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High Street Stores Challenge Credit Card Charges

High street retailers are banding together to challenge credit card charges on retail transactions.

Legal firm Humphries Kerstetter has confirmed that it is representing a band of 27 high street retailers including one of the major supermarket chains in a legal action against credit card charges.

The retailers are collectively pursuing more than ?300 million in damages for losses that they claim have been caused by the fixing of so-called interchange fees.

The legal action is against Mastercard and Visa over the fees they charge retailers each time a credit or debit card payment is processed.

Humpfries Kerstetter have already had success in negotiating settlements on behalf of retail giants Tesco and WH Smith on interchange fees/

Sainsbury’s also won a legal award of ?68 million against Mastercard in a separate court case last year.

The latest legal move follows a long legal dispute between retailers and the two large payment card companies after the European Commission carried out an investigation of interchange fees.

Following its investigation, the European Commission installed a permanent cap on all interchange fees.

Humphries Kerstetter said that the group of companies it is representing in this latest legal challenge includes well known retailers, restaurants and bookmakers. It also confirmed that a ‘large number’ of other companies are considering joining the litigation group.

Litigation funding specialist Therium Capital Management have confirmed that they are backing the legal action by the companies.

Legal action has also been taken by companies and consumers against the payment card firms in America. However, an appeals court recently threw out a landmark class action settlement suit for $7 billion (?5.4 billion).

Following previous successful actions by Tesco, WH Smith and Sainsbury’s in the UK however, the retailers involved in this latest joint action are confident of a positive outcome.

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