Australia Financial Services Industry Royal Commission Leads to Class Actions Boom
Australia's landmark Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry that was conducted throughout 2018 and reported in early 2019 highlighted numerous examples of potential contraventions of the law.
The Royal Commission has triggered not just legislative reform and regulatory actions, but also a boom in class action proceedings seeking to recover compensation for bank customers and shareholders alike. As of 30 June 2020, 17 class actions, relying on a variety of causes of action, including shareholder claims of misleading or deceptive conduct, contravention of superannuation fund trustee obligations, unconscionable conduct and contravention of responsible lending obligations, have been commenced.
The Royal Commission and its aftermath serve as a clear illustration of how public inquiries and actions by regulators can act as a beacon to class action plaintiff lawyers and funders, shining a spotlight on particular industries, commercial practices and, on occasion, misconduct. As a result, corporations or individuals that that are the focus of public inquiries or regulatory action need to prepare for follow‑on class actions in addition to, or concurrent with, the initial proceeding.
Jones Day publications should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only and may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication or proceeding without the prior written consent of the Firm, to be given or withheld at our discretion. To request reprint permission for any of our publications, please use our “Contact Us” form, which can be found on our website at www.jonesday.com. The mailing of this publication is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The views set forth herein are the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Firm.