CBA takes ASIC medicine over credit limit bungle

by Adam Smith08 Mar 2012

CBA has copped a slap on the wrist from ASIC for misleading customers about credit cards.

The bank accepted an enforceable undertaking from ASIC for sending misleading messages to internet banking customers between 12 and 13 December last year, in the wake of NCCP rules regarding credit limits.

New regulations commencing 1 July restrict card issuers from sending out unsolicited invitations for customers to increase their credit limit, unless a customer has consented. In informing its customers of the new laws, CBA sent messages suggesting that if customers did not urgently consent to receiving credit limit increase offers, they could miss out on the chance to access extra funds and wouldn't be able to receive credit limit increase offers in the future.

ASIC dubbed the messages misleading, because customers can request a credit limit increase at any time, and can provide or withdraw consent for unsolicited credit offers at any time.

ASIC said CBA immediately withdrew the message after ASIC raised its concerns. In addition, the bank agreed not to rely on any consents obtained from customers between 12 and 13 December, and said it would contact customers who consented to correct "any misleading impression" and properly inform them of their rights.

ASIC commissioner Peter Kell claimed the result as a win for the watchdog.

"This enforceable undertaking demonstrates that ASIC will act quickly to ensure that consumers are in a position to make an informed decision under the new law and to prevent the risk of consumer decision making being compromised by misleading impressions of urgency or of a loss of rights," he said.

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COMMENTS

  • by Country Broker 8/03/2012 9:44:21 AM

    I just wonder what would have been the result if this was a non bank lender or a broker?

  • by ozboy 8/03/2012 3:16:35 PM

    OMG what is CBA doing ASIC must have an office in there. I think this is the 3rd or 4th rap over the knuckles (if you include the financial planning arm as well) that CBA has had in the last 9 months. Wait til ASIC finishes the Storm Financial review.

  • by Damien 8/03/2012 5:29:29 PM

    I guess that getting hit with a big, fat wet lettuce leaf is not a big enough deterrent for CBA to learn from its previous misdemeanors!!!

    In the event that a Broker made a similar mistake, we can expect the same level of leniency from ASIC, correct?