ANZ to pay $5 million to customers

ANZ will refund $5 million to approximately 25,000 customers after failing to apply fee reductions.

ASIC said ANZ will refund basic account holders for incorrect late payment and over limit 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 corporate regulator said in a statement today.

“The fees included over limit and late payment fees on consumer credit cards and overdrawn fees on Everyday Visa Debit cards,” it said.

ASIC said 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.

ASIC explained that 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.

“ANZ's Access Basic account is specifically designed for low income consumers who are unable to pay high fees,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.

“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,” he said.

ANZ has started contacting affected customers to explain the error and the reimbursement, and intends to complete the remediation process by the end of April 2016.

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