Australian banks have been accused of being too lenient on fraudsters after the Federal Court ordered the government to pay out more than $2 billion in fines for financial misconduct in the past three years.AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS ACCOUNTING FEDERAL COURT OF COMMISSIONER AND AUSTRALIA’S FINANCIAL REGULATION ACT The ACCC said the financial institutions breached consumer protection rules in three of the four cases.
The ACCC’s director, Rodger Jackson, said the banks were “clearly not compliant with the Australian Consumer Law and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s rules”.
“These banks must make sure they comply with these obligations and act to ensure that the ACCC and the regulatory authorities have the tools they need to ensure a safe and secure banking environment,” Mr Jackson said.
The banks have denied wrongdoing.
Mr Jackson said the ACCc was not satisfied that any of the banks had been “sufficiently responsive to consumer complaints”.
The court heard the banks did not immediately notify the consumer when they realised a consumer had been defrauded.
One of the ACCCs concerns was that the banks knew they were breaching consumer protection laws, but they did not act to correct the breaches.
“The banks must take immediate action to ensure compliance with the Consumer Protection Act and the SEC rules,” Mr Wallace said.
“They must be careful not to allow the ACCCC and other regulatory bodies to impose unreasonable conditions on their compliance with consumer protection law.”
The banks were also found to have failed to act on “information” that the consumer had already received and could have been advised of the alleged breach.
In one case, the bank sent a notice to the consumer about a “risk of default” and warned that “if you are unable to pay the balance, your account will be closed and you may not be able to access any money for up to six months”.
In another case, a consumer complained about the bank’s failure to give a customer information about a credit card and the bank failed to respond.
It also said the bank did not notify a customer about a breach of their credit card.
An ACCC report found that in two of the cases, the banks failed to notify consumers of a breach and had failed to give them the information they had been told to.
This meant the consumer could not get back their money.
Consumer complaints were received by the ACCCF on September 4, 2018.
When the ACCAC began its investigation in September 2018, it found that one bank had received $2.2 million from the ACC’s investigations and paid $600,000 in fines.
But the ACC has said it did not have enough information to establish a prima facie case of a fraud and that it had “not been able to obtain a firm line of evidence” to support the conclusion that fraud had occurred.
According to the ACC, the four banks were given a “blanket waiver” in the first case and a “loan” in another case.
Banks have previously denied any wrongdoing.
The ACC said in a statement that it “has not received any evidence” of a primAID breach by the banks.
If you have a question about the ACC investigations, contact us on 1800 738 743.
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