National

US pension funds in CBA class action

By AAP Newswire

Four large US pension funds have joined a new class action against the Commonwealth Bank over alleged breaches of continuous disclosure obligations related to the lender's money-laundering scandal.

Law firm Phi Finney McDonald said it was approached by sophisticated institutional investors to initiate an action after they learned of an existing action filed in Federal Court in October.

The action would seek compensation for anyone who acquired CBA shares between June 16, 2014 and August 3, 2017 - a longer period than that covered by Maurice Blackburn's rival action.

Phi Finney McDonald director, Odette McDonald said their class action is therefore open to a greater number of investors.

"We consider that the integrity of CBA's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing systems, and compliance with laws and directions of regulators, was of incredible importance to CBA shareholders", Ms McDonald said.

"This is clear from the proactive steps investors have taken in driving this action".

The law firm is inviting investors to join the US pension funds, which control billions of dollars, in signing up to the action.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn filed a statement of claim naming then chief executive Ian Narev and current chair Catherine Livingstone as being among those who knew regulator AUSTRAC had accused CBA of breaching money-laundering and terrorism funding laws.

The lender was accused of failing to promptly disclose the 2015 allegations to the market.

The public pension funds involved are the California State Teachers Retirement System, Teachers Retirement System of Texas, Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, and Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association.

CBA on Tuesday said it has not received any formal communications or documents in relation to the latest action.

At 1243 AEST, CBA shares were up 76 cents, or one per cent, at $74.31.