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New Zealand's Kiwibank faces criminal charges for fair trade act breach

The Commerce Commission in a statement alleged Kiwibank had breached the Fair Trading Act resulting in more than NZ$7 million ($4.29 million) being incorrectly charged to over 36,000 customers in fees and interest.
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 04:21 IST
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 04:21 IST

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Wellington: New Zealand's competition watchdog said on Tuesday it has filed criminal charges against government-owned Kiwibank for overcharging customers, in some cases for over 20 years.

The Commerce Commission in a statement alleged Kiwibank had breached the Fair Trading Act resulting in more than NZ$7 million ($4.29 million) being incorrectly charged to over 36,000 customers in fees and interest.

"In the Commission's view these are longstanding, systemic breaches of the Fair Trading Act some of which date back to Kiwibank's inception in 2002," Commerce Commission Deputy Chair Anne Callinan said in the statement.

Kiwibank first identified the issue and reported it to the Commission, the statement showed.

The bank, in a separate statement, said it has cooperated with the Commission's investigation and established a remediation programme for affected customers.

"Our priority throughout this process has been to make things right for our customers and we are disappointed that we have let some of our customers down with these historic issues," Kiwibank said.

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Published 11 June 2024, 04:21 IST

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