Westpac in hot water over credit

New laws enforced from July 1 2012 prohibit card issuers from sending unsolicited credit limit increase invitations to their customers unless the customer has consented.
New laws enforced from July 1 2012 prohibit card issuers from sending unsolicited credit limit increase invitations to their customers unless the customer has consented. Kieran Salsone

WESTPAC has been forced to stop offering increased credit limits to customers after concerns the bank was misleading clients.

These offers of an increase in credit card limits have now been withdrawn and modified following intervention by financial services regulator ASIC.

New laws enforced from July 1 2012 prohibit card issuers from sending unsolicited credit limit increase invitations to their customers unless the customer has consented.

According to financial services regulator ASIC, between February 2012 and March 2012 via email, credit card statements and its website, Westpac notified customers about changes to the law regarding credit limit increase invitations and requested that customers provide their consent to continue to receive credit limit increase invitations.

About 3700 customers provided their consent as a result of these messages.

ASIC formed the view that the messages were misleading as they suggested customers could miss out on extra money if they did not consent, and implied that they needed to "act urgently" which led to many not properly considering their options.

Under the changes to the law, customers can provide or withdraw their consent at any time. Further, regardless of whether they have consented to being sent credit limit increase invitations, customers can request a credit limit increase from their financial institution at any time.

On Tuesday, ASIC commissioner Peter Kell said the lender had said it would not rely on these consents to offer credit increases and contact all consenting customers who may have been misled.

The regulator said Westpac cooperated.

"ASIC will continue to carefully monitor industry implementation of important consumer protection reforms in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act," Mr Kell said

Topics:  asic credit cards westpac

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Ipswich climber makes it to Everest Base Camp

Beau Stewart is completing the hike of a lifetime in Nepal.

He visited Alice Springs, Tasmania and spots all over south-east Queensland as part...

WATCH: Boxing roos caught on video

QT readers Des and Jen Price captured this confrontation between two male roos in the backyard at Redbank Plains early Monday morning.

Readers capture kangaroos fighting

'Drug-addicted parents have no rights to kids'

Mum addicted to ice fighting for right to keep ninth baby

Local Partners

Gable Tostee: His own words about that fatal night

In a lengthy post to a bodybuilding forum four months after Warriena Wright died, Gable Tostee revealed what happened inside his apartment.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

Taylor Swift files lawsuit over alleged groping

Taylor Swift source Bang

Swift has commenced legal action against a DJ over the incident

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Australian Survivor's magician Matt out of tricks

Australian Survivor contestant Matt Tarrant.

SHOW'S power couple looks unstoppable in race to the finish.

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.