NAB in ASIC's firing line again over allegations of charging unauthorised fees

NAB in ASIC's firing line again over allegations of charging unauthorised fees

The Australian Security and Investments Commission (ASIC) has sued big four bank NAB (ASX: NAB) once again, this time over allegations NAB charged customers fees it was not entitled to issue.

The watchdog alleges NAB charged fees for periodic payments on at least 195,305 occasions totalling $365,454 when it was not contractually entitled to do so between 2015 and 2019.

These fees were charged to 4,874 personal banking customers and 913 business banking customers.

AS such, ASIC alleges NAB made false or misleading representations that it was contractually entitled to charge the fees when it was not, engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, and contravened financial services laws.

"NAB had identified that it was charging periodic payment fees in error to both personal and business banking customers by the end of October 2016," says ASIC.

"However, it took NAB until July 2018 to lodge a breach report with ASIC and notify customers of the overcharging, and to begin remediating customers."

The watchdog also alleges NAB continued to charge customers periodic payment feed between January 2017 and July 2018 even though it knew overcharging was occurring and it did not have systems to prevent those fees from being charged incorrectly.

Further, ASIC alleges NAB did not change its systems to prevent overcharging until 22 February 2019 when it ceased the practice.

According to ASIC, the bank has paid, or intends to pay, remediation of approximately $7.7 million to customers who were overcharged from August 2001.

It comes after NAB subsidiaries paid a record $57 million penalty for fees for no service breaches back in September last year.

NULIS Nominees and MLC Nominees were found by the Federal Court of Australia to have made false and misleading representations to superannuation members about their entitlement to change plan service fees and members' obligations to pay the fees.

In his decision, Justice Yates described NULIS and MLC Nominees' contraventions of the ASIC Act as "very serious".

Shares in NAB are up 1.04 per cent to $25.16 per share at 11.13am AEDT.

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