London judge criticizes banks in overdraft charge claims
A judge in the London Mercantile Court has criticized several banks for their tactics in delaying claims made by customers in regards to overdraft charges. Judge David Mackie QC leveled the criticism as he took up over 30 cases, most of which he settled in favor of the claimants. Over 80 cases had originally been scheduled for hearing in the court, but many were settled by the banks, some just the night before they were to be heard.
While Lloyds TSB (LSE: LLOY) sent a barrister to represent the bank for 20 of the cases, he still came in for harsh words from the judge. He offered partial settlement for some of the cases but in others he asked for a delay or order for the bank to collect more information from claimants. In a few cases, the claimants were asked to provide the extra information, but in one case the claimant told the court he had already provided the extra details in January. The judge scolded the barrister and said that there was no excuse for that claim not to have been settled “months ago”.
Another claimant showed up at court only to be told that Lloyds had settled with him the day before. The claimant in that case informed the court that he had not been told of the settlement. He and several other individuals in the same situation were awarded £100 each by the court for having been forced to take a day off work by the bank’s “unreasonable” behavior.