ANZ Bank to provide correct disclosure

12/10/2017 12:33

The Consumer Council of Fiji calls on ANZ bank to disclose a true picture of the changes being made to their lending, credit card and customer banking services fees and charges.

 The call comes in light of the public notice published in the local newspapers on 14th September, 2017 stipulating that the changes will come into effect from 13th October, 2017.

 The information published was not only incomplete but also had misleading facts which is likely to create a lot of confusion and misunderstanding amongst consumers about ANZ loan packages and services.

 As per the public notice, under the Microfinance Loans and Administration Charge, the ANZ bank has stated “We’ve included this existing fee which remains $5 per month”. However, the Council notes with astonishment that such a fee was non-existent as per the 2016 disclosures. Hence, consumers are clearly being misled.

 Further, the notice stipulates that the loan administration fee for Microfinance Loans was an existing fee whereas in fact the 2016 Microfinance Loans did not carry any such fee.

 It is worth noting that ANZ has failed to inform its customers that the 3rd tier ($1501 - $2000) under the Microfinance Loans has been removed. This simply means microfinance entrepreneurs can only borrow up to $1000 from ANZ. So the limit of borrowing is reduced from $2000 to $1000 with a monthly admin charge of $5.

 As the microfinance sector is expanding, it should not be seen as an opportunity to take advantage of and charge loan administration fees to consumers with low income and small businesses. This imposition is quite unfair given that their income may be irregular.

 In addition, the notice states that the tiers and the associated monthly charges have been updated. However, it does not divulge any further details of the change mentioned in the notice. Also, this charge is only applicable to ANZ Business Term loans and not to other loans.

 Last but not the least, the internet banking internal transfer fee has been increased from $0.30 to $0.40, however, the Public Notice states “we have corrected the value of this fee which is charged at $0.40 per transfer”.

These incomplete, unclear and untrue information are deemed inappropriate for a public notice. How can the bank expect consumers to make informed decisions when they cannot get their disclosures correct?