ANZ sanctioned for charging fees to deceased estates

ANZ has been named and shamed for continuing to charge fees to deceased clients and also failing to respond to representatives of deceased estates in the required timeframe.

The Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) has found ANZ continued to charge customers account fees after their deaths and did not refund those fees between July 2019 and September 2023.

The BCCC says ANZ further breached the code by not responding to instructions or requests for information from representatives of deceased estates within the required 14 days.

The BCCC began investigating six banks’ compliance with regards to deceased estates in June last year.

Ian Govey AM. BCCC chair, described the breaches as ‘serious’.

“The decision to name ANZ for its non-compliance reflects the seriousness of its Code breaches,” he said.

“Naming a bank is a sanction that we reserve for the most serious and systemic breaches.

“The significance of the deficiencies in ANZ’s compliance frameworks was deeply concerning. Its non-compliance warranted such a sanction.”

The BCCC notes ANZ first became aware it was breaching regulations back in early 2022. From there, the bank took more than a year to implement its customer remediation program, a process that is technically still going and isn’t due to be completed until the end of this month.

Mr Govey says the BCCC has several concerns with ANZ’s remediation program, starting with the fact it took far to long to begin refunding money to customers.

“The remediation did not meet expectations,” he said.

“Once aware of the issues, ANZ did not act with sufficient urgency to remediate the affected customers. It should have done more to address this more quickly.”

ANZ responds

Dan O’Neill, ANZ general manager customer service operations, apologised on behalf of the bank, saying the fees had been charged in error – not malice – and that they are doing everything in their power to rectify the situation.

“Our customers, their families and their representatives should rightly expect compassionate and timely support from ANZ,” he said in a statement.

“We know we have not always met the expectations of our customers and their families at a difficult time in their lives.

“For too many it has been a frustrating experience. For this we are sorry, and we are committed to continuing to make changes to better support our customers and their representatives.”

He went to explain changes ANZ has already implemented, including a dedicated deceased estates program to improve the experience for bereaved family members.

The bank has almost doubled the number of staff managing deceased estates cases and has expanded training for these specialist staff members, as well as regular branch staff.

“We are investing millions of dollars to make sure we have the right staff, the right training, and the right processes in place,” Mr O’Neill said.

“We have significantly improved the time it takes us to provide information about a customer’s accounts to their representatives and the time it takes us to finalise cases once we receive all of the required information.”

Do you bank with ANZ? Do you think the punishment should have been more severe? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Reports call for the return of a public bank

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyer
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


  1. Why should anyone be surprised that the ANZ Bank has ripped off the estates of deceased persons? Remember AMP? Bring on a peoples Bank via our Post Offices, hopefully, we will all support it when it happens.

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