Breach forces CBA to refund $7.6 million

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia will refund approximately $7.6 million to around 8,400 of its agribusiness customers after reporting a number of errors to ASIC.

A statement by ASIC has revealed the CBA failed to apply fee waivers and ongoing benefits to AgriAdvantage Plus package holders over a "number of years".

CBA reported the matter to ASIC under its breach reporting obligations in the Corporations Act, said ASIC.

The AgriAdvantage Plus package (lauched in 2005 but no longer available to new customers) applied to a range of products including lending facilities, business overdrafts, savings and transaction accounts, said ASIC.

There were a range of interest rate and fee concessions on eligible products like discounted lending rates, preferential savings rates, and fee waivers, according to the regulator.

CBA discovered the error and reported it to ASIC in 2014.

CBA advised ASIC of its intention to undertake an investigation, engage an independent expert to review its remediation process to ensure an accurate calculation of refunds, and refund all affected customers.

ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said: "Identifying and reporting breaches is a key obligation for financial services licensees. Where errors occur, it is important that they be rectified promptly and appropriately. That includes restoring consumers to the position they should have been had the breach not occurred."

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