Claim No: XXXXXXXX
Claimant’s response to the request for further information
We have received a request from the defendants for further information, which they say is made pursuant to CPR Part 18.
However it is highly likely that this claim will be allocated to the small claims track and we know part 18 does not apply.
The Defendant’s part 18 request suggests very strongly that we have not supplied them with enough information to mount a defence. Despite this they have submitted a very full and complicated defence.
We are anxious to be seen to be co-operating as much as we can and therefore we are providing the following information and sending a copy to the defendants.
In section 2 of their request, the defendants ask for a detailed breakdown of the charges that have been applied to our account and our account details. We do not understand why they require this information as we sent their clients copies on 7th August and 12th August 2006. We also filed a copy with my claim form which you will find in the court file and presumably the court must have served this on the defendants with the claim form.
In section 2.3 the defendant asks why the charges should not have been levied against us, but it has already been explained in the claim, the charges are disproportionate penalties. In fact section 3 of the defendants request makes it fully clear they are aware to the answers to their section 2.3 as they specifically refer to the reasons for my claim.
Section 4 of the defendants request; ask for details of our account contract with the defendant. However the defendants are clearly fully aware of the details of the contract, the contract is their own terms and conditions imposed by them with no basis for negotiation. Further more the defendant has purported to rely on upon the terms and conditions in order to implement charges against us. The defendants must understand very well, which are the contractual terms in issue.
We are sure the court is already aware of the current flood of litigation which is being brought against all of the major banks on the issue of penalty charges. We can tell the court that hundreds such of claims have been issued at courts around the country, many having been allocated to the fast track and there are at least 10 cases transferred to the mercantile court in London to be heard as a test case. However to date every case has been settled by the banks before going to a hearing, even Barclays bank which is the defendant at the Mercantile court cases has started contacting the claimants and making an offer of full settlement in order to avoid the case being fully heard.
The NatWest, the defendants in our own case has settled over 180 cases, many of them for much larger amounts than my own claim.
The banks are fully aware of the bank charges issue. The Office of Fair Trading conducted a 2 year investigation into Credit Card penalty charge cases and found they were unfair and unenforceable at law. The OFT also said there was a read-across to banks of their penalty charges. The OFT has urged the banks to comply with their findings. The banks have refused and the OFT in entering into further discussions with them.
In the meantime the banks oblige thousands of their customers – very ordinary citizens, to bring court claims which their banks or their solicitors then go on to complicate the process with procedural devices such as the present part 18 request.
Only those claimants of sufficient heart and tenacity are eventually paid out in full. We are sure the great majority give up altogether or accept reduced payments. This is the deliberate intention of the banks style of litigation.
The banks style of litigation is intimidatory and it is sham.
The banks style of litigation would be vexatious if it were not for the fact they are the defendants.
The Master of Rolls in 2004 addressed an international conference on vexatious litigation. He told the conference the evil of vexatious litigation was that it undermined justice and was a burden to the public resource.
We can not imagine any better description of the result of the banks style of litigation.
It really should not be for an ordinary citizen to bear the burden of bringing the banks back within the rule of law.
The OFT has the power to deal with this matter and is tasked and resourced to do the job. If the OFT were to seek an injunction then this burden upon the private individual could probably be brought to an end within a week.