CBA to 'vigorously defend' class action

The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has announced it intends to “vigorously defend” itself against a class action filed by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers on behalf of shareholders.

The CBA said it had been served with a class action proceeding filed in the Federal Court of Australia in Melbourne.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers filed a class action against the CBA on behalf of aggrieved investors who suffered losses following a share price drop following the anti-money laundering scandal.

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The law firm said investors who purchased ordinary CBA shares during the period from 1 July 2015 to 3 August 2017 and still held those shares until after 1pm on 3 August would be able to register their claim with the law firm.

The class action comes after a CBA share price drop after news of legal proceedings by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) became public knowledge. CBA’s share price fell from an intra-day high of $84.69 on 3 August to an opening price of $80.11 on 7 August, a 5.4 per cent drop.

The class action has alleged that the CBA was aware about serious instances of non-compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act), and contravened the act 53,000 times.

The class action would allege the bank’s failure to disclose this information to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) amounted to misleading and deceptive conduct and a breach of its continuous disclosure obligations under the Corporations Act 2001 and the ASX Listing Rulings.

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