September 29 (Reuters) – Two of Australia’s “big four” banks face a multi-million dollar claim in New Zealand for failing to reimburse more than 150,000 customers for interest and fees charged as a result of an alleged violation of the disclosure of changes to loan agreements.
The class action trial said the Kiwi units of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AX) and the Australian and New Zealand banking group (ANZ.AX) had not clearly informed clients of a change in certain terms of home loans and personal and claimed that during the period lenders cannot charge for loan.
“The failure of banks to reimburse their customers is a serious violation of the provisions of the Credit Agreements and Consumer Finance Act 2003 (CCCFA),” said attorney Scott Russell of Russell Legal, the firm of lawyers who filed the case.
Australia’s banks and financial institutions have faced several lawsuits and had to settle claims worth millions since a Royal Commission investigation in 2018 revealed widespread mismanagement in the industry.
ANZ said it would defend the resolution because it was a historical issue with the calculation of loan payments, which was reported to the Trade Commission in 2017 and subsequently resolved.
“ANZ believes that we have remedied fairly to our customers and that the matter has already been the subject of regulatory oversight and resolution,” the spokesperson said.
The ABC did not respond to a request for comment.
ANZ customers who took out a loan between May 30, 2015 and May 28, 2016 can be eligible to participate in the claim, while customers of the ASB bank belonging to the ABC who borrowed between June 6, 2015 and June 18, 2019 may also be claimants.
The case is funded by Australian donor CASL and New Zealand group LPF.
Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Byron Kaye in Sydney; Editing by Arun Koyyur
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