Westpac has refunded its customers nearly $20 million after it failed to adequately inform them it had charged them foreign transaction fees on their credit cards.

The payments, which were made to 820,000 customers, were triggered by a client complaint after they were charged fees for Australia dollar transactions that were processed by overseas merchants.

The bank admitted that it had not adequately explained to customers that they would still be charged foreign transaction fees in this situation, so it was forced to identify the hundreds of thousands of customers affected and refund them. Plus interest.

An Australian Securities and Investment Commission spokesperson said that from 2014, Westpac had added that there would be a ‘foreign transactions fee’ when they paid in Australian dollars to an overseas entity.

However ‘’This may have led customers to believe that a foreign transaction fee would be charged only when a sale was made in a foreign currency that required a conversion into Australian dollars at the time of the transaction,” ASIC said.

The transactions fees are charged as a percentage of the purchase price, typically around 3.5 percent.

If you are somebody who is being refunded, you will be contacted.

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