At the ........................ Court
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THE BANKS NAME
THE BANKS REGISTERED OFFICE ADDRESS
TICK NO TO HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES
Brief Details of Claim
Money claim for return of penalty charges applied to the Claimants bank account by the Defendant
Overdraft Interest £xxx.xx
Interest under s.69 County Courts Act 1984 £xxx.xx
Court Fee £xx.xx
TOTAL £ xx.xx
Plus interest pursuant to S.69 County Courts Act 1984 from date of issue to date of judgement/settlement at £xx.xx per day [(enter daily rate here - (CHARGES+OD interest)x 0.00022 = pence per day)] OR at such rate and for such periods as the court deems just.
PARTICULARS OF CLAIM
1. The Claimant [has] [had] an account 1 ("the Account") with the Defendant which was opened on or around 2 [and closed on or around 2 ]
2. During the period in which the Account [has been] [was] operating the Defendant debited numerous charges to the Account in respect of purported breaches of contract on the part of the Claimant and also charged interest on the charges once applied. The Claimant understands that the Defendant contends that the charges were debited in accordance with the terms of the contract between itself and the Claimant.
3. A list of the charges applied is attached to these particulars of claim.
4. The Claimant contends that:
a) Insofar as they may be penalties, the charges debited to the Account are punitive in nature; are not a genuine pre-estimate of cost incurred by the Defendant; exceed any alleged actual loss to the Defendant in respect of any breaches of contract on the part of the Claimant; and are extravagant and unconscionable in amount in comparison with the greatest loss that could conceivably be proved to have followed from the breach, but instead act in terrorem to ensure contractual compliance and to deter a breach on the part of the Claimant.
b) Insofar as they purport to be services provided by the Defendant, the High Court on the 24th April 2008 rejected the notion that the blocking of cheques, direct debits and so forth were services in the sense commonly understood. Furthermore the High Court held that the Defendant's charges were subject to tests of unfairness under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999.
Whereas, at all material times the Claimant was a consumer within the meaning of the Regulations and the Defendant was a supplier within Regulation 3(1), and
The banking contract was conducted on the Defendant’s standard terms
The terms imposing the charges levied by the Defendant are contrary to the requirement of good faith. Furthermore The terms imposing the charges cause a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer in that:-
- Bank accounts have become a basic essential service
- The Defendant is a wholly dominant partner in a non-negotiable standard-form contract.
- There are a limited number of providers of banking services all whom exercise similar dominance over their customers in non-negotiable standard form contracts.
- These banks exercise a collective dominance in the market.
- The charges of all banks are highly similar in nature and in cost and so the consumer in general and the claimant in particular has no real choice between banking service providers and is forced to acquiesce to the charges.
- The charges exceed actual costs by several thousand percent
- They are applied unilaterally in a standard form contract without the possibility of negotiation
- The Defendant raises the charges or restructures its charging scheme at will without discussion with its customers
- The Charges are of subsidiary importance to the customer in the context of the Banking Contract as a whole and would not influence the making of the Banking Contract.
- The customer had no means of assessing the fairness of the Charges at the time of entering the contract
- The charges reflect a markup of several thousands of percent on the costs of dealing with the claimant's "delinquency" episodes. This is an extraordinary markup for any UK business. The normal markup on the High Street is less than 100%.
- Many of the Defendants charges are levied on previous charges incurred in preceding months. Therefore the Defendants are themselves causing the impecuniousity which then triggers more charges. Therefore the Defendants have caused much of the claimant's impecuniousity and it is the Defendants who are causing the charges to be levied with a view to their own profit.
- The Defendant operates its high level of charges in order to cross-subsidise other banking services which it provides to other customers at less than cost price - "free-banking".
- The charges could be imposed repeatedly and interest at a higher rate could be charged on those accumulated charges
- The Defendant's charges structure depends upon the impecuniousity and vulnerability of its poorer customers to provide free-banking services for those in a better position.
- The overall charging regime operated by the Defendant is disproportionately applied to a minority of its customers, often those who are least able to afford it.·
- As established by the High Court (OFT v Abbey & 7 Ors) the customer would receive no service or benefit in return for the imposition of charges.
c) In the premises the terms imposing the charges are unfair within the meaning of Regulation 5 (1) and thus not binding on the Claimant under Regulation 8.
5. Accordingly the Claimant claims:
a) the return of the amounts debited in respect of charges in the sum of £3 and any interest charged thereon;
b) Court costs;
c) The claimant claims interest under section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% a year, from [date when the money became owed to you] to [the date you are issuing the claim] of £ [amount] and also interest at the same rate up to the date of judgment or earlier payment at a daily rate of [enter the daily rate of interest]
I believe that the contents of these particulars of claim are true
Signed: DON'T FORGET TO SIGN IT