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Govt to pursue bank on exit fees

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The government is expected to outline the formal definition of the word “gouging” this week, which will help prosecute banks that are caught charging unfair exit fees.

Since July it has been illegal for a bank to charge a mortgage exit fee any higher than needed to cover its costs.

But until now no banks have been taken to court because the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has been preparing what it calls ''regulatory guidance'' detailing what it will regard as unfair.

Speaking to Channel 9, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the guidelines would be a further step towards increasing competition and cracking down on the fees that are “crippling many Australians”.

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