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CBA to repay $7.6 million

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia will refund approximately $7.6 million to around 8,400 of its agribusiness customers after reporting a number of errors to ASIC.

A statement by ASIC has revealed the CBA failed to apply fee waivers and ongoing benefits to AgriAdvantage Plus package holders over a "number of years".

CBA reported the matter to ASIC under its breach reporting obligations in the Corporations Act, said ASIC.

The AgriAdvantage Plus package (lauched in 2005 but no longer available to new customers) applied to a range of products including lending facilities, business overdrafts, savings and transaction accounts.


In a statement yesterday, ASIC said there were a range of interest rate and fee concessions on eligible products like discounted lending rates, preferential savings rates and fee waivers.

CBA discovered the error and reported it to ASIC in 2014.

CBA advised ASIC of its intention to undertake an investigation, engage an independent expert to review its remediation process to ensure an accurate calculation of refunds, and refund all affected customers.

ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said identifying and reporting breaches is a key obligation for financial services licensees.

"Where errors occur, it is important that they be rectified promptly and appropriately. That includes restoring consumers to the position they should have been had the breach not occurred."

In June, Macquarie revealed that it would pay more than $5.5 million to reimburse users of one of its investment products after self-reporting system errors to ASIC.

ASIC said at the time that around 2,300 users of the Macquarie Wrap investment platform will be eligible for a refund after sustaining losses due to “system errors” occurring between 2001 and 2014.

The system errors included failing to apply sufficient tax credits to the GST portion of client fees, and charging administration fees that exceeded the maximum disclosed in the product offering documents.

In April, ANZ announced that it would reimburse approximately 8,500 former clients of its Prime Access financial planning service after the bank identified they have not received annual reviews.

A statement issued by ANZ at the time revealed that clients of Prime Access did not receive services they had paid for. 

“ANZ estimates the cost of reimbursing around 8,500 clients who did not receive a documented annual review to be approximately $30 million. ANZ is working with ASIC to finalise the refund methodology and payments will commence as soon as the methodology is agreed,” the statement said.

ANZ global wealth CEO Joyce Phillips said ANZ “sincerely apologises to our clients for not delivering all of the Prime Access services we promised and we will reimburse affected clients as soon as possible”.


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