The lawyer heading a legal fight against New Zealand's major banks over fees says he won't be throwing in the towel despite a ruling in favour of the ANZ in Australia.

Australia's Federal Court said on Wednesday it would reverse a decision made last year that late payment fees charged by ANZ were an illegal penalty.

The class action was taken on behalf of more than 43,000 customers who claimed they had been charged excessive fees for years.

The law firm representing those customers has said it will now appeal to have the case heard in the High Court in Australia.


Andrew Hooker, the lawyer in charge of New Zealand's Fair Play on Fees Campaign, said it would not stop him pursuing the New Zealand cases against the ANZ, Kiwibank, Westpac, BNZ and ASB. "You can't expect to take ground-breaking cases for consumers and give up at the first hiccup."

Hooker said the judgment in Australia was very complex and he had not yet had a chance to analyse the decision.

However, its release has lifted a stay on the New Zealand action. Hooker said last week all the parties involved had agreed to a stay until the Australian decision was released.

"The cases in New Zealand are no longer stayed," he said.

Hooker said he had notified the court in New Zealand of the decision and would now await a court conference date.