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On 9 October 2017, Australia’s leading class action law firm, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, with support from litigation funding giant Omni Bridgeway, filed a shareholder class action on behalf of aggrieved Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) investors.

The class action was filed on behalf of investors who suffered losses due to the share price fall following the institution of legal proceedings by AUSTRAC against CBA.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Rebecca Gilsenan and Ronald Koo are leading this class action.

Am I eligible to join the class action?

If you purchased ordinary CBA shares during the period from 16 June 2014 to 3 August 2017 you are eligible to join the class action. 

About this class action

Shareholders in Australia’s largest ASX-listed company suffered one of the biggest single price movements in CBA’s recent history following revelations that CBA would face legal proceedings in Federal Court, in which Australia’s financial intelligence and regulatory agency, AUSTRAC, alleged that CBA contravened the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) (AML/CTF Act) over 53,000 times.

When news of the AUSTRAC proceeding became public, 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%) – a significant movement for an otherwise stable stock.

The class action alleges that CBA knew about serious instances of non-compliance with the AML/CTF Act and that its failure to disclose that information to the ASX amounts to misleading and deceptive conduct and a breach of its continuous disclosure obligations under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the ASX Listing Rules.

Case developments

Joint Conduct of Class Actions against CBA

In 2018, another class action was commenced against CBA by other applicants. Given the similarities in the issues raised in both proceedings, the Court ordered that the applicants in the two proceedings discuss the possibility of a joint approach to the conduct of the litigation.  On 10 July 2019, the Court approved the applicants’ proposal for joint conduct of the litigation, and made orders to ensure that both proceedings are conducted as though they are a single proceeding.

Registration and Opt Out Orders

On 7 April 2022, the Court made orders providing that group members who had not yet signed up for the CBA Class Action may register their claims by 4.00pm AEST on 7 June 2022

That deadline has now passed, and the parties intend to seek an order that would prevent group members who did not register by the deadline from participating in any settlement that may be agreed to before 7 November 2022.

Even if you did not respond by the deadline, you will remain a group member in the proceeding and may still be eligible to participate in some circumstances (for example, if a settlement is reached after 7 November 2022, if there is a judgment in favour of the applicant, or if the Court does not make an order of the kind the parties intend to seek). You can submit your details on the Omni Bridgeway website if you wish to record your intention to participate in those circumstances.

Key documents

Contact Omni Bridgeway for more information about the class action

Online: Omni Bridgeway website 

Call: 1800 490 566


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