Slater and Gordon has partnered with litigation funder Therium to investigate class action against AMP, following the revelations of misconduct in the Financial Services Royal Commission.
And the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors has warned AMP that it will that it will advise funds to vote against the re-election of directors and potentially reject its top executives’ pay packets unless AMP shows that it has become more accountable.
The proposed class action is focused on potential allegations that AMP breached its continuous disclosure obligations between 28 May 2015 and 13 April 2018, causing investors who acquired shares during this period to suffer loss.
Slater and Gordon Head of Class Actions Ben Hardwick said the AMP claim had the potential to be one of Australia’s biggest investor class actions.
“More than a billion dollars has been wiped from AMP’s market cap since these revelations were made public during the Royal Commission hearings and it has left thousands of investors reeling,” Mr Hardwick said.
“Not only did senior executives admit AMP had been charging significant fees for financial advice services it did not provide, but they also admitted the bank tried to conceal these practices by repeatedly telling ASIC they were the result of an administrative error.
“We allege that this conduct was both unlawful and unethical and reflected serious compliance problems within AMP, and the market had a right to be informed about what they were buying into.”
ACSI chief executive Louise Davidson said last Friday’s response from AMP, which saw chief executive Craig Meller stepping down had not gone far enough.
“The board needs to take a greater level of responsibility and accountability at board and executive level that goes beyond the departure of the CEO,” Ms Davidson told Business First.
“The board needs to look at its own accountability in the matter and presumably there are other changes that need to be made at executive level. Has the board considered clawing back some of the bonuses that have been paid in recent years? “
She said ACSI would be putting out its voting recommendations by the end of this week if it had not heard back from AMP.
“We have to do that by the end of this week,” she said. “We’ll be waiting with bated breath to see if there is any change before that advice goes out.”