Westpac and ANZ refund more than $21 million to credit card customers

Big banks Westpac and ANZ will be forced to refund over $21 million to thousands of credit card customers following concerns by The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The corporate watchdog discovered that Westpac had been incorrectly increasing credit limits, forcing them to refund $11.3 million to customers, which included waiving $8.3 million in credit card balances.

Westpac has since finished refunding relevant customers, and has agreed to improve its lending practises when performing limit increases by taking more consideration of a customer’s income and employment status.

“Westpac is committed to lending responsibly. If we get something wrong we will acknowledge it and will put it right for our customers,” the bank said in a written statement.

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ANZ are also set to refund $10.2 million to Business One card holders after failing to properly disclose annual fees, applicable interest rates, the interest-free period, overseas transaction fees and the amount payable for overseas transactions with foreign institutions.

“ANZ has worked closely with ASIC on its investigation of this matter. We take our responsible lending obligations seriously and we have since taken steps to strengthen our ability to prevent and detect fraud by third parties,” said ANZ Group Executive Australia, Fred Ohlsson.

Former ANZ customers will also receive a refund in the form of a cheque in the mail, while current customers are currently being contacted before having the money deposited into their bank accounts.

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Repeat Offenders

Two months ago, Westpac came under fire after the discovery of a 23 year system glitch that prompted an $11 million refund to home loan customers. And while all measures were performed by the bank to rectify the situation, Aussies can still do their bit to stay aware of irregularities with their banking products.

“If you see something that doesn’t look right on your bank or credit card statement, call up and have a chat with your bank,” encouraged Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont.

“Even if it’s a minor misunderstanding, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry, especially when it comes to your finances.”

Want to know how your plastic’s fees and features compare? Head over to Mozo’s credit card comparison tool to check out the latest deals on credit cards today.