Irate shareholders who sued AMP over allegations of financial misconduct have reached a $110 million out-of-court settlement, averting the need for a lengthy hearing.
On the eve of a 15-day trial in the NSW Supreme Court, AMP and the Maurice Blackburn-backed class action resolved the five-year long legal battle.
“I’m pleased to announce that this matter has settled,” said class action barrister Cameron Moore SC in court on Monday.
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The lawsuit was filed in June 2018 after AMP made disclosures of systemic misconduct at the banking royal commission that year.
AMP said it had charged fees to customers who did not receive any services and withheld information about these breaches from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
The revelations led to a sharp decline of about 11 per cent in AMP’s share price, pushing shareholders to launch their class action against the financial firm.
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They claimed the corporation should have been more open about its conduct and that shareholders purchased shares at an inflated price as a result.
After the royal commission, AMP chairman Catherine Brenner and CEO Craig Meller resigned.
In an ASX announcement on Monday, AMP said the settlement amount would mostly be covered by its insurance.
“In reaching a settlement, AMP makes no admission of liability,” the firm wrote.
Capital returns expected this year for current shareholders would not be affected, AMP added.
Justice Michael Ball adjourned the matter until September 5 to give the parties time to work out the next steps to a settlement approval hearing which could take two to three months.
The judge will have to sign off on the total amount and any legal fees sought by Maurice Blackburn before any remaining funds are sent to shareholders.
At 10.34am, AMP shares were down 1.4 per cent to $1.2375.
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