Class actions against banks and other financial institutions prompted by the Hayne royal commission continue to hit the courts. Last week it was NAB and Commonwealth Bank in the firing line.
On Friday, Shine Lawyers announced that it had launched a class action against Commonwealth Bank’s superannuation provider Colonial First State Investments Ltd, alleging that it put fund members into overpriced policies with the bank’s insurance company CommInsure.
Shine claims this was not in members’ best interests, as substantially similar or better policies with cheaper premiums were available through other providers.
The class action is open to members of FirstChoice Personal Super and Pension, FirstChoice Wholesale Personal Super and Pension, FirstChoice Employer Super and Commonwealth Essential Super.
To be eligible to register for the class action, members of these funds must have life and/or TPD insurance issued by Comminsure through their fund in the period January 2014 to January 2020.
“These customers were forced to pay more for life insurance as well as total and permanent disability insurance, and this has eaten into their superannuation,” Shine says in a statement.
The class action was filed in the Federal Court in Victoria last week. It is being funded by Woodsford Litigation Funding.
Earlier in the week law firm Maurice Blackburn filed a class action in the Victorian Supreme Court against two NAB companies, MLC Nominees Pty Ltd and NULIS Nominees.
The class action alleges that MLC Nominees and NULIS left default members of MasterKey Business Super and Personal Super in products with higher fees and paying commissions to financial advisers that were banned in low-cost MySuper product.
It also alleges that MLC Nominees and NULIS failed to exercise the degree of care, skill and diligence required of a prudent superannuation trustee, failed to perform their duties and exercise their powers in the best interests of beneficiaries and failed to give priority to the interest of beneficiaries where a conflict of interest arose.
Maurice Blackburn head of class actions, Andrew Watson, says the case will centre on “NAB’s failure to transition in excess of $6.3 billion of accrued default amounts to lower cost MySuper product in a timely way.”
Watson says: “The contraventions at the heart of this case resulted in NABs MasterKey super members paying higher fees and commissions and receiving lower investment returns for periods of time, when they could have been in cheaper, better overall MySuper product.”
Dawson says NAB admitted as much in its evidence to the Hayne Royal Commission. “NAB acknowledged that one of the consequences of the delay was that members paid higher fees for longer that they would have has their [accounts] been transferred earlier.”