BMW begins mass refunds for tricky car loans

Posted: 6 December 2016 11:55 am

At least $72 million for more than 15,000 customers.

BMW Australia's financing business will complete Australia's largest consumer credit remediation program to compensate customers for its lending compliance failures.

More than 15,000 BMW Finance customers will share in at least $72 million worth of compensation.

This includes $50 million in loan write offs, $14.6 million in remediation and $7.6 million in rate reductions.

The company will also pay $5 million in benefits to consumer advocacy and financial literacy initiatives.

BMW Finance provides vehicle finance directly and through a network of financial services and dealers, including Mini Financial Services and Alphera Financial Services.

Customers who purchased finance between January 2011 and August 2016 may have suffered hardship as a result of BMW Finance's compliance failures. BMW Finance will remove default listings and buy back all debt sold to third parties to ensure written-off loans are not subject to further collections.

Affected consumers have car loans for a variety of vehicles and brands, both new and second hand.

The enforceable action will be overseen by an independent remediation consultant, who will report to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) on its progress.

Any BMW Finance customers who believe they have experienced hardship as a result of entering into their loan can register for the program by calling 1800 448 225 or emailing BMW.

ASIC will conduct live review testing of BMW Finance's future credit applications.

Earlier this year, the corporate watchdog oversaw refunds for more than 27,000 NRMA customers after insurer IAG was found to have overcharged on the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) in 2013.

While Aussie insurers have a hard time satisfying customers, it's the banks that have been most heavily scrutinised following a string of ASIC-enforced retributions.

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