media release (15-298MR)

CBA to refund $7,600,000 after failing to apply benefits


Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) will refund around 8,400 customers approximately $7.6 million after it failed to apply fee waivers and ongoing benefits to AgriAdvantage Plus package (the package) holders over a number of years. The CBA reported this matter to ASIC under its breach reporting obligations in the Corporations Act.

The package (launched in 2005 but no longer available to new customers) applied to a range of products including lending facilities, business overdrafts, savings and transaction accounts. There were a range of interest rate and fee concessions on eligible products like discounted lending rates, preferential savings rates, and fee waivers.

CBA discovered the error and reported it to ASIC in 2014. CBA advised ASIC of its intention to undertake an investigation, engage an independent expert to review its remediation process to ensure an accurate calculation of refunds, and refund all affected customers.

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, 'Identifying and reporting breaches is a key obligation for financial services licensees. Where errors occur, it is important that they be rectified promptly and appropriately. That includes restoring consumers to the position they should have been had the breach not occurred'.

ASIC acknowledges the cooperative approach taken by CBA to resolve this matter and the CBA's commitment to compensating affected customers.

Further information for affected customers

CBA has commenced making contact with all affected customers. Customers affected by the error will be advised of their reimbursement by the end of November and that ongoing customer support will be provided to ensure all customer queries and concerns are addressed. Customers are not required to lodge a claim but can discuss any concerns with CBA on 1300 120 938.

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