Between 26 July 2013 and 24 September 2015, ANZ charged non-payment fees and transaction fees to non-loan retail customers and commercial customers in relation to periodical payments between accounts in the same name when it was not contractually entitled to do so, despite knowing from about 11 July 2011 that those fees were at risk of being without contractual entitlement.
The Federal Court declared that in charging such fees, ANZ on over 320,000 occasions engaged in unconscionable conduct in contravention of s 12CB(1) of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001. The Federal Court also declared that in failing to remediate two groups of customers who had been charged the fees, ANZ engaged in two further acts of unconscionable conduct in contravention of s 12CB(1). ANZ was ordered to pay pecuniary penalties for this conduct, totalling AUD 10 million. The Court also declared that, by the same conduct, ANZ breached its obligation to comply with financial services laws in contravention of s 912A(1)(c) of the Corporations Act 2001 and failed to do things necessary to ensure that the financial services covered by ANZ’s financial services licence were provided efficiently, honestly and fairly in contravention of s 912(1)(a) of the Corporations Act 2001.
The judgment is available here.
Claire Schneider (with S Couper QC) were counsel for the Plaintiff, instructed by the Australian Government Solicitor.