Bank agrees to independent enquiry following $12m mortgage offset error

A major bank subsidiary has agreed to an independent review after reporting a mortgage offset account error worth $12 million to ASIC



Bank of Queensland (BoQ) has agreed to appoint an independent expert to review its remediation processes after a nearly decade-long system error saw customers lose out on an estimated $12 million.

The bank informed ASIC late last year that it had recognised the error, which involved a failure to link mortgage offset accounts to some eligible home loan accounts over ‘a number of years’.

Current estimates say the error impacted approximately 6,000 customers and total refunds will be in the order of $12 million, not the $15 million initially reported by ABC News in October, 2012.

BoQ discovered the problem, reported it to ASIC and has now agreed to appoint the independent expert to review its remediation processes, ensuring all affected customers are identified and appropriately compensated - and that the bank’s compliance systems are adequate to prevent a similar mistake happening again.

ASIC Commissioner, Peter Kell, says one of ASIC's roles is to ensure financial consumers can be confident in the conduct of their banks and other financial service providers.

“Central to this is ensuring financial services and credit are provided efficiently, honestly and fairly. Where errors do occur, it is important that they are identified as early as possible and appropriately rectified.”

BoQ politely declined further comment, with a spokesperson telling Australian Broker the bank had spoken to the press last year regarding the issue, but says it has already compensated some customers and will ensure that the remaining affected clients are reimbursed within the next ten months.

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