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Bankwest refunds $5 million in false interest

Peter Terlato 2 February 2017

Australia refund cash back $100

The bank failed to link some 11,000 offset accounts.

Almost 11,000 Bankwest customers who were overcharged interest between 2007 and 2016 have been refunded a total of almost $5 million, according to Australia's corporate regulator.

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) revealed Bankwest, a division of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, initiated an internal investigation into the operation of its offset accounts (interest-reducing transaction accounts linked to an eligible home or investment loan).

Offset accounts can save you thousands and shave years off your mortgage. Find out how to utilise them.

The bank identified significant breaches of its licence obligations, where it had failed to link offset accounts to home loan accounts for some customers between 2007 and June 2016.

As a result, approximately 10,800 customers were overcharged interest.

The bank has since contacted these customers and successfully refunded more than $4.9 million.

Bankwest also updated its systems and processes to ensure automatic linking for new offset accounts.

Customers with queries or concerns should contact Bankwest's Customer Help Centre on 1300 334 805 or Bankwest's Business Support Centre 13 7000. Alternatively, you can complete an online form.

A slew of industry-wide reimbursements and reparations occurred last year. National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac, ING and ANZ have all been fined for legislative breaches.

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