of the court hearing. In other claims the banks have never turned up to court to argue their case. It is this tactic which has finally annoyed judges around the country, who are now making it clear that they don’t like their or the courts’ time being wasted in this fashion.

One claimant from Berkshire lodged a claim in Feburary against the Abbey for £3,865.86 at Newbury county court. Reaching the stage in the process known as the allocation stage, this is the point at which the judge sets a date for a court hearing.

However, knowing that Abbey, like most other banks, would almost certainly not turn up to court on the date, the claimant went down a different route. She put in a draft order, asking the judge to throw out the case as an abuse of process. Citing a list of cases in which Abbey had settled at the last minute, she contended that the Abbey would have no intention of defending itself in court. The judge’s reaction was speedy. Agreeing with the claimant, in May he struck out Abbey’s defence and awarded her the money. And because extra interest was due, the sum had grown to £3,929.61.

In fact, this judge had previously made a similar ruling, in March at Reading county court.

A similar judgment was made at Rhyl county court, where a judge made the ruling against Lloyds TSB, without the claimant even asking. He told the bank to come up with a list of all claims defended in court – and those not. If the bank did not provide the lists, its defence would be struck out. The claimant felt that the bank would not supply the list.

The banks have become more bullish after two recent cases were successfully defended by Lloyds TSB. Abbey, Yorkshire/Clydesdale and Alliance & Leicester have begun to believe they can fight claims against them. Unsurprisingly, would-be claimants are now being put off claiming, worried that they will be fail. Campaigners still maintain that a well-organised, persistent claim is still likely to meet with success.

Tom Smith
8th July 2018

Posted on: [ July 08, 2018 ]       Add to Del.icio.us   Digg it   Add to Blinklist   Add to FUrl   StumbleUpon