Finance advice

Bank to issue $80m customer refund

By Reporter

A major bank will refund around 216,000 customers as compensation for failing to apply fee waivers, interest concessions and other benefits since 2008.

CBA will refund customers approximately $80 million after an investigation uncovered a "significant breach" of its discount application process.

An ASIC statement said that the refund payments from CBA include an additional amount of interest to recognise the time elapsed since the relevant benefit was not applied. CBA reported the matter to ASIC under its breach reporting obligations in the Corporations Act.

For an annual fee, the Wealth Package (described as 'Mortgage Advantage Package' for some customers) offered benefits such as interest rate discounts and fee waivers in relation to a range of products including home loans, credit cards, transaction accounts, personal loans, overdrafts and insurance.

CBA relied on staff to manually apply many of the discounts available under the Wealth Package. Investigations revealed that an exception report, which was designed to detect when the discounts were not properly applied, was not working properly.

CBA discovered the breach following a customer complaint and reported it to ASIC in 2014. CBA committed to fully investigate the cause of the breach and the impact on all eligible Wealth Package holders. CBA also engaged Ernst & Young, an independent firm, to review and provide recommendations to improve controls, ensure its remediation process would identify all those affected, and ensure an accurate calculation of refunds.

"This was a significant breach, and shows how important it is for licensees to have robust systems in place to ensure financial products deliver the benefits that consumers have paid for,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.

“Manual processes to apply discounts, waivers and other concessions involve inherent compliance risks,” Mr Kell said.

“Licensees should carefully consider whether those risks are being appropriately managed, or are capable of being appropriately managed.”

CBA has simplified the Wealth Package by reducing the number of options and products on offer. These changes have not removed benefits that existing package holders were entitled to receive for existing eligible products.

ASIC acknowledged the cooperative approach taken by CBA to resolve this matter.

In October, CBA began contacting the Wealth Package holders who were affected. ASIC said the majority of affected Wealth Package holders will be contacted before the end of December, and the remainder in early 2016.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Dominique Grubisa joins host Phil Tarrant to share her personal story which saw her hit rock bottom with excessive debt during the GFC.

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Dominique unpacks how, by relying on her background in law, she was able to overcome that debt and in doing so develop a unique investment strategy which she believes many can utilise today.

Dominique discusses distressed properties, and how she goes about finding them in order to buy property well below market value. She shares the process of identifying distressed properties as well as the controversy surrounding this buying method.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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More than just bricks and mortar, experts often regard property investment as a ‘game of finance’. As such, a good finance strategy can lead any investor to success.

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Many investors who would have been successfully approved for finance last year are struggling now to either begin or continue their property investment journey because of the current financial climate.

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Hobart
Bondi
Deception Bay

 

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More than just bricks and mortar, experts often regard property investment as a ‘game of finance’. As such, a good finance strategy can lead any investor to success.

" ["menu_text"]=> int(1) ["menu_show"]=> int(1) ["page_title"]=> string(53) "Finance Tips and Insights - Smart Property Investment" ["menu-meta_description"]=> string(91) "Financial tips for property investors, from mortgages to cash flow to saving for a deposit." ["secure"]=> int(0) ["page_description"]=> string(11) "sample desc" ["page_rights"]=> NULL ["robots"]=> NULL ["access-view"]=> bool(true) } ["initialized":protected]=> bool(true) ["separator"]=> string(1) "." } ["displayDate"]=> string(19) "2018-09-17 06:16:11" ["slug"]=> string(69) "18556:getting-finance-approved-in-this-tightening-lending-environment" ["catslug"]=> string(28) "45:smart-property-investment" ["link"]=> string(89) "/investor-stories-1/18556-getting-finance-approved-in-this-tightening-lending-environment" }
Getting finance approved in this tightening lending environment

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