NAB refunds $35 million to customers

National Australia Bank has refunded $35 million to customers.

YET another big bank has been forced to hand back millions to customers after realising it stuffed up.

National Australia Bank has returned nearly $35 million to 220,000 superannuation members charged for advice they did not get.

NAB incorrectly charged the corporate customers between September 2012 and October 2016, because of what the corporate regulator said were breakdowns in internal procedures.

NAB has also repaid a further $1.8 million to 10 members whose life insurance claims were incorrectly declined between May 2013 and July 2015.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said on Thursday it had imposed extra licence conditions on NAB superannuation trustee NULIS, one of which was an independent review of its compliance and risk management practices.

The conditions require NULIS to engage an ASIC-approved independent expert to assess and report on the adequacy of its compliance and risk management practices for its retail and wrap superannuation funds.

“Our intention with the proactive restructuring of our corporate super products and the upgrade of insurance products was to do the right thing by our customers,” NAB acting wealth products manager Garry Mulcahy said. “However, we didn’t execute the change well and we’re sorry to those customers affected.”

The NAB refunds are the latest in a string of banking stuff-ups, with Bankwest this week refunding more than $4.9 million in mortgage interest payments after overcharging about 10,800 offset account customers.

Last year, Westpac refunded customers $20 million in foreign transaction fees it should not have charged, while ANZ began refunding $28.8 million to more than 390,000 accounts after it failed to disclose when some fee payment fees would apply.

In late 2015, the Commonwealth Bank — the nation’s largest — promised to hand back $80 million to about 216,000 customers after discovering it had failed to apply fee waivers and other benefits to which they were entitled. It came after similar breaches by ANZ, the Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Macquarie Investment Management in the same year.

“It is critical that licensees ensure that their systems work properly so that promises made to customers about their bank accounts are kept,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said in a statement on Thursday.

“When a problem is identified, licensees not only have an obligation to report the breach, but impacted customers must be returned to the position they would have been in, had the breach not occurred.”

dana.mccauley@news.com.au

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