Financial Planning
AMP becomes class action target

IMF Bentham is the latest firm to finance proposed class action proceedings against AMP in light of evidence at the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

The litigation funding group said it will fund class action proceedings conducted by law firm Phi Feeney McDonald. Slater and Gordon (funded by Therium), Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (funded by Burford Capital), and Shine Lawyers are also investigating class actions against AMP.

In an ASX statement IMF Bentham said it proposes to fund the new investment through its Rest of the World funds.

The Phi Feeney McDonald class action will include current and former shareholders of AMP and is "in respect of alleged breaches by AMP of its obligations of continuous disclosure and alleged misleading or deceptive representations to the market concerning AMP's failure to disclose misconduct that was revealed in the financial services Royal Commission on 16 and 17 April 2017."

It will include AMP shareholders who purchased shares between 24 May 2013 and 13 April 2018.

Last week a statement from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (QE) said AMP has lost $1 billion in shareholder value since early March.

Shine Lawyers class actions expert Jan Saddler said the firm is "of the view that AMP has breached a number of provisions of the Corporations Act and ASX Listing Rules."

"AMP executives gave evidence at the Royal Commission that their conduct fell far short of the standards expected by shareholders, investors, policy holders and community expectations generally."

Slater and Gordon head of class actions Ben Hardwick said the AMP claim had the potential to be one of Australia's biggest investor class actions.

"Not only did senior executives admit AMP had been charging significant fees for financial advice services it did not provide, but they also admitted the bank tried to conceal these practices by repeatedly telling ASIC they were the result of an administrative error," Hardwick said.

"We allege that this conduct was both unlawful and unethical and reflected serious compliance problems within AMP, and the market had a right to be informed about what they were buying into."

Early this morning AMP chair Catherine Brenner stepped down and the firm announced the departure of another senior executive. AMP has cleared itself of any wrongdoing over the preparation of a Clayton Utz report mentioned in the Royal Commission.

Earlier this month AMP chief executive Craig Meller announced his immediate departure.

Read more: Royal CommissionIMF BenthamMisconductASXPhi Feeney McDonaldQuinn Emanuel UrquhartShine LawyersSlater and GordonSuperannuationASICAustraliaBurford CapitalCatherine BrennerClayton UtzCraig Meller
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