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Payment problem with Student Loans and Allowances

8 June 2004

Payment problem with Student Loans and Allowances

“The Ministry of Social Development is working closely with Westpac to ensure students aren’t inconvenienced by an error that occurred with the payment of loans and student allowances today”, said Tony Gavin, Ministry of Social Development Deputy Chief Executive, Specialist Services

“An error has occurred with the processing of the payments and the Ministry and Westpac has launched an investigation to ensure that the mistake is not repeated in the future.

“The Ministry and Westpac apologises to all these students who have been affected by this error,” said Tony Gavin.

“29,876 students did not get their loans or allowance payments processed as normal last night and students expecting a payment this morning will have found that the money was not in their accounts.

“Westpac has ensured that all their customers have received their money today and has communicated with the other banks asking them to honour the loan and allowance payments.

“Westpac has also promised that no student will be out of pocket as a result of this error. It has put in place a process to ensure that there are no dishonour or penalty fees imposed as a result of students being unable to meet automatic or cheque payments.

“Any students requiring further information or having problems associated with the payment processing error can call the StudyLink free-phone (0800 88 99 00) for assistance.

“The Ministry will continue to work with Westpac in identifying how this error occurred and examining processes to ensure student loan and allowance payments are processed properly over public holiday weekends in the future,” concluded Tony Gavin.

ENDS

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