ANZ’s $25 million fine handed down by the Federal Court results from failing to provide customer benefits associated with offset accounts or Breakfree packages.

The Court found ANZ failed to provide benefits such as fee waivers and interest rate discounts to 689,000 customers for more than 20 years, with customers affected up until September 2021.

Earlier this year ANZ binned its Breakfree package home loans, opting for more streamlined offerings.

The Breakfree package previously offered customers a discounted interest rate for a $395 annual fee and the ability to bundle a home loan with products such as a credit card or offset account.

ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court said having the necessary systems and processes to ensure customers are given the benefits they are promised is not an optional extra, it is a requirement.

“ANZ is a large financial institution that for many years failed to prioritise and deploy the systems and processes necessary to fulfil its obligations,” Ms Court said.

In a statement released Wednesday, ANZ said it has completed most payments to customers impacted by the Breakfree package issues relating to home loans, transaction accounts and credit cards.

“Remaining payments expected to be made in early 2023,” the statement read.

In addition to the $25 million fine, ASIC notes misleading customers has resulted in ANZ paying more than $211 million in remediation to impacted customers.

Australia’s largest share broker to pay $20 million fine

CommBank-owned CommSec will pay a $20 million fine for overcharging brokerage fees to CommSec customers on 120,933 occasions, totalling in excess of $4.3 million.

The penalty handed down by the Federal Court is the largest ever for breaches of the Market Integrity Rules.

The Federal Court detailed CommSec brokerage issues involved customers being overcharged, ranging from $10 to $50 per trade for brokerage costs.

Federal Court Justice Abraham said CommSec failed to do all things necessary, during the period 1 March 2015 to 18 June 2020, to ensure that the financial services covered by its Australian Financial Services Licence were provided efficiently, honestly, and fairly.

In addition to the penalties, the Court ordered an independent review and assessment of all systems and controls relating to the provision of financial services by CommSec.

CommSec Executive General Manager Richard Burns said these errors should never have happened.

“We apologise to our customers who were impacted by our mistakes,” Mr Burns said.

“CommSec has paid total remediation of $6.5 million - including interest - to customers affected by the issues and this program is now complete.”


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