Friday 25 November 2016

You Could Get £300 If Finance Guru Wins £14billion Excessive Charges Against Mastercard


The UK's former chief financial ombudsman has said that everyone in Britain could get £300 if he wins a £14billion lawsuit against MasterCard over card charges.

Walter Merricks, who is leading the class action lawsuit against, has said that charges the company imposed over 16 years were 'excessive'.

The case revolves around the charges imposed by MasterCard on retailers for processing credit and debit card payments over 16 years.

These 'interchange fees' were passed on to all shoppers regardless of whether they were MasterCard customers or not in higher prices on everything from a pair of shoes to the weekly groceries.

Mr Merricks is aiming to help consumers their money back.

Speaking to The Sun, he said the charges were worse than PPI as people realised that they had the insurance.

He said: 'Financial institutions are spotting ways to make more money from consumers. This was an invisible way of doing it.

'We think we have a good chance of success because they've already been found guilty of fixing these fees at an excessive level.'

The legal action is supported by the consumer group Which? and a high-profile American legal firm.

Mr Merricks, who is a lawyer, oversaw complaints and investigations into mis-selling cases by banks and other financial institutions during his ten years as the Chief Financial Ombudsman.

He has now pointed out that the fact that card-processing charges were too high between 1992 and 2008 has already been established by European courts.

He believes the only issue in question is how much this cost British consumers – and how much they should be repaid.

Speaking to The Daily Mail previously, he said: 'The prices of everything we all bought from 1992 to 2008 were higher than they should have been as a result of the unlawful conduct of MasterCard.

'To be clear, there is no question that MasterCard acted illegally in the way it conducted its business, a business that affects all of us. All of us overpaid to the tune of up to £19billion during a period lasting 16 years.'

He went on to say: 'Although most of us did not know this, experts who study the retail economy knew it was happening – and so did MasterCard.

'My aim is to get the redress to which UK consumers are entitled and to ensure that MasterCard cannot hold on to the illegal profits it made. This case should send a signal to companies that break competition laws at the expense of UK consumers that they do so at their financial peril.'

The case is a new type of US-style class action claim which was made possible by the Consumer Rights Act, which came into effect last year.

All consumers are automatically included in the legal case unless they choose to opt out.

A spokesman for MasterCard said: 'MasterCard continues to disagree with the basis of the proposed collective action and we will strongly oppose this claim in the event the court decides to hear the case.

'Our payments network delivers choice to consumers and real value through the benefits of security, convenience and consumer protection, and we are committed to investing in our services in order to continue to meet the rapidly evolving needs of all our customers.'



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