National Australia Bank has forked out $40,800 in fines relating to misleading advertisements after coming under fire from Australia’s corporate watchdog.
The Australian Securities & Investment Commission issued four infringement notices to the major bank over misleading advertising attached to a UBank home loan product.
NAB is the Australian financial services licensee for the online centric UBank.
Each fine cost $10,200.
The misleading claims stem from an advertising campaign that promoted an offer of a $2014 EFTPOS gift card for consumers who took up a home loan with UBank.
Plugs for the deal included headline statements such as ‘The BEST $2014 EVER’ and ‘Own $2014’ that appeared in newspapers, radio, and the Internet from December last year to March 2014.
After investigating the issue following consumer complaints ASIC found several details of the offer were not properly or clearly disclosed.
These included the deal only applying to minimum loans of $350,000; all documents needing to be provided within five days; people having to use an electronic settlement process for refinanced loans; and a cap on the number of consumers eligible to receive the offer.
ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kelly said a crackdown on misleading advertisements had resulted in action taken against 10 organisations this year.
Following intervention from ASIC all consumers who applied for a home loan and were affected by the misleading promises by UBank were provided with the $2014 gift card.
Other organisations fined this year under similar circumstances include Virgin Money paying $30,600 for misleading advertising and a finance broker who was stung with a $20,400 notice penalty.