Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

ANZ fined $7,500 for misleading MasterCard offer


ANZ Bank fined $7,500 fine for misleading MasterCard offer: campaign write-off costs $2.3million

ANZ Bank was fined $7,500 plus $1,130 costs in the Wellington District Court yesterday for breaching the Fair Trading Act in relation to a promotion offering nearly 10,000 of its existing customers an ANZ MasterCard with a pre-approved $5000 limit. In addition, Judge Tuohy acknowledged the bank had to write off $2.3million as a result of the campaign as a whole and had suffered the publicity attached to a prosecution.

Promotional material addressing each customer by name promised, “All you have to do is take up an ANZ MasterCard. We’ve already pre-approved you for a $5,000 limit, just complete the enclosed form…”

The Commerce Commission initiated the investigation based on information provided by a Citizens Advice Bureau that a customer who received this offer and sent away an enclosed application form for the card subsequently had her application declined. This was because her income level did not meet minimum credit criteria.

The investigation revealed that ANZ’s method for identifying eligible customers was erroneous and that 850 of the original 9,998 customers targeted did not meet minimum criteria based on their income level.

In his sentencing, Judge Tuohy said: “I have no doubt that the average New Zealand bank customer would read the letter as an unconditional offer of an ANZ MasterCard with a $5,000 credit limit, which could be accepted merely by completing the application form. Indeed that was what the Bank intended it to be.

The Bank argued that the promotion was not misleading because its letter referred to terms and conditions stated in a sentence on the application form. Judge Tuohy, however, stated that “As far as the sentence in the application form is concerned, in my view the average New Zealand bank customer would see it as nothing more than the sort of standard small print jargon almost invariably included in standard form documents produced by financial institutions.”

“I am satisfied that the representation made was both false and misleading. In totality, the mistake is too extensive and too elementary in several respects to be described as reasonable,” said Judge Tuohy.

Commerce Commission Director of Fair Trading Deborah Battell said that while the breach was not necessarily wilful, the conviction sent two clear messages to businesses. “Firstly, businesses must clearly bring any conditions attached to an offer to a customer’s attention.” “Secondly, blaming a breach on a series of mistakes is not a reasonable defence. The mistakes that caused the ANZ’s problem demonstrated a clear lack of quality control in terms of compliance with the Fair Trading Act.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 


Government: RSI ‘State Of The Nation’ Report Published
latest research, science and innovation system report card is now available, and outlines how the system is performing, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has announced. “The report seeks to increase transparency, act as a reliable data source and stimulate discussion... More>>




Fonterra: Increases 2021/22 Forecast Farmgate Milk Price

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today increased and narrowed its forecast Farmgate Milk Price range to NZD $7.90 - $8.90 per kgMS, from NZD $7.25 - $8.75 per kgMS. The midpoint of the range, which farmers are paid off, has increased to NZD $8.40 per kgMS, from NZD $8.00 per kgMS... More>>

Stats: Auckland’s Population Falls For The First Time
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand’s population growth slowed down with Auckland recording a population decline for the first time ever, Stats NZ said today. “New Zealand saw slowing population growth in all regions... More>>



Pamu & Westpac: Market-leading Sustainability-Linked Loan

Westpac NZ and Pāmu have signed New Zealand’s most comprehensive Sustainability-Linked Loan to date, also the largest in the agricultural sector, and the first involving a state-owned enterprise. Pāmu, also known as Landcorp, is New Zealand’s biggest farming business. It will borrow $85m from Westpac NZ over three years... More>>


Retail NZ: Some Good News In COVID Announcements, But Firm Dates Needed

Retail NZ is welcoming news that the Government is increasing financial support for businesses in light of the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, and that retail will be able to open at all stages of the new “Covid Protection Framework... More>>

ComCom: Companies In Hot Water For Selling Unsafe Hot Water Bottles And Toys

A wholesaler and a retailer have been fined a total of $140,000 under the Fair Trading Act for selling hot water bottles and toys that did not comply with mandatory safety requirements. Paramount Merchandise Company Limited (Paramount) was fined $104,000 after pleading guilty in the Manukau District Court... More>>