Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) acknowledges that today civil proceedings have been commenced by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in the Federal Court in relation to two matters referred to ASIC for investigation by the Financial Services Royal Commission.
CBA intends to admit the allegations made in ASIC’s Concise Statements for both matters and does not intend to defend the proceedings.
ASIC has commenced proceedings alleging contraventions of the consumer protection provisions of the ASIC Act, including misleading and deceptive conduct, and breaches of the general obligations owed by financial services licensees under the Corporations Act.
The alleged contraventions relate to CBA’s conduct in relation to the AgriAdvantage Plus package, including overcharging package fees and its failure to provide benefits to customers that paid annual package fees between 2005 and 2015.
“We discovered this issue and then reported it to ASIC in July 2014 and commenced an extensive review that identified the significance of this issue in September 2014. At that time we immediately withdrew the AgriAdvantage Plus package from sale to new customers and closed the package for existing customers at the end of 2015,” said Matt Comyn, Chief Executive Officer.
“We apologise to those customers who at the time didn’t receive their AgriAdvantage Plus package benefits or were overcharged fees. We have sent refunds of approximately $8 million (including interest) and there were 8,659 customers impacted. Failures of this sort are unacceptable,” said Mr Comyn.
If any customers have any concerns or questions, please contact the Agribusiness team on 1300 772 968.
Credit cards (gambling)
ASIC has commenced proceedings alleging contraventions of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act.
The alleged contraventions relate to CBA’s conduct in providing a credit card limit increase to a customer in 2017, where the customer had notified CBA that they were a problem gambler and did not want to accept credit offers until they had resolved their problem gambling.
“In 2016 and 2017, we did not do the right thing by this customer and we apologise. In recent years we have implemented a number of changes to support our customers’ needs. The combination of support services and customer initiated transaction blocks, now provides our customers with greater control over their access to credit,” said Mr Comyn.
As part of CBA’s Gambling Support Service, a specialist Customer Wellbeing team can provide financial hardship assistance, guidance on tools to help customers manage and control their spending and connect customers with additional support services.
If any customers would like more information on CBA’s Gambling Support Service, including contact details, please visit www.commbank.com.au/support/gambling-support