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New class action launched against CBA

The major bank has been hit with a new class action relating to commissions paid to its subsidiary.

Law firm Piper Alderman has filed a class action in the Federal Court against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).

The class action has been launched on behalf of individuals who have obtained financial products and/or life insurance on the advice of financial planners operating under the licence of former CBA subsidiary Count Financial Ltd.

The law firm has alleged that Count Financial and its authorised representatives received conflicted remuneration from product issuers and/or customers themselves over the period between 21 August 2014 to 21 August 2020.

Specifically, the claim alleged that Count Financial contravened its obligations under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) to:

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  • ensure that their financial advisers do not contravene their legal obligations to their customers;
  • ensure that adviser remuneration was free from conflict;
  • act in their customer’s best interests when giving personal financial advice; and
  • to provide services where fees were charged.

CBA has acknowledged the class action lawsuit in a statement to shareholders.

The bank noted that it has since sold Count Financial to CountPlus, with management of the firm handed over in October 2019.

“[CBA] will continue to support and manage customer remediation matters arising from past issues at Count Financial and has provided an indemnity to CountPlus Ltd of $300 million,” CBA stated.

This comes just weeks after litigation firm Shine Lawyers launched a separate class action against CBA.

Shine Lawyers has laid charges on behalf of customers who obtained CommInsure life insurance products recommended by financial advisers operating under CBA subsidiaries Commonwealth Financial Planning Ltd, Financial Wisdom Ltd and BW Financial Advice.

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