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BankWest/CBA Class Action

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

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