Citibank refunds $3.3 million to credit card customers

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced that Citibank will refund more than $3.3 million to around 39,500 current and former customers for failing to refund customers when credit card accounts were closed with an outstanding credit balance.

Citibank will provide refunds for Citibank, Virgin Money, Bank of Queensland, Suncorp and Card Services branded credit cards and for Citibank Ready Credit loan customers. Citibank is the credit provider for all of these products.

This error occurred on accounts as far back as 1994 but did not happen every time an account was closed.

Citibank is writing to eligible customers to advise that they will receive a refund of the credit balance with interest. Former customers will receive a bank cheque and current customers with an open account will receive a direct credit into their account.

The closed credit card and loan accounts with more than $500 in credit balances, which were not transacted on for seven years (or three years as applicable) have been transferred to ASIC as required under unclaimed money legislation.

Citibank has strengthened its systems so that cheques for credit balances are issued to customers automatically when they close their accounts.

"Customers should be confident that when they close an account, they are refunded any outstanding balance," ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said.

Mr Kell also said customers may be entitled to claim their balance through ASIC's MoneySmart website which holds unclaimed money from accounts which have been inactive for a certain period:

"If you think you might be impacted, your money may be with ASIC as unclaimed money. I strongly encourage you to search your name on ASIC's MoneySmart unclaimed money search," Mr Kell said.

Citibank reported the issue to ASIC, and has cooperated with ASIC in resolving the matter.

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