Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd
(ANZ) is being sued by customers looking to recover approximately
A$50 million in bank charges.

The group lawsuit against ANZ was filed in
Melbourne on behalf of 27,000 of the bank’s customers looking to
recover fees related to overdrawn credit card and bank accounts,
late credit card payments and charges for insufficient funds paid
over the past six years.

The class action is being supported by
Australian litigation funder IMF Australia as part of a bid to
recoup as much as A$5 billion from 12 different banks.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers will ask the court
to place the lawsuit on its “fast-track” list, IMF said.

Melbourne-based ANZ plans to defend the
legality of the fees, the bank confirmed in a statement.

“We recognise these fees were unpopular,” said
Philip Chronican, the bank’s chief executive officer. “It’s a big
leap however for a fee to go from being unpopular to being

“Charging these exceptional fees is illegal
and the bank’s conduct was unfair,” said Bernard Murphy, Maurice
Blackburn’s chairman.