The Federal Court has ordered NAB to pay a $2.1 million penalty for wrongly charging customers periodic payment fees.

The court found that NAB continued to impose these fees, totalling $139,845, on 74,593 occasions between January 2017 and July 2018, when it had no contractual right to do so.

NAB’s terms and conditions stated fees of $1.80 and $5.30 for periodic payments between July 2007 and February 2019. Some customers were incorrectly charged these fees when eligible for exemptions, and NAB ceased charging them on 22 February 2019.

In addition to the $2.1 million penalty, NAB must publish an adverse notice on its website and cover ASIC’s costs. The ASIC Act now allows for penalties of at least $15.65 million for unconscionable conduct occurring after March 2019.

NAB has already paid around $9 million in compensation to customers affected since August 2001.

Justice Derrington, who oversaw the Federal Court case, criticised NAB for prioritising its own interests over customer well-being and for allowing the overcharging to persist.

NAB was also ordered to publish an adverse publicity notice on its website and pay ASIC’s costs.

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