HSBC fined for consumer data right breaches

The case relates to the bank's mortgage and credit card offerings

HSBC fined for consumer data right breaches


By Mina Martin

HSBC Bank Australia has incurred a $33,000 penalty issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for failure to adhere to the Consumer Data Right (CDR) regulations.

HSBC’s data disclosure missteps

HSBC’s penalties came after the ACCC identified two instances where the bank did not fully disclose mortgage interest rates and credit card balance data accurately. These incidents spanned from Feb. 20 to May 27, 2023, suggesting a significant lapse in providing complete and truthful financial data under the CDR framework.

“If accurate home loan rates are not provided, product data users, such as comparator sites and brokers, are unable to present accurate comparisons of home loan products to consumers,” ACCC commissioner Peter Crone (pictured above) said. “This has the potential to lead to consumers making decisions based on incorrect information about home loan interest rates on offer.”

See LinkedIn post here.

Further elaborating on the necessity of data integrity within the CDR, Crone added that “for the CDR to be effective, it is critical that CDR data is of high quality.”

“This means that product data and consumer data – which a consumer has consented to share – must be accurate, up-to-date, complete, and in the required format,” he said, as he highlighted the relevance of data quality amidst the prevailing economic conditions, where Australians are increasingly concerned with financial pressures.

HSBC has cooperated with the ACCC’s investigation and has initiated steps to bolster its compliance with CDR requirements, addressing the data quality issues pinpointed by the commission.

ACCC’s reminder on compliance and enforcement

The incident serves as a reminder from ACCC to all entities participating in the CDR ecosystem about the serious implications of failing to comply with its rules.

“Data quality within the CDR is a priority conduct area for the ACCC,” Crone said. “All CDR participants are reminded that failure to comply with the CDR rules will result in scrutiny by the ACCC and may result in enforcement action, with potentially serious consequences.”

Background on CDR

The CDR represents a key initiative aimed at empowering Australian consumers with greater control over their data, facilitating better financial decision-making. It’s part of a broader push towards enhancing competition and innovation across the economy, with ACCC and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner ensuring compliance and safeguarding consumer interests.

Get the hottest and freshest mortgage news delivered right into your inbox. Subscribe now to our FREE daily newsletter.

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!