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BankWest/CBA Class Action

Female looking at a sunset | Shine Lawyers

This class action is for BankWest customers who have been affected by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) acquisition of BankWest in December 2008.

In March 2016, proceedings were commenced in the Supreme Court of New South Wales alleging that in the period between 19 December 2008 and 31 December 2012, BankWest acted unconscionably in removing 1,958 commercial loan facilities with a value between $10 billion - $18 billion from its commercial loan book.

CBA’s alleged conduct

Following its acquisition by CBA, BankWest undertook a systemic review of its commercial loan book. It reviewed approximately 1,958 files relating to commercial loans provided by BankWest.

It is alleged that BankWest devised and implemented a system by which it artificially distressed the loans and banking facilities of customers with a view to removing their loans from its books.

It is further alleged that BankWest’s credit policy was materially altered, such that the 1,958 loans that were performing loans had their credit risk downgraded and were then classified as non-performing loans. Following their classification as non-performing loans, BankWest:

  • Hindered or prevented customers from performing their obligations under the respective facility agreement;
  • Placed the customers’ loans and banking relationship into the Credit Asset Management department of BankWest; and
  • Wrote off the loans.

It is alleged that in doing so, BankWest breached its contractual obligations and the Banking Code of Conduct and as a result has caused customers to suffer loss and damage.

Further information

Our offer to you

  • Obligation-free consultation to assess your case confidentially
  • Claim assessment process where we will explain all of the options available to you
  • No Win No Fee arrangement

Meet the team

For further enquiries regarding this class action, please email us at BankwestCBA@shine.com.au.

Our offer to you

  • Obligation-free consultation to assess your case confidentially

  • Claim assessment process where we will explain all of the options available to you

  • We can come to you - if you can't make it into the office we're more than happy to come to you

  • No Win No Fee arrangement

Common questions about BankWest/CBA Class Action

You are eligible to join the class action as a group member if you:

  • Were a “small business” customer as defined by the Banking Code of Conduct (less than 100 full time employees if the business is or include the manufacture of goods or in any other case, less than 20 full time employees); and
  • Had entered into facility agreements with BankWest prior to 19 December 2008; and
  • Had loan facilities which were subject of a review by BankWest after 19 December 2008 which were subsequently placed in the Credit Asset Management division of BankWest; or
  • You were a guarantor under the facility agreements entered into with the BankWest prior to 19 December 2008.
  • If you are eligible, you can join the class action and become a group member by signing a client agreement with Shine Lawyers and a litigation funding agreement with JustKapital, the litigation funder. Please contact us to do so or to get further information about the action.

In a class action, the lead plaintiff represents the Group Members. In this case, Group Members are being represented by the lead Plaintiffs, Australian Retirement Group Pty Ltd and Mr Peter Walsh.

As the claims of all the Group Members involve many common questions of fact and law, bringing a class action reduces the aggregate cost of litigation to a client by only addressing the common issues once at trial instead of multiple times.

If you have already become a Group Member by signing a funding agreement with JustKapital, you do not need to do anything further at this point.

The lead Plaintiffs will continue the class action on your behalf until the Court has determined all the common questions involving the Group Members.

We believe we have a strong team and a strong case but it is not possible to predict the outcome of litigation or how long it will take. Litigation is inherently risky but we believe the chance of success is worth the risk.

Shine Lawyers fees and the disbursements incurred are being paid by the litigation funder, JustKapital. This means that Group Members will have no liability for legal costs if the class action is unsuccessful.

It is not possible to give any indication at this stage as to how much you can expect to receive from the successful outcome of the class action. This depends upon many factors that at this time are not capable of being determined.

The lawyers running this action at Shine Lawyers are led by Jan Saddler, a solicitor with more than 25 years’ experience in Australia and England in running large and complex legal disputes.

Jan has worked for one of the largest commercial law firms in Australia, where she was involved in a number of class actions and multi-party disputes. She has also worked at one of the largest global professional services firms, as an in-house lawyer running and managing disputes involving claims worth more than $250 million.

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