Adairs fined $66,000 by ASIC over alleged breach … Westpac to refund $65 million to customers … Holden shuts up shop in SA

Westpac

By Dominic Powell and Emma Koehn.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has fined homewares retailer Adairs a total of $66,000, alleging the company failed to notify the ASX that its full-year guidance would be significantly lower than market expectations.

In a statement, ASIC said there were “reasonable grounds” to believe Adairs was in breach of its continuous disclosure obligations between September 23  and November 2, 2016.

“It is fundamental to the integrity of the market that listed entities disclose market sensitive earnings surprises immediately,” ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour said in a statement.

In a statement to the market, Adairs claims it did comply with its continuous disclosure obligations during the period but agreed to pay the the $66,000 penalty “to conclude ASIC’s investigation and to avoid additional costs”.

Westpac to refund $65 million to customers

The ABC reports big four Australian bank Westpac will have to refund a total of $65 million to more than 200,000 customers after failing to automatically pass on various discounts and benefits included in “packaged” accounts.

“Customers automatically received discounts on core products such as home loans, credit cards, or transaction accounts. However, some customers did not receive discounts on ancillary products such as home and contents insurance and term deposits,” Westpac said in a statement.

“The packages have since been simplified and all benefits are now automated.”

Customers are not required to do anything to claim the refund, with refunds and “all appropriate interest” being provided by the bank. Westpac says it will automate the benefits from now on to prevent a similar mishap from occurring again.

Holden shuts up shop in SA

The Holden production plant in Adelaide will shut up shop for good from this afternoon as the car manufacturer winds up operations in Australia.

The ABC reports today will be the last day of work for more than 900 workers at the plant, with up to 800 staff leaving since the company announced in 2013 it was withdrawing from local manufacturing.

Around 700 Holden staff will remain employed in Melbourne as designers and technical staff.

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