By: Steve Dellar | 04-20-2018 | News
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Australia - Commonwealth Bank Charges ‘Dead Customer Fees’

In the wake of serious misconduct by some of its banks, Australia is holding a royal investigation commission this week.

One of the biggest surprises came today when the CEO of AMP bank resigned over the alleged misconduct uncovered. Meanwhile some of the more gruesome details were revealed yesterday when it appeared that Commonwealth Bank regularly charged customers ‘who had been dead for more than a decade’.

An assistant to the inquiry, Mr Michael Hodge QC, stressed that there had been several instances of advisers working for CBA subsidiary Count Financial billing where customers had been billed for ongoing service long after their deaths.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Why didn’t bank execs resign when they first found out their companies were shysters robbing dead people and had lied to ASIC? Not years later when exposed at royal commission?</p>&mdash; Derryn Hinch (@HumanHeadline) <a href="">April 19, 2018</a></blockquote>

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“Adviser provided advice to a client in 2003 who passed away in January 2004. Adviser is aware the client is dead but the adviser services fee continues to be charged.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">What we’ve learned so far from the banking royal commission has been shocking and shameful.</p>&mdash; Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) <a href="">April 19, 2018</a></blockquote>

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“When asked he said he didn't know what to do and had tried to contact the public trustee and had not heard back. Depending on outcome, possible warning to adviser."

However, succession expert from the University of New South Wales, Professor Prue Vines said it was normal for a bank to charge fees for a year, but then would have to stop afterwards: "It's called the 'executor's year' — that's the usual time you would expect administration to be completed by."

The ongoing fees charged to dead people over not responding, in some cases at $65 a month, should however not be billed. Professor Vines: "They should have known they were being charged a fee for a dead person. It does seem very odd."


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