National Australia Bank has admitted to charging fees for financial advice when it was not permitted to, and to making false or misleading representations to customers, as it filed its defence to a regulatory lawsuit.
However, the bank admitted to a relatively small fraction of the breaches that were alleged by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which launched the action against the bank in December. NAB also denied ASIC’s allegation of unconscionable conduct.
In a case that could attract a hefty fine for the major bank, the watchdog last year accused NAB of more than 12,000 breaches of the law for charging customers “fees for no service,” part of an industry-wide scandal that was exposed at the banking royal commission. ASIC alleged the conduct took place between late 2013 and February last year.
In NAB’s defence, filed with the Federal Court on Friday, the bank admitted it had breached financial services laws by either failing to issue fee disclosure statements to some clients, or excluding key information that was required.