better banking

Case - 48533

2016 - 2017

Lending

Overdraft

Mr E had a credit card and overdraft with his bank.  He set up an automatic payment (AP) but had insufficient funds in his account so the APs repeatedly failed.  He was charged a dishonour fee each time.  After the sixth unsuccessful attempt, his bank cancelled the AP. 

Mr E then exceeded his agreed overdraft and credit limit and declined to pay off any debt until the bank reversed the dishonour fees.  It offered to reverse five of the six lots of fees as a goodwill gesture but Mr E declined the offer.  The bank eventually entered a default listing on Mr E’s credit report due to non-payment. Default listings register people with overdue debt and can impact future borrowing.

Mr E complained to the bank, saying he instructed a staff member to cancel his AP over the phone but that person couldn’t do it.  He says they offered to transfer him to another staff member but his call was disconnected.   The bank said it did not have any record of these calls. 

Mr E then brought his complaint to our office.  He provided a copy of his mobile phone call records which showed three calls to the bank on the alleged date.  We requested that the bank provide a report showing when staff accessed his customer profile, as well as explain its procedure when a customer calls to cancel an AP.

The bank explained its procedure was to identify a customer and confirm which AP they wanted to cancel, before cancelling it.  If the bank identified him and viewed his accounts then it would have been automatically recorded in the staff access reports.  We reviewed the access reports and there was no record of staff accessing Mr E’s customer profile on the date in question. 

We accepted that Mr E called the bank but, on the balance of probabilities, concluded it was unlikely that any of his calls got to the stage that he instructed the bank to cancel his AP.  

The bank’s responsibilities when entering default listings are contained in the Code of Banking Practice.  We found the bank followed the correct process when it entered the default listing on Mr E’s credit report, and so the bank wasn’t required to remove it.

We advised Mr E that we were unable to uphold either element of his complaint.

See our Quick Guide to Overdrafts for more information.