ANZ will refund around 25,000 customers after it failed to correctly apply fee reductions and fee waivers, according to ASIC.
In a public statement, the corporate regulator said ANZ 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 statement said.
The refunds to affected customers will also include an additional amount of interest and some customers’ refunds will 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,” ASIC said.
“ANZ has implemented a permanent automated solution with a system-based automated waiver, eliminating the need for manual intervention.”
ANZ’s 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 this 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,” said Mr Kell.
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.
ASIC also acknowledged that the matter was reported by ANZ to ASIC under its breach reporting obligations in the Corporations Act and that ANZ was co-operative in its handling of this matter.