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Financial heavyweight says sorry to short-changed customers

Financial, pulling a bag full of money

A major bank will make a $3 million community benefit payment after charging fees to customers while denying them essential services.

ANZ will make a $3 million payment to not-for-profit community organisations, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) announced today.

The payment is part of the enforceable undertaking ASIC mandated after finding ANZ had failed to provide its Prime Access customers with the documented annual reviews to which they were entitled.

The $3 million payment is in addition to the $46.81 million ANZ has already given to the more than 10,000 affected clients as compensation. An estimated $50,000 is due to be delivered to affected customers to complete the compensation process.  

ANZ group executive of wealth Australia Alexis George said, “We have apologised to those customers who did not receive an annual documented review, part of ANZ Financial Planning’s Prime Access package, between 2006 and early 2013.

“We acknowledge we did not meet customers’ expectations by not providing them the services we promised. We have since introduced measures to prevent this from happening again and have largely completed making remediation payments to impacted clients.”

The period of failures occurred between 2006 and 2013, but ANZ Financial Planning was aware that customers had been denied their annual reviews as early as 2008, ASIC revealed.

Nevertheless, the failures persisted until 2013, with the bank not reporting the breaches to ASIC until August that year.

“Our report into fees for no service in October 2016 identified the major financial institutions' systemic failures in this area, which required affected customers to be fairly compensated and to be provided with the services that they have paid for,” ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said.

“ASIC considered it critically important that improved systems and procedures be put in place to ensure this breach of trust could not re-occur. This enforceable undertaking with ANZ will deliver on that commitment.”

Financial heavyweight says sorry to short-changed customers
Financial, pulling a bag full of money
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