A big bank is now getting fined $9,650,000 for cheating customers money in hidden fees and interest for years.
A bank with about $670 billion in total assets will pay a multi-million-dollar fine after admitting to misleading credit card customers for years.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) says Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) has agreed to pay $15 million AUD, worth about $9.65 million, after the country’s Federal Court found that the lender violated the ASIC Act and the National Consumer Credit Protection Act, reports DH.
According to the ASIC, ANZ falsely indicated to customers that they could get cash advances from their “Available Funds” without getting hit with fees and interest.
Instead of displaying accurate information, the court found that ANZ showed a larger amount than what was actually available for withdrawal, leading customers to believe that they could take cash advances that are free from fees and interest from their “Available Funds”, says DailyHodl.
The ASIC says ANZ wrongfully charged over 186,000 accounts with fees and interest associated with cash advances.
And in some instances, individuals were even charged with thousands of Australian dollars in fees for using the lender’s services.
The court found that ANZ failed to act “efficiently, honestly and fairly” by not accessing the issues in a timely manner.
“Customers deserve clear and accurate information about available funds in their accounts and what fees and charges may be applied. Many ANZ customers relied on the account information displayed by the bank and were charged fees that were inconsistent with that information…
These are errors that we expect a bank to be aware of and fix in a timely manner. It should not have taken ANZ several years to address this issue,” said ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court.
A Banking Giant Will Now Terminate Accounts Amidst Painful Economy
In other banking news, a banking giant will now terminate accounts amidst today’s painful economy.
“London-based lender Barclays says it plans to terminate the accounts of thousands of British citizens who are currently residing outside the United Kingdom.
The bank says it’s contacting expatriates living outside the UK about the coming closure of their savings or current accounts,” says the online magazine.
Barclays says all customers must have an acceptable UK address or else the lender will permanently shutter their accounts.
“Your address must be in one of these countries:
- Northern Ireland
We can’t accept a PO Box, c/o or a Barclays branch address.”
According to the bank’s website, customers may be exempted from the new ruling as long as they meet certain qualifications.
“You’ll only be able to have an address outside the UK and keep your accounts open if:
- You’re a UK Crown employee, or you’re the spouse or civil partner of a UK Crown employee
- The address outside the UK on your account is for someone who manages your account for you (for example, someone who has power of attorney), or for someone who’s set up to receive information on your behalf (for example, an accountant or lawyer)
- You’re outside the UK on a temporary basis for six months or less and will be moving back to the UK.”
Yahoo! Finance reports that affected customers have six months to find a new bank where they can transfer their funds.
They can also open an International Bank Account which requires them to hold £100,000, worth about $121,000, across their Barclays savings and investment accounts to avoid a £40 ($48) monthly fee, reports DH.
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