Man sues bank over overdraft charges

AN ACCOUNTANT sued his bank over its overdraft charges and won the right to send bailiffs to his branch to recover the cash.

Brian Mullen, 29, took his bank, Lloyds TSB, to court over fines levied after he breached his overdraft limit.

Mr Mullen, of Manchester, took the bank to a county court, claiming that almost 2,000 of charges taken from his current account were illegal. The bank failed to challenge the claim and Mr Mullen won the action by default on 14 February.

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After the bank failed to pay him the outstanding balance, he was given the power to order bailiffs round to his branch in Reddish to seize its assets.

Mr Mullen racked up most of the fines while he was a student.

He filed the lawsuit against Lloyds TSB, complaining that the charges were illegal because they were worth more than the cost to the bank of Mr Mullen exceeding his overdraft, and were also a penalty charge.

A spokeswoman for the bank said it did not plan to appeal against the judgment and had paid Mr Mullen the amount owed to him.

She said: "In the normal course of action, we would and do deal with any queries as and when they arise.

"Unfortunately, Mr Mullen's claim wasn't picked up as it should have been and, as a result, he obtained a default judgment against us.

"The default judgment isn't a court judgment on the merits of the case, it simply means that we did not file a defence in time.

We believe our charges are transparent and fair and to say these charges are unlawful is inaccurate."