Law firm Slater & Gordon is investigating launching a class action on behalf of aggrieved borrowers and mortgagors of Bankwest and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Commercial and project litigation lawyer Van Moulis said the firm was conducting its due diligence with litigation funder IMF.
Legal investigations are focusing on the conditions around the CBA’s purchase of Bankwest in 2008, and how that may have negatively affected some Bankwest borrowers and mortgagors.
“We are looking at whether some of those people with Bankwest loans were hard done by when Bankwest re-valued their securities and called up their loans in the period after CBA took control of Bankwest,” he said.
About 120 people have already registered for a potential class action with the firm.
Many small property developers are alleging their debts were unfairly called in. The law firm will be mainly looking at cases involving primary commercial developments and property developers and small to medium-sized business owners.
The firm will examine whether some people with Bankwest loans were hard done by. The firm told SmartCompany it had a lot of telephone enquiries before and after a recent Four Corners program.
Last month, senator John Williams launched a Senate inquiry into the relationship between banks, receivers and valuers.
Moulis told media the senate inquiry is expected to get underway in two to three months. He said it is hoped the inquiry will uncover more facts that will be helpful for the class action.
The lawyer said pre-trial protocols in the Federal Court mean the parties have to take genuine steps to resolve the issues outside the court, and he emphasised the possibility of a pre-trial settlement.