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UK banks win shock ruling on overdraft fees

LONDON — High Street banks on Wednesday won a landmark Supreme Court appeal saving them from paying out more than a billion pounds in compensation for fees charged for unauthorised overdrafts, prompting a furious reaction from consumer groups.

The ruling, which favoured seven banks and a building society, overturns an earlier verdict obtained by the Office of Fair Trading over the banks' practice of charging people for going over their credit limits.

Consumer groups called the ruling "devastating." It will deal a severe blow to millions of customers whose claims for those charges to be refunded have been put on ice while the test case was put through the courts.