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ASIC drags Westpac back to court

ASIC has launched civil penalty proceedings against the bank for alleged misleading and unfair sales of consumer credit insurance.

ASIC alleges Westpac mis-sold consumer credit insurance (CCI) with credit cards and other credit facilities to customers who had not agreed to buy the policies. ASIC alleges that Westpac made false or misleading misrepresentations that customers had agreed to acquire, were liable to pay for, and that Westpac had a right to charge for, CCI.

“ASIC’s deep dive investigations in late 2018 and into 2019 found lenders had disappointingly not changed policies and conduct to stem harms from the design and sale of CCI. As a result, we’ve commenced civil proceedings against Westpac,” said ASIC deputy chair Karen Chester.

ASIC is seeking declarations and pecuniary penalties from the Federal Court. A case management hearing is yet to be scheduled.

Westpac acknowledged the proceedings, saying that it was “carefully considering” the claims and was committed to working constructively with ASIC through the court process.