In an announcement on the stock exchange on 10 May, AMP confirmed it is facing two class action suits linked to shareholders acquiring an interest in the firm.
Law firm Maurice Blackburn announced on Tuesday that it planned to sue AMP on behalf of shareholders.
The other two firms preparing lawsuits against AMP have been named as Slater & Gordon and Shine Lawyers by local newspaper the Australian Financial Review.
If all five proceed, it would be the most class actions against an Australian company at one time, according to Reuters.
The law suits follow AMP executive Jack Regan admitting to Australia’s Royal Commission into Banking, Superannuation and Financial Planning that the insurer had lied to the country’s regulator on 20 occasions.
The admission has sent AMP’s share price tumbling by nearly 20%.
Significant revelations of misconduct
Maurice Blackburn said it is now accepting registrations for an intended shareholder class action “in relation to revelations out of the Financial Services Royal Commission of systemic misconduct at AMP”.
The firm said it intends to commence a class action for misleading and deceptive conduct and a breach of AMP’s continuous disclosure obligations under the Corporations Act 2001 and ASX listing rules.
“The matter will be funded […] at an exceptionally competitive funding commission rate of 12.5%,” the law firm said.
Maurice Blackburn highlighted two significant revelations of misconduct by AMP that were revealed at the Royal Commission:
- For a number of years, AMP had been charging clients ongoing fees for no service in various contexts; and,
- Since 27 May 2015, AMP misled the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Asic) on a number of occasions when reporting its charging of fees for no service.
“Since these revelations, the fallout for AMP has been considerable,” the law firm said. “The market strongly reacted and by the first week AMP’s share price had fallen by around 11%.”
According to Reuters, a judge will have to determine which case gets precedent, while AMP could request that all five cases be amalgamated into one massive class action suit.