ANZ refunds $10 million to ‘Business One’ credit card holders

| February 13, 2018

The ANZ bank will refund $10.2 million to 52,135 business credit card accounts, after it failed to properly disclose fees and interest charges.

ANZ notified the Australian Securities and Investment Commission that they failed to disclose, or incorrectly represented, charges for some of their ‘Business One’ business credit card customers, with problems dating as far back as 2009.

Many of the ‘Business One’ credit card customers were small businesses.

The misrepresentation of terms and conditions related to applicable interest rates, the interest-free period, the annual fee, when an overseas transaction fee might apply and the amount payable for overseas transactions with foreign merchants or financial institutions.

ANZ has contacted eligible customers to promise they will receive a refund with interest.  Former customers will receive a bank cheque and current customers with an open account will receive a refund paid into their account.

ANZ has since updated its procedures and fee information for Business One to ensure the problem does not occur again.  Customers with queries or concerns about this matter should contact ANZ on 1800 032 481.  The problem was limited to business, rather than consumer accounts.

ASIC acknowledged the cooperative approach taken by ANZ in its handling and reporting of this matter, however the news underlines the need for more transparent dealings by the banks in the wake of the release of the damning draft report on the financial sector by the Productivity Commission.

The ANZ is not the only big four bank which has been forced to refund money to customers after gouging credit card fees.  Westpac recently offered $11.3 million in remediation to around 3,400 credit card customers after ASIC raised concerns about its credit card limit increase practices, with refunds of around $3 million for fees and interest and $8.3 million in credit card balances waived.

ASIC launched a small business strategy in 2017 to assist, engage and protect small businesses in the financial market and more information is available on ASIC’s website.