Australian regulator sues ANZ over alleged overstatement of credit card balances

The Australian Markets Regulation Authority said on Monday it had initiated civil penalty proceedings against Australia and New Zealand Banking Group for allegedly deceiving customers on their credit card accounts.

Around 165,750 ANZ customers were charged cash advance fees and interest for withdrawing or transferring money from their credit card accounts between May 2016 and November 2018, based on balances of account incorrect, the regulator said in a statement.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said that in some cases single clients have been charged thousands of dollars in fees.

“This alleged misconduct is the result of system errors within ANZ and a lack of effort to comprehensively correct these issues,” said Sarah Court, ASIC Vice President.

ANZ said it was looking into the issues raised by ASIC.

“ASIC’s claims relate to a particular situation, in which funds are deposited to put a credit card account in a credit balance, and a cash advance is then made to the account by drawing on the credit balance before the filing is processed,” ANZ said in a statement.

Although the creditor has remedied more than A$10 million ($7 million) to affected customers through November 17, 2018, ASIC said it is seeking court orders to remediate customers who have been wrongly charged since 2018. ($1 = 1.3968 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Upasana Singh Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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