Britain's banks have been capitalising on the confusion over bank charges in a bid to avoid paying refunds to the thousands of customers who were charged extortionate credit card fees.
According to the consumer website Moneysavingexpert.com banks have been regularly turning down applications for refunds on credit card charges over recent months – despite a ruling from the Office of Fair Trading 18 months ago that a fair price for credit card late fees was £12.
Martin Lewis, the creator of Moneysavingexpert.com, said yesterday banks were deliberately conflating the dispute over current account charges –and credit card charges.
Current account charges are the subject of an impending court case between some high street banks and the OFT and the regulator has agreed no more current account claims should be paid until a ruling has been made.
Mr Lewis said: "The hold only applies to bank charges, yet banks' lawyers are disgracefully trying to bully customers...
"Yet a few banks are pushing to go to court, then asking judges to put these cases on hold, and some judges fall for it... You have to pay £75 to apply to get it overturned. Our new campaign launched today will show people how to defeat all this and get their money without going to court."
A spokesman for the British Bankers' Association said: "This only applies to current accounts and should have no effect on credit card claims."