Over six million bank charges victims have now downloaded a reclaiming template letter from MoneySavingExpert.com, with the latest milestone passed this morning.

This emphasises the sheer scale of pent-up consumer frustration at the hold-up in reclaiming for many while the landmark test case to establish the fairness of charges continues.

Many victims, some of whom have been charged up to £39 a time for going just a penny over their overdraft limit, have had their claim on hold since July 2007.

Claims held up

Back then, City regulator, the Financial Services Authority, announced the test case would be launched and at the same time told banks they could sit on most claims pending its result.

However, those deemed to be in financial hardship can have their claim heard.

Yesterday, the latest installment in the test case saga saw the banks launch an appeal in the House of Lords against an earlier decision which gave the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) the power to determine the fairness of charges.

The OFT has provisionally said it thinks many charges are unfair.

Injustice continues

Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert.com creator, says: "This shows the sheer scale of the campaign to reclaim bank charges, and as the test case returns to court, the number of downloads are increasing again.  

"The recent change has been the large numbers downloading the specialist template letters for those in financial hardship – not surprising when more and more success reports are coming through.

"Yet the bigger picture is still screaming out with a wider injustice. Why is bank charges reclaiming on hold for the majority?  We have a binding court precedent that charges are subject to fairness laws, and few deny in that case they're not unfair. 

"However, banks are still allowed to levy the charges, but their customers can't reclaim them – surely that's the wrong way round?"

Even if you're not in hardship it's worth getting your claim in before the floodgates open again.

Further reading/Key links

Full details on how to reclaim your cash are in the Bank charges hardship and Bank charges guides.