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16-098MR ANZ to refund $5 million to basic account holders for incorrect late payment and overlimit fees
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is refunding around 25,000 customers approximately $5 million after it failed to properly apply some fee reductions and fee waivers for customers who held an ANZ Access Basic account and who also held an ANZ consumer credit card or ANZ Everyday Visa Debit Card since 2007.
The fees included over limit and late payment fees on consumer credit cards and overdrawn fees on Everyday Visa Debit cards.
The refunds to affected customers also include an additional amount of interest. Some customers’ refunds include a component to cover the overpayment of credit card insurance premiums resulting from the impact of these errors on their account balances.
The failure arose as a result of breakdowns in the interaction between automated and manual processes, and in particular, the lack of reliability of some manual processes and controls. ANZ has implemented a permanent automated solution with a system-based automated waiver, eliminating the need for manual intervention.
An Access Basic account is available to customers that meet certain criteria which include holding a Seniors Concession card, Pensioner Concession card, Centrelink Health Care card or a Repatriation Health card.
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, ‘ANZ's Access Basic account is specifically designed for low income consumers who are unable to pay high fees. This matter highlights the importance of appropriately managing manual processes to apply fee waivers and discounts, and designing and maintaining robust systems to support such features’.
ANZ has commenced contacting affected customers to explain the error and the reimbursement and intends to complete the remediation process by the end of April 2016.
Customers with queries or concerns about this matter should contact ANZ on 13 13 14.
The matter was reported by ANZ to ASIC under its breach reporting obligations in the Corporations Act. ASIC acknowledges the cooperation of ANZ in its handling of this matter.