(Bloomberg) -- Westpac Banking Corp. agreed to pay A$113 million ($80.6 million) in penalties after the Australian regulator alleged the lender had widespread compliance failures that included charging dead people.
The case includes a claim that Westpac charged more than A$10 million in fees for financial advice to over 11,000 deceased customers over a 10-year period, according to a statement Tuesday from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.
Westpac, in a separate statement, said it reached agreement with ASIC to resolve six separate longstanding matters with the agreed civil penalty. The bank has “substantially provisioned” for the penalties together with anticipated legal costs in its 2021 full-year results, according to the statement.
Westpac admitted the allegations in each of the proceedings and will remediate approximately A$80 million to customers.
Other matters filed against Westpac include these allegations:
- Westpac distributed duplicate insurance policies to more than 7,000 customers for the same property at the same time
- Westpac subsidiary BT Funds Management charged members insurance premiums that included commission payments, despite being banned under legislation
- Westpac sold customer credit card and flexi-loan debt to debt purchasers with incorrect interest rates. These interest rates were higher than Westpac was contractually allowed to charge on at least part of the debts, resulting in more than 16,000 customers, who were likely to be in financial distress, being overcharged interest
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