Case Spotlight: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

By Andrew Laskey,  Legal Product Specialist, Financial Recovery Technologies

CompanyCommonwealth Bank of Australia
IndustryFinancial Services
ClaimsBreach of disclosure obligations, and misleading and deceptive conduct
Participation DeadlineTo Be Determined


Commonwealth Bank of Australia (“CBA”), an Australian multinational lending bank and Australia’s largest ASX-listed company, is being investigated for breaching the Corporations Act by failing to keep investors informed of its violation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF).

Multiple organizing parties are currently investigating whether CBA allegedly mislead investors regarding its non-compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF). On August 3, 2017, the Australian Transaction Report and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) brought civil penalty proceedings against CBA in the Federal Court of Australia regarding alleged non-compliance of the AML/CTF Act. AUSTRAC alleged that CBA failed to submit to AML/CTF regulations regarding its Intelligent Deposit Machines (IDM), and is investigating over 53,000 unreported transactions of $10,000 or more made through IDMs.

CBA Shareholders may be eligible to participate in the claim if they acquired shares on or after the August 17, 2015, and held those shares until 1pm on August 3, 2017.


All organizing parties are currently soliciting shareholder interest and have not indicated whether or not they intend to file this as an open, ‘opt-out’ or a closed, ‘opt-in’ class.

There will be no out-of-pocket cost risk if you participate, and all costs will be borne by the litigation funders, and will only be recouped in the event of a successful outcome

Typically, there is no disclosure of registrants beyond the case organizers, unless the organizers engage in settlement discussions with defendants and/or there is a court resolution and claims submission process.


FRT will continue to monitor for other organizer efforts and filings, and whether or not Maurice Blackburn will ultimately file as open or closed.


FRT has issued the following alerts to FRT Global clients: Preliminary Alert (August 29, 2017), and Full Alert (September 15, 2017). For more information on this case or FRT Global service, please contact us at

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