Bank offers compensation for statement to incorrect address

Privacy & confidentiality,
Erin's bank started sending her personal bank account statements to her ex-husband David's address in error. Erin became aware of this error six months later, about the time she was negotiating a relationship property settlement with David.
July 2019

David rejected a draft settlement agreement and dismissed claims Erin made during their negotiations that she could not afford to pay him more. He did not make any specific reference to the account statements but, based on the timing, Erin believed his actions and comments were because of the information he had received in her account statements. To eventually settle with David, Erin had to repay an additional $10,000 towards their joint debts. Erin believed the bank’s error had caused her a financial loss of $10,000. She complained to the bank asking it to compensate her for the $10,000 plus an additional sum for undue stress.

The bank apologised for its error with sending the statements but did not agree that it's actions had caused Erin a financial loss of $10,000. That link was not established. It offered $500 compensation for the clerical error, which Erin declined. She then came to us.

Our investigation

In our view, the terms of the relationship property settlement was based on their financial situation and was not a direct result of the bank’s actions. We agreed that a link between the bank's error and the outcome of the settlement discussions could not be established from the evidence. We concluded $1,000 was a fairer amount to recognise the inconvenience Erin had suffered as a result of the information error.


Both Erin and her bank accepted our views and the bank paid Erin $1,000 to settle her complaint.

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