Australia's largest class action law firm, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, has today filed the first class action seeking compensation for AMP superannuation fund members allegedly stung by unreasonable fees. The case has been filed in the Federal Court (Melbourne registry).
AMP superannuation members can now sign-up to claim back fees dating back to 30 May 2013 at www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/AMPSuperfees .
Material tendered during the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry revealed that AMP's superannuation funds were charging uncompetitive administration fees, with high costs exceeding returns and causing investment losses in some instances.
Building on the findings of the Royal Commission, the action filed today by Maurice Blackburn claims that the AMP trustees, whose duty was to act in the best interests of members, failed to monitor, compare, negotiate or seek reductions of hefty fees being pocketed by related AMP Group companies.
Principal Lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, Brooke Dellavedova, said that the class action provided an important vehicle for private enforcement by members who wanted to take action in response to the misconduct uncovered by the Royal Commission.
"It's important that inquiries and regulators uncover mass wrongdoing of this nature, but that doesn't give people back their hard-earned superannuation funds, which they need for their retirement. We estimate that over two-million accounts have been impacted by AMP's alleged misconduct," Ms Dellavedova said.
"This class action asserts that AMP trustees breached statutory and general law obligations, essentially paying itself handsome fees from members' funds. The case we are running will hold AMP to account for that.
"Importantly, the matter will proceed in a way that means no one has to dip into their own pockets to fund the litigation. AMP account holders can band together to recover compensation, in circumstances where most people would not bring a case on their own."
The class action is being supported by litigation funder Harbour.
Members who held one or more superannuation account(s) with AMP at any time from 30 May 2013 can join online at www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/AMPSuperfees .
"If you have had a superannuation account with AMP at any time since 30 May 2013, then you can sign up for this action to recover some of your lost funds, including compound growth amounts you missed out on," Ms Dellavedova said.