Westpac to repay $4m to customers over debit card fees

Westpac New Zealand has agreed to repay over $4m to more than 100,000 customers who were overcharged debit card fees.

Westpac to repay $4m to customers over debit card fees

Westpac New Zealand has agreed to repay over $4m to more than 100,000 customers who were overcharged debit card fees while withdrawing money from the bank’s ATMs across Australia.

Westpac, which reached a settlement with the Commerce Commission and Financial Markets Authority (FMA), will compensate about 108,000 past and existing customers who were overcharged more than $5.

Another 60,000 customers were overcharged less than $5, and the sum attributed to this group that amounts to just over $125,000, will be donated to the Mangere Budgeting Services Trust.

The breach occurred between October 2012 and August 2014, when the bank charged a higher exchange rate than that fixed by the card schemes.

In 2014, the bank self-reported the breach of the Fair Trading Act to the Commission and FMA.

Commissioner Anna Rawlings said: “Having reviewed Westpac’s internal investigation and the information they have provided us, we are satisfied they did not set out to mislead their customers. While the overcharged fees are small for individuals, cumulatively it could have generated several million dollars in profit for Westpac.”