Federal court proceedings have been issued as thousands of Commonwealth Bank shareholders have thrown their support behind a class action alleging the bank breached anti-money laundering and counter terrorism laws.
According to a statement released by the law firm Maurice Blackburn and litigation funder IMF Bentham on Monday, the class action relates to CBA shareholders suffering “from a significant share price drop” on the back of news that CBA publicly confessed that its Board knew of the breaches in 2015 but chose to say nothing to the ASX until 4 August 2017.
National Head of Class Actions at Maurice Blackburn Andrew Watson said that when CBA did reveal the issues to the market this year, the result was a significant drop for an otherwise stable stock.
“Our investigations and analysis show that this drop was in the top one percent of price movements that CBA experienced in the past five years, so clearly the news was of material significance to shareholders,” Mr Watson said.
“Investors would expect the CBA to take a leadership role in setting high standards of corporate conduct.
“Given the opposite appears to have happened here, shareholders have every right to seek accountability by exercising their legal rights in the most efficient and effective way possible – through the class actions regime.”
The case will be filed on an open class basis, meaning all affected shareholders will have their rights protected, and those that don’t wish to participate can opt out.
The class action will be headed by lead plaintiff William Phillips, who is a long-time share market investor.