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April, 2024

HSBC Australia fined $33,000 for alleged breaches of consumer data rights

HSBC Australia Limited (HSBC) has been penalised $33,000 for alleged breaches of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) rules. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued HSBC with two infringement notices relating to alleged failures to disclose complete mortgage interest rate details and accurate credit card balances in response to separate requests for this data made via the CDR.

The ACCC investigated allegations that, from at least February 2023 to April 2023, HSBC failed to accurately disclose its fixed rate home loan interest rates, requested via the CDR. The ACCC also investigated allegations that, from at least January 2023 to May 2023, HSBC failed to accurately disclose credit card account balance data after receiving consumer data requests.

ACCC Commissioner Peter Crone said, “If accurate home loan rates are not provided, product data users, such as comparator sites and brokers, are unable to present accurate comparisons of home loan products to consumers. This has the potential to lead to consumers making decisions based on incorrect information about home loan interest rates on offer.”

Crone further emphasised the importance of data quality in the CDR, stating, “For the CDR to be effective, it is critical that CDR data is of high quality. This means that product data and consumer data – which a consumer has consented to share – must be accurate, up-to-date, complete, and in the required format.”

HSBC has cooperated with the ACCC’s investigation and has taken steps to improve its CDR compliance, including rectifying data quality issues identified by the ACCC in its investigation.

“Data quality within the CDR is a priority conduct area for the ACCC. All CDR participants are reminded that failure to comply with the CDR rules will result in scrutiny by the ACCC and may result in enforcement action, with potentially serious consequences,” warned Crone.