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ANZ late fees illegal, court finds

ANZ customers have recorded a partial victory in their multi-million-dollar class action against the bank, with the Federal Court ruling that late payment fees on credit cards are a breach of contract.

However, the claims against other types of bank fees were dismissed.

Justice Michelle Gordon on Wednesday ruled that $25-$45 honour and dishonour fees, over limit charges and non-payment fees were allowable.

The case is the first of eight class actions brought by law firm Maurice Blackburn on behalf of more than 180,000 ANZ customers.

In her ruling, Justice Gordon agreed that ANZ was improperly imposing penalties on customers with its late-payment fees.

Those fees were described as "extravagant, exorbitant and unconscionable".

ANZ admitted that it was not permitted to charge such fees under the contract, Justice Gordon said.

Justice Gordon said the other fees were not a penalty and therefore not a breach of contract.

Affected ANZ customers who are part of the class action will be entitled to be awarded damages.

AAP gr/pbc/gfr