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System error costs bank millions

by Staff Reporter8 minute read
The Adviser

Staff Reporter

One of Australia’s banks is being forced to refund millions of dollars to home loan customers after a system error resulted in a failure to link mortgage offset accounts to eligible home loan accounts.

According to a statement from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Bank of Queensland (BoQ) discovered the problem and realised it had been happening for “some years”.

Current estimates are that the error impacted approximately 6,000 customers and total refunds will be in the order of $12 million.

BoQ has agreed to appoint an independent expert to review its remediation processes to ensure that all affected customers are identified and appropriately compensated, and BoQ’s compliance systems are adequate to prevent a similar error from occurring in future.

“One of ASIC’s roles is to ensure financial consumers can be confident in the conduct of the financial institutions they deal with. Central to this is ensuring financial services and credit are provided efficiently, honestly and fairly,” ASIC commissioner Peter Kell said.

“Where errors do occur, it is important that they are identified as early as possible and appropriately rectified.”

ASIC acknowledged the cooperative approach taken by BoQ in relation to the matter, the corporate watchdog said, noting that BoQ has already compensated some customers and will ensure the remaining affected customers are contacted.

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