Phi Finney McDonald acts for the Representative Applicant, Daniel Tour, and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ACN 005 357 522) (ANZ) credit card holders who were charged interest by ANZ from 1 July 2010 to 31 December 2018 (Claim Period) in a class action against ANZ. The class action, filed in the Federal Court of Australia, alleges that ANZ’s “interest-free” credit card contracts contained unfair terms and that ANZ engaged in unconscionable conduct causing loss and damage to ANZ credit card holders. Woodsford Litigation Funding is providing financing for the class action.
The claim alleges that during the Claim Period ANZ charged interest to customers retrospectively on credit card purchases that previously had the benefit of an interest-free period (Retrospective Interest). The claim further alleges that ANZ did not provide transparent instructions to its interest-free credit card customers of the manner in which it charged Retrospective Interest and that customers had no ability to determine the amount of Retrospective Interest they would pay.
From 1 January 2019, Parliament prohibited the practice of charging of Retrospective Interest by amendment to the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) by the Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Measures No.1) Bill 2018.
The proceeding alleges that ANZ’s credit card contract terms were unfair terms pursuant to sections 12BF and 12BG of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) (ASIC Act) because ANZ:
- charged Retrospective Interest;
- charged interest on purchases paid off in a timely manner by the cardholder;
- did not provide cardholders with the ability to calculate their potential interest charges; and
- obfuscated the interest charging mechanisms within ANZ relevant credit card contracts, preventing the cardholder from being able to understand the interest consequences of not paying off the entirety of their closing balance.