ANZ close to redressing faulty loan calculations
By Jenny Ruth
Nov. 26 (BusinessDesk) - ANZ Bank New Zealand has compensated about 86 percent of the 100,000 customers affected by its faulty loan calculator from March 2015.
The remedial payments, expected to total close to $10 million, should be 95 percent complete by Christmas and the bank expects the remediation to be finished early in the new year.
National Business Review revealed the problem with the loan calculator in May this year.
The problem affected mortgage customers, personal loans and business loans and the faulty calculator meant ANZ had undercharged interest on these loans affecting about 30 percent of 350,000 customers.
ANZ hadn’t planned to make the problem public until a whistle-blower within the bank contacted NBR, forcing the bank to answer questions.
The faulty calculator was introduced before consumer lending legislation changed in June 2015 and was supposed to help frontline staff comply with the new legislation.
It took a year for ANZ to discover that the calculator was faulty and that was after six customers in the course of a couple of weeks contacted the bank about why their loan repayments had unexpectedly changed.
It took ANZ another 15 months after that to notify the Commerce Commission which says it still has an open investigation into the matter.
The bank introduced a new independently tested calculator in May 2016.
It hired accounting firm Deloitte to review the matter and to help the bank implement a plan to put things right for affected customers.
It also hired Northington Partners to check its calculations before writing to affected customers.
The credits to most customers’ accounts have been relatively modest but for some business customers the amounts were expected to run into the thousands of dollars.
The letters to customers say: “We’re really sorry this happened. We work hard to make sure our systems are working well and have fixed the calculator. We think it only right that you’re not disadvantaged.”