Menu
Cuzz Media

Cuzz Media

Cuzz Media is part of t...

NAB VICTIM

NAB VICTIM

In late 2008 we became vi...

Banking In Australia Today

Banking In Australia Today

Visit Banking in Austra...

Donate Please

Donate Please

We need your support. ...

Prev Next

Westpac must refund 200,000 customers after confessing to $65m bungle over discounts

Westpac has confessed to a $65 million bungle. Westpac has confessed to a $65 million bungle.

WESTPAC is to fork out $65 million to refund 200,000 customers it has short-changed as the horror year continues for Australia’s bungle-prone banking industry.

Australia’s second biggest bank confessed on Thursday afternoon it had failed to ­provide the legion of customers with discounts they should have received over the past seven years.

It comes as Catherine Livingstone — who chairs Australia’s biggest lender, the Commonwealth Bank — prepares for an interrogation on Friday as part of the latest ­federal government inquiry into the industry.

Westpac’s blunder affects customers with bundles of products known as Premier ­Advantage Packages, or Adv­antage Packages in the case of its regional offshoots, including Bank of Melbourne.

Customers who have signed up for the package deals since 2010 are potentially impacted.

The bank said customers had been asked to “opt in” for discounts they should have received automatically, and it expects to pay back $65 million.

On Friday, Ms Livingstone and outgoing CBA chief Ian Narev will face the House of Representatives standing ­committee on economics.

Commonwealth Bank’s Catherine Livingstone. Picture: Britta Campion

Ms Livingstone, regarded as one of the most successful agents of change in corporate Australia after her tenure at Telstra, has already reformed corporate pay packages at the CBA and is hunting for a new chief ­following the revelation in ­August that Mr Narev would leave by next June.

It is the first time a chair of a major bank has fronted the committee, with politicians likely to grill the duo on Friday on its money-laundering saga.

Anti-money laundering authority Austrac in August took court action against the CBA, accusing it of failing to report suspect transactions on more than 50,000 occasions.

National Australia Bank chief Andrew Thorburn also faces the parliamentary committee today, after ANZ chief Shayne Elliott and his counterpart at Westpac, Brian Hartzer, fronted up last week.

Westpac customer chief George Frazis yesterday said the bank had consulted with the corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, after identifying its blunder.

 

Westpac customer chief George Frazis.

“When we identified these issues we started the process of putting things right for customers. We also notified ASIC,” he said.

Customers did not need to contact the bank, Mr Frazis said. “Over the coming months, we will provide refunds, including appropriate interest, to any customers who may have been entitled to a benefit but weren’t aware they needed to opt in,” he said.

“The packages have since been simplified and all benefits are now automated.”

Mr Frazis said other benefits for customers with the packages had been applied correctly, including discounts on home loans and credit card rates, or lower costs for transaction accounts.

“Westpac apologises unreservedly for a process that did not suit customers,” he said.

“By automating the discounts, we have ensured that our customers will not be ­affected in this way again.”

 

Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer. Picture: AAP

It is the second time in a month Westpac has acted as a result of a review into its products and services.

Mr Frazis earlier this month announced the bank was scrapping “outdated” charges on some transactions and capping account-keeping fees.

The after-tax cost to Westpac of the discount bungle is expected to clock in at about $45 million, to be included in its results for the financial year ending last month.

This Article was first published by http://www.heraldsun.com.au
Author: Jeff Whalley, banking, Herald Sun
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Last modified onTuesday, 24 October 2017 22:34

2 comments

  • Colleen
    Colleen Tuesday, 14 November 2017 23:56 Comment Link

    Ron,
    In this article is says it only affects customers with the following packages.
    Westpac’s blunder affects customers with bundles of products known as Premier ­Advantage Packages, or Adv­antage Packages in the case of its regional offshoots, including Bank of Melbourne.
    Customers who have signed up for the package deals since 2010 are potentially impacted.
    The bank said customers had been asked to “opt in” for discounts they should have received automatically, and it expects to pay back $65 million.
    If you do have any of these packages I would get in touch with your local branch and discuss it with them.

    Report
  • Ron Treloar
    Ron Treloar Saturday, 11 November 2017 07:15 Comment Link

    My wife has a credit with Westpac, and all our home loans were with Westpac. 1995 - 2011. Can we expect any credit for overcharging

    Report

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

back to top

News

Major Topics

Helpful Resources

Socialize

About Us