Banks in the news

Published on September 12, 2016 12:18 pm, by

Banks have been getting a fair bit of attention in the media lately. And not the good kind. The kind where exorbitant late fees on credit cards are upheld, bank staff are talking about their struggle with selling financial products to clients that really don’t need them, and the fantastic profits the banks are making at the same time as not passing on the full interest rate cut from the RBA.

Banking terms and conditions have been under ASIC’s spotlight, with fees and charges being refunded to clients as a result of misleading or inaccurate disclosures.

Here’s a roundup of the key topics:

ANZ incorrectly charges $28.8 million in fees to 390,000 customers

ANZ Bank announced they had incorrectly charged $28.8m in transaction fees to 390,000 customers.

ANZ charged clients for periodical payments between ANZ accounts. This was not disclosed in their terms and conditions, rather the fee charged according to the T&C’s referred to periodical payments to other institutions.

To ANZ’s credit, they were the ones to discover this and report it to ASIC. They are now in the process of refunding these fees to their clients.

But that begs the question if the banks can’t understand their own fees how can the consumers?

Westpac refunds $20 million to 820,000 credit card customers

Westpac has just refunded $20million in overseas transaction fees to credit card customers. Up until recently the terms and conditions for Westpac credit cards didn’t make it clear that customers would be charged these fees.

The terms and conditions have been updated now so you can expect these fees for future transactions.

New rules are announced to limit surcharge amounts charged by merchants

After years of some business (like the airlines) charging exorbitant surcharges to book using a credit card, new rules have come into effect that limits the merchants to charging only the amount they incur for processing payments on the different types of cards.

Surcharges will still exist, however, they will drop. You should see less fixed amount surcharges, with businesses charging a percentage of the transaction in line with what they are charged by the bank.


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Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.

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