Banks will launch their appeal against a ruling that overdraft charges can be subject to fairness rules in June.

The hearing at the House of Lords – the latest stage in the historic test case – will begin on 22 June and has been scheduled to last three days.

Earlier this month, in a blow to consumers, banks were given permission to challenge the Court of Appeal’s decision in March that charges can be subject to 'unfair contractual terms' laws.

That Court of Appeal decision to uphold an earlier High Court ruling was a crucial victory for reclaimers. Without it, banks can ignore the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) verdict on whether charges of up to £39 a time for a bounced payment or for exceeding your overdraft limit are fair.

The OFT has provisionally suggested they are unfair but has not concluded its investigation. It is expected to do so later this year.

The City regulator, the Financial Services Authority, has allowed banks, the Financial Ombudsman and the courts to suspend all bank charges claims since July 2007 when it was announced a test case would take place. It's expected to extend this waiver until the conclusion of the case.

The hold does not apply to anyone in financial hardship, who can still have their claim heard.

Wendy Alcock, money analyst at MoneySavingExpert.com, says: "The good news is that at least the appeal won’t drag-on until beyond the summer as had been first feared.

"That said, it's time the banks paid out. Hundreds of thousands of people are waiting to get money back that's been unlawfully taken from their accounts, without their permission."

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