ANZ refunds customers $5m for missed fee waivers

ANZ Bank will refund 25,000 customers approximately $5 million after failing to properly apply fee waivers and reductions since 2007.

The refunds apply to some customers who hold an Access Basic account and also a consumer credit card or ANZ's Everyday Visa debit card.

The fees include over-limit and late payment fees on the credit cards and overdrawn fees on the debit cards.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said the failures arose as a result of breakdowns in automated and manual processes.

"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," ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said in a statement.

Mr Kell added that ANZ's basic accounts are specifically designed for low-income consumers who are unable to pay high fees.

In a statement, ASIC said the refunds to affected customers would 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 statement added.

ANZ's Access Basic account is only available to people who meet certain criteria, including holding a concession card or a Centrelink Healthcare card.

ANZ reported the breach to ASIC and cooperated with inquiries. The bank has started contacted affected customers and intends to complete refunds by the end of April.

Source: ABC News

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