AMP and CBA update on super class actions

10 August 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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AMP and Commonwealth Bank have shared updates on ongoing superannuation class actions as they release their financial results. 

In its half-year results this week, the two firms provided updates to various ongoing class actions. 

AMP has two proceedings in place, one that relates to fees charged to members of certain AMP super funds and one relating to fees charged by members and interest rates received and fees charged on cash-only fund options. 

These have since been consolidated into one class action covering the period between July 2008 and September 2019.

“The AMP respondents have filed defences to the proceedings. The claims are yet to be quantified and participation has not been determined. Currently, the potential outcome and costs associated with the matter remain uncertain. The proceedings are being defended,” it said.

Over at Commonwealth Bank, the big four bank is defending three class actions relating to superannuation. 

The Federal Court has ordered mediation to occur by 14 June 2024 for a class action filed against Colonial First State Investments (CFSIL) and CBA related to investment in cash and deposit options in the Colonial First State First Choice Superannuation Trust and Commonwealth Essential Super, later expanded to join Avanteos Investments.

A class action relating to CFSIL and the Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society (CMLA) that CFSIL breached its trustee duties when taking out group insurance policies obtained from CMLA is due to have mediation occur by 6 December 2023. 

On both of these, CFSIL denied the allegations and are defending the proceedings.

A class action relating to fees charged to members of the FirstChoice fund reached a settlement of $100 million in June 2023 with no admission of liability and this is subject to court approval. 

The matter related to CFSIL’s payment of commissions to advisers and fees charged to members of the Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust, in the period 1 July 2013 to 1 June 2020. 

The class action alleged that CFSIL, a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), did not act in thousands of customers’ best interests by continuing to charge existing members high fees under the commission arrangements. This was despite legislation being introduced that banned the charging of commissions on new super accounts from 2013 onwards.

It also stated it is “currently not possible to determine the ultimate impact” of a claim relating to Commonwealth Essential Super proceedings that ASIC appealed in the Federal Court earlier this year.

Earlier this week, it was announced that 15,000 claimants have joined a class action relating to QSuper.

Shine Lawyers alleged that Queensland-based super fund QSuper breached their obligations by failing to notify members of important changes to life insurance policy premiums relating to occupational rates and members’ entitlements to elect standard rates, white collar rates, and professional rates. 
 

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