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By Terje Solsvik
OSLO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Banking group DNB’s asset management arm did not overcharge fund investors, a court ruled on Friday, rejecting Norway’s largest ever class action lawsuit in what had been billed as a test case for the industry.
DNB Asset Management was alleged to have charged customers for actively managing the funds, while in reality simply tracking a stock market index, a claim DNB denied.
The Norwegian Consumer Council had claimed 690 million crowns ($87 million) on behalf of 180,000 DNB customers who invested in three funds between January 2010 and December 2014.
“Lawmakers have not established a minimum requirement for how active the management of a fund should be,” the Oslo District Court wrote in its ruling on Friday.
The Consumer Council had argued that the case held importance far beyond the specific claim against DNB, as it could help protect people’s savings and pensions from overcharging in the future.
DNB said the funds were actively managed, however, and in line with Norway’s Securities Funds Act, the funds’ articles of association and investor information.
“This is a sad day for those who save money in Norwegian funds,” the Norwegian Consumer Council wrote in a statement, adding it had not decided whether to appeal the verdict.
The Consumer Council was exempted from paying DNB’s legal costs however, as the case was of significant public interest, the court said in its ruling. ($1 = 7.9657 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by Camilla Knudsen and Alexander Smith)