“It would be unusual for Westpac to admit something in the AUSTRAC proceeding and not admit that in the class action,” Mr Finney mentioned. “It certainly may assist a settlement.”
The financial institution declined to remark.
Westpac was hit with three shareholder class actions the place attorneys allege the financial institution didn’t correctly warn traders of the chance concerned in AUSTRAC’s investigation into the financial institution over breaches of anti-money laundering legal guidelines.
American investor rights agency Rosen filed an analogous class motion in January. Another case introduced by Johnson Winter & Slattery has been merged with the Phi Finney McDonald declare.
Westpac reached a landmark settlement with AUSTRAC final week, the place it acknowledged systemic failures in its know-how and administration resulted in a failure to correctly vet 19.6 million worldwide funds, some linked to little one exploitation within the Philippines.
In a prospectus launched previous to Westpac’s November capital elevate, the financial institution disclosed a “key risk” as a failure to report a “large number” of transactions to the regulator and the financial institution might face litigation and reputational injury.
The class actions allege the financial institution breached its steady disclosure obligations by failing to tell shareholders of the extent and scope of those dangers.
AUSTRAC’s chief govt Nicole Rose mentioned the financial institution’s misconduct had meant legislation enforcement companies missed essential intelligence wanted to assist police investigations.
When AUSTRAC first lodged its assertion of declare within the Federal Court final November, mounting investor stress for accountability compelled chief govt Brian Hartzer to resign and chair Lindsay Maxsted to deliver ahead his retirement.