Business

ANZ and Westpac to refund $21m to credit card customers

Two of Australia's biggest banks are returning millions of dollars to credit card customers after scrutiny from the corporate watchdog.

In separate announcements, ASIC revealed ANZ and Westpac are paying back a combined $21 million to affected account holders.

It comes less than a week before the royal commission into the financial sector is set to hold its first public hearing.

Credit card fees and limit increases are among the issues raised by consumer advocates ahead of the inquiry.

ANZ to refund some business customers

ANZ will refund $10.2 million to more than 52,000 business credit card accounts, after failing to properly disclose fees and interest charges.

These included interest-free periods, annual fees and overseas transaction fees.

ASIC said ANZ reported the issue with some of its "Business One" credit card accounts, which in some cases dated back to 2009.

The bank has contacted customers who are eligible for a refund and has since updated its procedures.

Westpac completes refunds after lending review

ASIC also gave an update on Westpac, which has completed a program to compensate credit card customers affected by its lending practices.

Westpac paid $11.3 million to 3,400 customers following a review of credit limit increases provided to customers who went on to experience financial difficulty.

It included about $3 million in fee refunds and $8.3 million in waived credit card balances.

In a statement, Westpac said it was committed to lending responsibly.

The bank has also made payments to support financial counselling and literacy as part of the remediation program, which followed ASIC's review of credit limit increase invitations.

Original Article

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