Class Action against Westpac Banking Corporation - Foreign Remittance Businesses (finalised)

 

 

Background


Mitry Lawyers have been instructed by a number of businesses to pursue a class action against Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) in relation to proposed closures of bank accounts held at Westpac affecting foreign remittance businesses.

 

The Proceedings are before the Federal Court of Australia at Sydney and are identified as Sydney Forex Pty Limited v Westpac Banking Corporation (NSD1222/2014).

 

It is alleged that Westpac has engaged in unconscionable conduct, or a breach of the Code of Banking Practice by, inter alia, failing to give reasonable notice prior to closing the accounts.

 

 

 

Eligible Participating Group Members

 

You are a class member (Group Member) if you:
 

  1. operate a business providing remittance services, being services for the transfer of money between persons in Australia and persons in countries other than Australia; and
     

  2. are registered on the Remittance Sector Register maintained by the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) under s 75 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth); and
     

  3. as at 21 November 2014 hold bank accounts with Westpac; and
     

  4. have been notified by Westpac in writing that the bank accounts will be closed by Westpac unless the bank accounts are personally closed first, and have not consented to such closure.

 

 

 

Status of Proceedings
 
Settlement of Action
 

The Federal Court of Australia today approved a settlement in the class action brought by Mitry Lawyers on behalf of numerous foreign exchange remittance businesses against Westpac Banking Corporation.

 

The settlement only applies to those who registered with Mitry Lawyers on or before 19 December 2014.

 

The terms of the settlement were as follows:

 

  1. Westpac undertakes that up to 4pm on 31 March 2015, subject to its compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) and the legislative instruments made under it (the Act):
     

    • in respect of registered Class Members, it will not close any of the bank accounts referred to in paragraphs (c) and (d) of the description of the members of the relevant class in the Originating Application filed 21 November 2014; and

    • it will not cease making available the foreign exchange portal (XYLO) for use by registered Class Members;

       

  2. Westpac giving immediate notice to Mitry Lawyers if it does close any bank accounts or ceases to make available XYLO to registered Class Members, in compliance with the Act, unless so doing would be contrary to the Act;
     

  3. Each registered Class Member:

    • grants permission to Westpac to disclose its identity, and remitter and beneficiary information in respect of any remittal originated by it, to a correspondent bank upon request by that bank, and each Applicant undertakes to provide that information to Westpac immediately upon request;

    • acknowledges that Westpac is not responsible for any decision by a correspondent bank not to process a funds transfer request sent to it by Westpac;

       

  4. the Applicant’s undertaking as to damages is discharged, all orders in the proceedings vacated and the proceedings otherwise dismissed.Some 

 
Documents available for download

 

Notice of Proposed Settlement - s33V Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth)

 

Further Amended Originating Application

 

Amended Statement of Claim

 

Orders made 4 December 2014

 

Registration Form and Opt Out Notice (for those who have previously registered with Mitry Lawyers)

 

Registration Form and Opt Out Notice (for those who have NOT previously registered with Mitry Lawyers)

 

 
Contacts
 

Richard Mitry | Partner | richard@mitry.com.au or +61 2 9222 2833

 

Yooree Lee | Solicitor | yooree.lee@mitry.com.au or +61 2 9222 2833

 

 
Fill in this form to discuss any further enquiries

 

 

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