ANZ throws fraud victims to wolves

Friday 16 July 2004

Two banks whose slack cheque handling practices helped dishonest tax agents commit multimillion-dollar fraud are at odds over reimbursing victims.

By The Landlord

In a rare move Westpac reimbursed victims.

ANZ,­ now called ANZ National,­ wouldn't even talk about it.

In unrelated but uncannily similar circumstances both banks enabled fraudulent tax agents to rip off clients at opposite ends of the country. Victims were individuals and small businesses.

Westpac and ANZ ignored Bankers' Association standards and the Cheques Act by accepting "not transferable" cheques made out to other people for deposit into the fraudsters' accounts.

By doing so both banks helped the commission of major frauds.

Under the Cheques Act, banks can be held liable if appropriately protected cheques do not reach the intended recipient.

Both tax agents ripped off clients by banking client tax cheques intended for Inland Revenue, and client tax refunds from the IRD, into their own accounts.

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