Westpac has been hit with another shareholder class action as the fallout continues from its money laundering and child exploitation scandal.
The nation’s second largest lender on Friday said it would defend the claim launched by Johnson Winter and Slattery on behalf of investors who acquired an interest in Westpac securities or equity swap confirmations between December 16, 2013, and November 19 last year.
The claim relates to market disclosure issues connected to Westpac’s monitoring of financial crime, and mirrors a similar lawsuit filed by Phi Finney McDonald in December.
The bank already faces potentially billions in fines over allegations it breached money laundering laws 23 million times and failed to properly monitor payments potentially linked to child sex offences in Southeast Asia.
The scandal claimed the scalp of chief executive Brian Hartzer and chairman Lindsay Maxsted, and shareholders handed the bank a historic second strike on executive pay at its annual general meeting in December.
The bank was also forced to set aside an extra $500 million in capital as prudential regulator APRA and corporate watchdog ASIC investigate the actions of the bank’s top brass.