Australia's ANZ overcharges 3.4 million customers

Pedro Gonçalves
Australia's ANZ overcharges 3.4 million customers

ANZ has identified 3.4 million customers that it overcharged but has so far only managed to refund around 30% of the account holders it knows have been ripped off.

ANZ, one of Australia's ‘big four' banks, has reimbursed around one million customers so far with refunds at an average amount of A$60 each, but there are still around 2.4 million customer who have not been paid back.

Shayne Elliott, ANZ's CEO, said at the bank's annual general meeting in Brisbane that the bank is "paying customers back as fast as we can" in order to fulfill the banking royal commission recommendations.

No one is proud of the fact we need to remediate mistakes of the past but we are learning from our failures"

"For retail and commercial banking in Australia, we currently estimate that over 3.4 million bank accounts need fixing," Elliott said, according to AAP.

"No one is proud of the fact we need to remediate mistakes of the past but we are learning from our failures and strengthening the bank as a result.

"To date, we've made good on more than one million of these bank accounts. While each issue is unique, on average we have refunded these customers around $60 each."

The bank's chairman David Gonski said ANZ will see "an additional charge of A$682m for remediation work".

"We […] know it's vital we return customers' money as quickly as possible - and we have a team of more than 1000 people dedicated to this challenge," says Gonski, who describes the additional remediation charge as "a real cost" to shareholders which has "impacted the remuneration outcome for management".

Elliot also assured shareholders that ANZ was proactively reviewing its systems used to transfer money amid the controversy plaguing the banking sector thanks to Westpac's alleged money laundering breaches.

"There has also been considerable shareholder interest in the role banks play in the prevention of financial crime," he said.

"We take this role incredibly seriously and have been proactively reviewing the systems and processes we use to transfer money to ensure we are reporting the information required by our regulators."

"I can confirm to shareholders today that while this review remains ongoing, we have not identified any material issues. We are also not aware of any impending litigation from AUSTRAC," Elliot said.

Westpac is under fire after it was revealed the bank let 23 million illegal transactions happen on its platform, as well as transactions between known child exploiters. 


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