Phi Finney McDonald has revealed it has commenced a shareholder class action against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
The Australian law firm confirmed it commenced its class action against CBA on 29 June 2018, in relation to alleged disclosure breaches.
The claim has been brought on behalf of investors who acquired CBA shares between 16 June 2014 to 3 August (inclusive), but is limited to those that executed litigation funding agreements with Therium Australia Limited prior to commencement, a statement from Phi Finney McDonald said.
The class action comes off the back of the $700 million settlement of the proceeding brought by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) against CBA, which alleged widespread breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) (AML/CTF Act).
Phi Finney McDonald director, Odette McDonald, said that the commencement of the action was an “important statement by current and former shareholders aggrieved by CBA’s alleged misconduct”.
“This class action has been brought on behalf of those investors that have made a conscious decision to pursue CBA for its alleged misconduct. It has received public backing from some of the largest and most influential institutional investors in the world,” Ms McDonald said.
“This represents a turning point in Australian shareholder class actions.
“It reflects the rising levels of engagement amongst institutional investors, who are taking time to consider their options. Our clients are keen to pursue losses from alleged wrongdoers whether for themselves or as fiduciaries. However, they also want influence over who represents them, and on what terms.”
CBA issued a statement in response to the class action, saying it will “vigorously defend” the claims put forward by Phi Finney McDonald.
It comes after similar claims were put forward by Maurice Blackburn in a shareholder class action against CBA on 9 October 2017.