21sep banking class action hero
News
29 September 2021

Class action taken against ANZ and ASB

Lawyers seeking refunds for 150,000 customers.

A multimillion-dollar class action has been filed against two Australian-owned banks alleging that, after admitting to credit law breaches, they tried to get away with refunding consumers a fraction of what the law required.

The Banking Class Action has been taken by two Auckland law firms – Russell Legal and Mills Lane Chambers – and seeks to force ANZ and ASB to refund about 150,000 customers.

It argues the banks unfairly profited from their customers by failing to refund them for interest and fees the banks weren’t entitled to keep.

The action has been brought under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA). In separate settlements with the Commerce Commission, both banks admitted they’d failed to exercise the care, diligence and skill of a responsible lender.

The settlements focussed on calculation errors made by ANZ in loan variation letters and ASB’s failure to provide adequate information disclosure to personal and home loan customers who varied the terms of their loans.

Under the settlements both banks agreed to make remediation payments to affected customers. However, the class action claims the agreement payments awarded customers only a fraction of what they may be entitled to.

Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said class actions like this are rare in New Zealand, but vital to keep businesses honest.

“The law is clear that, at the time these breaches occurred, banks were not entitled to profit from their non-compliance. By settling and paying a nominal amount, the banks have pulled a bait and switch, offering a token amount when a much larger amount could be due,” Duffy said.

“It’s impractical and beyond the resources of individual customers to take separate cases against these banks to prove they are owed more under the CCCFA. By joining together in a class action, consumers can defeat the power imbalance that exists between banks and their customers and have their day in court to argue for what’s right.”

You might qualify to participate in the Banking Class Action if you’ve had a home or personal loan with ANZ between 30 May 2015 to 28 May 2016, or with ASB from 6 June 2015 to 18 June 2019. Visit the Banking Class Action website to find out if you qualify.

Member comments

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Christopher F.
03 Oct 2021
Query about joining the lawsuit

I was about to sign this and then read many pages of legalese gobbledygook and was left unclear whether I would be liable for any costs should the legal action fail?

Frank - Consumer staff
06 Oct 2021
Re: Query about joining the lawsuit

Hi Christopher,

You do not need to pay anything to participate in the Banking Class Action. The Banking Class Action is being jointly funded on a success fee basis by Australian based funder, CASL Management Ltd (CASL) and New Zealand’s leading litigation funder, LPF Litigation Funding. They will jointly pay all costs relating to the Class Action in the first instance.

If the Action is unsuccessful, CASL and LPF will not recover its costs and there will be no cost to you.

Kind regards,
Frank - Consumer NZ staff

Jennifer Sarah C.
02 Oct 2021
Great Info Consumer

Thanks for the info and Link Consumer. I had a look and realised I am one of ANZ customers that it has affected so I've registered with the Class Action taken against ANZ.
I also rang ANZ to ask for the Loan Agreement letters that I had in 2015, They said they would email it but I got the Loan Agreements for the one before and the one after the required period and not the one I asked for.
So I re rung them and I said I wouldn't be getting off the phone until I had received the correct Loan Agreement for the correct period in front of me in my emails.
I was on the phone with ANZ for 45 min while they they tried to "find' it. eventually they emailed the correct document to me.
Makes you wonder aye?

Adriaan
02 Oct 2021
THIEVES

IT'S A PITY THE JUSTICE SYSTEM DOESN'T TAKE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE PERSONEL PERPETRATORS.