Commonwealth Bank of Australia Shareholder
Class Action

IMF Bentham Limited is funding a shareholder class action against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) (CBA) in respect of an alleged failure to keep shareholders properly informed regarding its non-compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) (AML/CTF Act) during the period from 1 July 2015 to 3 August 2017 (inclusive) (Relevant Period).

The class action was filed on 9 October 2017 by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers on behalf of all shareholders affected by the non-disclosure by CBA.

CBA shareholders who acquired CBA shares during the Relevant Period (from 1 July 2015 to 3 August 2017) and held some or all of those shares until 1pm AEST on 3 August 2017, are invited to register their claim with IMF.

Background to the class action

On 3 August 2017, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) brought civil penalty proceedings against CBA in the Federal Court of Australia for "serious and systemic non-compliance" with the AML/CTF Act.

Specifically, AUSTRAC alleged that CBA:

  1. did not comply with its own AML/CTF program in rolling out its Intelligent Deposit Machines;
  2. did not comply with the requirements of its AML/CTF program relating to monitoring transactions on 778,370 accounts over a period of 3 years;
  3. failed to give 53,506 threshold transaction reports to AUSTRAC on time for cash transactions of $10,000 or more made through Intelligent Deposit Machines.

Following the commencement of the proceeding by AUSTRAC and an announcement by CBA to the ASX the following day, CBA's share price fell from an intra-day high of $84.69 on 3 August 2017 to an opening price of $80.11 on 7 August 2017 (a fall of $4.58 or 5.4%), on trading volumes more than 2.5 times greater than the preceding three month average.

On 9 August 2017, the Chairman of CBA, Catherine Livingstone AO, confirmed that the Board of CBA was made aware of "alleged issues relating to Threshold Transaction Reporting in the Intelligent Deposit Machines" in the second half of 2015.

Cause of Action

The class action against the CBA alleges contraventions involving engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct and/or breaching continuous disclosure obligations in relation to its non-compliance with the AML/CTF Act, information that a reasonable person would expect to have a material effect on the price or value of CBA shares.

Further details about the cause of action can be obtained by contacting IMF using the details below.

Current stage of case

Filed in the Federal Court of Australia on 9 October 2017.

How do I register my claim?

To register your claim you can do so by clicking on "register your claim" below or by contacting the IMF Client Liaison Team by email on 403583@imf.com.au or free call 1800 016 464.