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11 February 2020

Westpac breach results in $3.7m payout

Customers to be compensated for credit card bungle.

More than 19,000 Westpac customers will get a piece of a $3.7 million payout after the bank admitted breaching credit laws.

Between May 2017 and March 2018, Westpac sent new credit cards to 19,365 customers but failed to provide required information about the terms of credit.

Under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act, lenders must provide this information so consumers can understand their rights and obligations.

In March 2018, Westpac reported the problem to the Commerce Commission, which subsequently filed High Court proceedings against the bank.

In a settlement with the commission, Westpac agreed to pay at least $3.6m to affected customers. It’s written off $100,000 owed by some clients.

Westpac NZ general manager of consumer banking and wealth Gina Dellabarca said an error during an IT upgrade resulted in the information not being sent out.

The bank is contacting customers to inform them of the compensation.

Last year, Westpac signed a settlement with the commission and Financial Markets Authority to repay $7 million to 93,000 customers after they were overcharged fees.

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