ANZ Fined $16 Million for Withholding Benefits for 20 Years By Stocksak

© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO – The logo of ANZ Banking Group is displayed at a branch in central Sydney (Australia), Apr 30, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

(Stocksak). -Australia and New Zealand Banking Group were fined A$25 Million ($16 Million) for failing to provide customers with offset transaction accounts as part of its ‘Breakfree’ package. This was announced Wednesday by Australia’s market regulator.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission, (ASIC), stated that the federal court was aware that the fourth-largest lender in the country failed to offer fee waivers and rate discount to at least 689,000 customer account for at least 20 years.

In exchange for an annual charge, the Breakfree package, which was introduced in 2003, offered fee waivers and interest rate discounts on home loans and credit cards, as well other benefits.

ANZ’s offset transactions customers were entitled to interest rates reductions on eligible home loans and commercial loans. These reductions were not always passed on, according to the ASIC.

Sarah Court, ASIC Deputy Chair, stated that “having the systems and processes necessary to ensure customers receive the benefits they are promised” is not an option.

“ANZ… failed for many decades to prioritise, deploy, and prioritize the systems and process necessary to fulfill its obligations.”

The lender will release its annual results Thursday. A request for comment was not immediately returned by the lender.

($1 = 1.5657 Australian dollars)

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