A number of former Landmark customers felt they were treated unfairly by ANZ, the banking royal commission has heard.
The ANZ bank knew a number of former Landmark customers were headed for financial trouble, yet lacked empathy and even caused distress for some farmers when the inevitable happened.
The bank made financial provisions for problematic loans when it bought the Landmark Financial Services business in 2010, but whether it factored in the human impact is being probed at the banking royal commission.
A significant number of former Landmark customers felt they were treated unfairly by ANZ, counsel assisting the commission Rowena Orr QC said.
"ANZ acknowledged that it should have been more responsive and empathetic to some former Landmark customers, particularly given their difficult financial circumstances, and it acknowledged that its failure to do so caused distress in some cases," she said on Monday.
For ANZ, the $2.2 billion acquisition of Landmark Financial Services' loan book - and its 10,000 customers - was a chance to move to number two in the agribusiness space.
It could also market its products to 100,000 customers of AWB's overall Landmark rural service business.
The commission heard ANZ was aware of issues with the quality of the Landmark loan book and made financial provision for problematic loans at the time of the acquisition.
Ms Orr asked ANZ executive Ben Steinberg if that meant the bank was well aware that a significant number of the Landmark customers moving across to ANZ were likely to experience financial difficulty.
He said it knew some would experience financial difficulty, but not when that would occur.
Ms Orr questioned what ANZ did to deal with the human impact.
ANZ's head of lending services for corporate and commercial said there was a progressive move to a number of accounts being managed as high risk, on an as-needed basis.
"I don't feel that there was any massive one-off impact on that group of people," Mr Steinberg said.
The inquiry also heard ANZ identified a potential $6 million annual revenue opportunity through re-pricing the Landmark portfolio, which had a lower variable rate.
As it did before a parliamentary inquiry, ANZ accepted that in certain respects its management of some former Landmark customers fell below community standards and expectations.
Mr Steinberg said ANZ accepted it should have done a better job in its communications with Landmark customers, noting a number of them had not dealt with a large financial institution before.
There were also delays in the bank responding to some former Landmark customers who requested information or funding.
Ms Orr said ANZ also acknowledged that in a small number of cases, its conduct may have breached its obligation to act fairly and reasonably towards its customers.
Most of this week's public hearing in Brisbane will be about farming finance, with the commission set to hear about three sets of Queensland cattle farmers' dealings with banks.