AMP has stated it will “vigorously defend” itself against a superannuation class action filed against it relating to fees it charged to members in 2013.
Law firm Maurice Blackburn filed a class action against AMP yesterday in the Federal Court in Melbourne relating to fees charged to members dating as far back as 30 May 2013.
Maurice Blackburn’s action has claimed that AMP trustees failed to monitor, compare, negotiate or seek reductions of hefty fees being pocketed by the group’s companies, despite their duty to act in the best interests of members.
An AMP spokesperson said “the proceedings will be vigorously defended”.
“AMP and the trustees of its superannuation funds are firmly committed to acting in the best interests of their superannuation members and acting in accordance with legal and regulatory obligations. We encourage any customers who have concerns to contact AMP directly or their financial adviser,” the spokesperson said.
“In 2018, we cut fees on our flagship MySuper products, benefiting approximately 600,000 existing customers as well as new customers, improving member outcomes. In 2019, we also cut fees to MyNorth.”
Material tendered during the Hayne royal commission conveyed that AMP’s super funds were charging uncompetitive administration fees, with high costs exceeding returns and causing investment losses in some cases.
Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer Brooke Dellavedova said it is important that inquiries and regulators uncover mass wrongdoing of this nature.
However, she added that it doesn’t give people back their hard-earned superannuation funds, which they need for their retirement.
“We estimate that over 2 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.”
Litigation funder Harbour is funding the class action, which has been filed in the Federal Court in Melbourne.
“Importantly, the matter will proceed in a way that means no one has to dip into their own pockets to fund the litigation,” Ms Dellavedova said.
“AMP account holders can band together to recover compensation, in circumstances where most people would not bring a case on their own.
“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.”
Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.
You can contact him on [email protected].
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