Savings, Markets and Earnings :: Market news

Credit card fees high court to rule on if anz customers overcharged

THE High Court will today rule on whether ANZ customers were overcharged tens of millions of dollars in credit card fees.

The decision on the six-year legal battle will have huge ramifications for thousands of bank customers, with the lawyers suing ANZ also pursuing other cases against Westpac, CBA and their subsidiaries.

Australias highest court will today decide whether ANZs charges of up to $35 for late credit card payments were unlawful penalties and customers should be reimbursed the money.

A favourable ruling for the plaintiff would represent a huge win for consumers, while a win for ANZ would result in calls for the tightening of Australias consumer protection laws.

It comes after the Federal Court last year reversed its 2014 ruling that the banks charges were illegal.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn then appealed to the High Court, arguing the Federal Courts reasoning threatened to make the law of unfair penalties an empty vessel.

The law firm is bringing the case on behalf of 43,500 ANZ customers claiming $57 million in overcharging.

Maurice Blackburn has already settled a case with NAB, resulting in $6.6 million in compensation being apportioned to customers for late payment fees.

Me bank study reveals holidays twice as important as a mortgage in

THE great Australian dream is supposed to be a house, but one study has found that more than twice as many people would rather spend on a holiday in the new year than save to buy a home.

ME Bank canvassed the financial priorities for 2017 of 1500 Aussie households and found that 26 per cent will be saving for a holiday or car, while just 11 per cent plan to save enough money to buy a home to live in. A further nine per cent were considering saving for an investment property.

ME spokesman Nic Emery pointed to a tendency of some Australians to put off planning for the future in favour of enjoying the present as a possible explanation of the survey results.

For some live for today, plan for tomorrow types, regular savings habits may not come naturally, he said. The key to getting ahead is tracking the real costs of your household expenses, setting a realistic budget and committing to every single detail, consistently.

Paying off current properties ran a close second to holidays with 25 per cent, as did building up savings for a rainy day.

Other goals to feature in the top 10 were paying off debts fast, building wealth for retirement, setting up a savings plan and investing in shares, bonds or commodities. Many households will not achieve their savings aspirations though with 53 per cent admitting to failing to set a weekly or monthly budget. Some households were also treading water with 42 per cent failing to pay off their credit card each month.

If youre one of these people, consider introducing processes such as automatic transfers that help you set, forget and save, Mr Emery said.