Brennan v National Westminster Bank Plc [2007] EWHC 2759 (QB) (27 November 2007)

Claim and Progress of Action

  1.          The applicant (I shall call him ‘the claimant’), issued a claim form in the County Court on 8 September 2006. It was endorsed with a claim for £1,864.41 and a court fee of £120. The claimant alleged that on or about 3 October 1998 he opened a current banking account with the defendant bank. From July 2000 the bank applied charges specified in a schedule attached to the claim form. The claimant sought to recover those charges as an unlawful penalty or as the fruit of unfair contract terms contrary to regulation 8 and schedule 2, paragraph (1)(e) U

    nfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. The Regulations were the domestic implementation of Council Directive 93/13. Regulation 8 renders unenforceable against a consumer any unfair term. The unfairness of a term is by regulation 6 to be assessed by reference to the nature of the goods or services the subject of a consumer contract and to all the circumstances and terms of the contract. Certain terms are by regulation 5(5) and schedule 2 likely to be unfair. They include (paragraph 1(e)) a term which has the effect of “requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his obligation to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation”.