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Westpac Forced To Refund THOUSANDS Of Customers Up To $65M

Westpac Bank has revealed that they accidentally short-changed 200,000 customers up to $65 million dollars after they didn't receive discounts that they were eligible for.

One of the big four banks came forward yesterday afternoon saying that customers that have held Premier Advantage Packages with Westpac, or Advantage Packages with offshoots Bank of Melbourne, St George and BankSA, since 2010 were affected.

The issue occurred when customers had been asked to sign up to the discounts instead of receiving the deduction automatically.

As a result, customers lost thousands of dollars that they should have been saving on things like home and contents insurance and term deposits.

"Customers do not need to do anything," Westpac consumer chief George Frazis said.

"Over the coming months we will provide refunds, including appropriate interest, to any customers who may have been entitled to a benefit but weren't aware they needed to opt in.

"The packages have since been simplified and all benefits are now automated."

It is believed that other components of the money-saving deal had been applied to home loans and credit card rates automatically but not on other parts of the package.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission were notified when Westpac identified the problem.

"When we identified these issues we started the process of putting things right for customers. We also notified ASIC," Mr Frazis said.

"Westpac apologises unreservedly for a process that did not suit customers. By automating the discounts, we have ensured that our customers will not be affected in this way again."

The refunds are expected to add up to around $65 million.

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