CBA wrongly charged $55m in fees: ASIC

The Commonwealth Bank wrongly charged almost one million customers nearly $55 million in monthly fees, and a regulator wants a hefty fine.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on Thursday said it is seeking penalties in the Federal Court, after the fees were charged between June 1, 2010, and September 11, 2019.

The customers were charged between $4 to $6 per month despite meeting conditions which made them exempt.

These included having a balance of more than $50,000, receiving a pension, and depositing at least $2000 in a month.

ASIC claimed bank staff in 2011 discovered problems with systems causing overcharging.

Customers made about 14,000 complaints about the fees from 2010 to 2019.

The regulator said when customers complained, they were told the bank was contractually entitled to charge the fees. ASIC said these statements were false or misleading.

In a statement on Thursday the bank said the fees should have been waived, and apologised.

The bank said it repaid $64.2 million, including interest, to all affected customers.

However, ASIC said while most affected customers had been repaid, others were owed payment.

The regulator said the bank's systems designed to identify these criteria were inadequate. Staff error was also to blame.

ASIC said it was going to court to ensure customers could be confident banks charge fees correctly.

The bank said while it has cooperated with the investigation, it does not accept the way the alleged breaches have been described to the court. The bank will defend the case.

The bank's shares were down 0.16 per cent to $85.96 at 1326 AEDT.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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