Westpac Banking Corporation Class Action Lawsuit
- Company Name
- Westpac Banking Corporation
- Stock Symbol
- Class Period
- November 11, 2015 to November 19, 2019
- District of Oregon
On January 30, 2020, the Westpac Banking Corporation securities class action lawsuit was filed charging Westpac and certain of its officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Westpac securities class action lawsuit was commenced in the District of Oregon on behalf of purchasers of Westpac securities between November 11, 2015 and November 19, 2019 (the “Class Period”) and is captioned Byrne v. Westpac Banking Corp., No. 20-cv-00171.
The Westpac securities class action lawsuit alleges that: (1) contrary to Australian law, Westpac failed to report over 19.5 million International Funds Transfer Instructions (“IFTIs”) to Australia’s financial crimes regulator, AUSTRAC; (2) Westpac failed to appropriately monitor and assess the money laundering and terrorism financing risks associated with movement of money into and out of Australia; (3) Westpac failed to conduct appropriate due diligence on transactions in South East Asia and the Philippines that had known financial indicators relating to child exploitation risks; and (4) Westpac’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing policy was inadequate to identify, mitigate, and manage money laundering and terrorism financing risks.
On November 19, 2019, AUSTRAC filed a civil action against Westpac alleging over 23 million breaches of Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act of 2006, including failing to report over 19.5 million IFTIs, failing to perform enhanced due diligence on correspondent banks in high-risk jurisdictions, and potentially providing services used in the exploitation of children in South East Asia and the Philippines. AUSTRAC also alleged that Westpac had been aware of the heightened child exploitation risks since at least 2013. On this news, the price of Westpac American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) declined more than 7% over the next three trading days to close at $16.67 per ADR on November 22, 2019. Thereafter, on November 25, 2019, Westpac’s CEO, defendant Brian Charles Hartzer, resigned as a result of the scandal.
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