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Westpac responds to Federal Court penalty

 — 1 minute read

The big four bank has responded to the penalty handed down last week.

On Friday, 22 April, Westpac was ordered to pay penalties in the amount of $113 million for widespread compliance failures across multiple businesses, including its banking, superannuation, wealth management and insurance brands.

Justice Beach handed down the decision in the last of six separate civil penalty proceedings filed by ASIC against Westpac in November 2021, penalising Westpac $40 million for charging fees totalling over $10.9 million to more than 11,800 deceased customers.

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Westpac responded to the penalty in a statement given to ifa on Tuesday, 26 April, saying all of the issues have been previously disclosed.

“Westpac acknowledges that the Federal Court has now heard all six civil penalty proceedings which were commenced by ASIC in November 2021 and ordered penalties in the amounts agreed with ASIC and previously disclosed.

“Westpac and ASIC jointly submitted agreed proposed penalties for each of the proceedings, totalling $113 million. These penalties have been substantially provisioned (together with anticipated legal costs) in Westpac’s Full Year 2021 results.

“Westpac again apologises to all affected customers. Remediation is now complete or substantially progressed.”

Following the decision last week, ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court said that over the course of 13 years, more than 70,000 customers have been affected by the bank's failures, either by being incorrectly charged or given the wrong information.

"The breaches found by the court in these six cases demonstrate a profound failure by Westpac over many years and across many areas of its business to implement appropriate systems and processes to ensure its customers were treated fairly," said Ms Court.

"Westpac, like all licensees, has an obligation to be honest and fair in its provision of financial services. Despite this, Westpac failed to prioritise and fund the systems upgrades necessary to help fulfil this obligation."

Westpac responds to Federal Court penalty

The big four bank has responded to the penalty handed down last week.

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Neil Griffiths

Neil Griffiths

Neil is the Deputy Editor of the wealth titles, including ifa and InvestorDaily. 

Neil is also the host of the ifa show podcast.

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