New Zealand banks have a combination of fees and interest rates that is "fair and reasonable", according to the association representing the biggest banks.
The New Zealand Bankers Association defended members yesterday as it emerged that a similar lawsuit to a A$5 billion class action case being taken in Australia is being put together here.
Two Christchurch law firms, Wakefield Associates and Grant Cameron Associates, hope to file a suit this year over expensive penalty fees.
ASB, ANZ New Zealand, National Bank, BNZ and Westpac are all Australian-owned and some charge similar fees, although last year BNZ scrapped its unpopular fees and Westpac cut them back.
Gary Wakefield, principal of Wakefield Associates, said the banks had gouged customers in the same way as their Australian parents.
Banks' "exception fees" include honour fees generally for going into overdraft or exceeding overdraft limits, dishonour fees for bounced cheques, late-payment fees on credit cards or loans, and fees for overdrawing on a credit card.
While they were estimated to cost less than $1 to process, Wakefield said customers were typically charged between $20 and $40 a transaction.
- STAFF REPORTER, AGENCIES