Mastercard Consumer Class Action Should Get OK, Court Told

mastercard, credit card

Britain’s former financial ombudsman asked a London appeals court on Tuesday to allow a multibillion-pound lawsuit involving potentially millions of claimants to go ahead against Mastercard Inc. over credit card charges the company imposes when customers pay using plastic.

Lawyers for Walter Merricks, the former head of the U.K.’s Financial Ombudsman Service, told a three-judge Court of Appeal panel that the specialist competition court that blocked the suit in 2017 applied a too-stringent test on whether to grant a collective proceedings order, or CPO, for the litigation — a type of U.S.-style class action — to go ahead.

“The Competition Appeal Tribunal erred in principle because it hasn’t understood the level of scrutiny required,” Paul Harris QC, representing Merricks, told the judges. “It ties in with failure on the part of the tribunal to realize the purpose of the law is intended to allow mass consumer action where there are no other remedies available to consumers.”

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