BOQ to defend class action proceedings

Bank of Queensland (BOQ) has said it will defend itself in a class action lawsuit brought against the bank by a representative of clients who were purportedly scammed by a financial adviser.

Litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan said it filed a class action in the Federal Court of Australia last week against BOQ and Brisbane funds management firm DDH Graham for their alleged roles in the scam.

More than 350 investors lost over $60 million after supposedly being swindled by financial adviser and principal of Sherwin Financial Planners, Bradley Sherwin.

Mr Sherwin used BOQ Money Market Deposit Accounts, administered by DDH Graham, to perform a series of "round-robin transactions", the statement said.

"Niels Petersen, a retired police officer who served in the Queensland Police Force for 37 years, lost over $800,000 in savings as a result of the financial scam set up by Mr Sherwin and enabled by BOQ and DDH Graham," said Quinn Emanuel partner Damian Scattini.

"After losing their superannuation savings, Niels and his wife Joyce were forced to live in a caravan before being moved into a housing commission home.

"The Petersens, on behalf of all Sherwin victims, call upon BOQ to restore its credibility and customer confidence by making good the loss and damage its egregious breaches have caused to its customers."

In a statement to the ASX, BOQ said the bank will "defend the proceedings".

Quinn Emanuel was brought in on the case by Paul Watson of Watson Law Group in Brisbane who has been representing numerous individual victims of the scam.

ASIC is also currently investigating the role played by BOQ and DDH Graham. ifa reported in September 2015 that the regulator was urging clients who fell victim to Sherwin Financial Planners to seek compensation.

"ASIC has commenced an investigation into the operation of the Money Market Accounts held by Sherwin Group clients, which relates to whether BOQ or DDH Graham may have processed transactions when they should not have," ASIC said at the time.

"There are steps they may wish to take as soon as possible if they have suffered financial loss and may have a claim for compensation."

Mr Sherwin was charged with fraud in June 2015. A hearing on the matter is listed for 20 June 2016, according to the ASIC website.

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+1 #3 MD 2016-03-15 13:18
Quoting Walker:
How has a fraud perpetrated by an adviser got anything to do with BOQ? It would be great if IFA could elaborate on why the the litigants believe the bank is culpible...

I agree, I think its the greedy lawyers think BOQ have deep pockets, very sad for those scammed though...
+1 #2 Kris Kitto 2016-03-15 11:52
DDH Graham / BOQ Money Market accounts are used by thousands of advisers and their clients with no issues whatsoever.

Seems like the lawyers are targeting BOQ as they would have deepest pockets compared to Wickham / Sherwin.

According to the Courier Mail Sherwin has been charged with 33 counts of fraud. I also recall with Wickham that 'photoshopped' BOQ / DDH statements were provided to the auditor to cover up the theft of client monies.

Will be interesting what is found.
+1 #1 Walker 2016-03-15 10:44
How has a fraud perpetrated by an adviser got anything to do with BOQ? It would be great if IFA could elaborate on why the the litigants believe the bank is culpible...

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