The High Court will hear a class action by customers of the ANZ Bank alleging it charged excessive fees for overdrafts, overdrawn accounts, dishonour fees and over-the-limit credit card accounts.
High Court judges agreed on Friday to take the case rather than leave it in the Federal Court.
Lawyer Paul Gillett, a senior associate with law firm Maurice Blackburn, said this was an important victory for those involved in the class action, allowing it to bypass the Federal Court to go straight to where it ultimately needed to be heard, in the High Court.
"This decision will save time, money and resources for the courts and the parties involved, allowing everyone's energies to be better spent," he said in a statement.
"These class actions against unfair bank charges are the largest in Australia's history - more than $220 million for fees charged against around 170,000 customers from eight banks and it continues to grow."
The case relates to what are termed "exception fees" charged by the ANZ and other major banks for late payments on credit cards and for having insufficient money in business and personal transaction accounts.
Maurice Blackburn is arguing that those fees far exceed the cost to the banks.
The current action relates only to ANZ but the firm has launched similar actions against other banks and has set up a website to encourage others to join the case.