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13-286MR ASIC action sees BOQ extend independent expert review
In response to a request from ASIC, Bank of Queensland Limited (BoQ) has agreed to expand the scope of a review into its compliance systems and remediation processes following further reports of errors in its interest rates and fees.
Last year BoQ self-reported to ASIC a $12 million customer error following a system issue. This error was caused by a failure to link mortgage offset accounts (MOAs) to some eligible home loan accounts over several years. The failure meant borrowers paid more interest than they should have done (refer: 13-070MR).
Following this, ASIC action resulted in the bank appointing an independent expert to make sure its compliance systems work properly and customers are refunded.
In August 2013, BoQ said an internal review had identified further errors, some dating back to 2004, resulting in customers being overcharged in fees and underpaid in interest. The bank confirmed that it would refund an additional $34.5 million and pay another $11.5 million to fix these additional errors.
The MOA and additional errors have impacted approximately 46,000 customers with refunds and remediation costs of $58 million.
‘We want to make sure the expert’s review leaves no stone unturned and all customers are appropriately compensated. The review will also ensure that any necessary compliance system improvements are made to minimise the occurrence of similar errors in future,’ ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said.
The review will examine the errors reported in August 2013.
BoQ will report to ASIC regularly over the next year with updates of its repayments.
The refunds to customers impacted by the errors reported in August 2013 are expected to be completed in the next 15 months. Customers will be advised of their compensation.
There is no need to lodge a claim, but customers who are concerned and want to discuss the matter can contact BoQ on 1300 557 272.