August 6, 2019 / 4:38 AM / 18 days ago

Westpac NZ arm to refund 93,000 wrongly charged customers

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a Westpac bank branch in Sydney, Australia April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

(Reuters) - New Zealand’s consumer watchdog said on Tuesday that Westpac Banking Corp’s (WBC.AX) local arm has agreed to refund 93,000 customers who have been incorrectly charged for services.

This is the latest sign of regulatory scrutiny for the Australian bank operating across the Tasman Sea, which was sued by the commerce commission last month for not revealing key terms to about 19,000 credit card clients.

The Commerce Commission said it and Westpac came to an agreement along with the Financial Markets Authority on the steps the bank must take to repay NZ$7 million ($4.58 million) to affected customers.

Westpac did not correctly discount fees on a number of different banking packages and self-reported the issue in December 2017.

The bank has already completed a significant part of the work to reach and refund the affected customers, the commission said in a statement.

Reuters was not able to immediately reach Westpac for comment.

($1 = 1.5272 New Zealand dollars)

Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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