January 21, 2020 / 8:51 PM / a month ago

Australian law firm sues two NAB units for breaching pension laws

FILE PHOTO: The logo of National Australia Bank is displayed outside the firm's headquarters in central Sydney, Australia, Aug.4, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

(Reuters) - Australian law firm Maurice Blackburn said on Wednesday it has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of more than 330,000 account holders against two entities of National Australia Bank (NAB.AX) for alleged breaches in pension laws.

Maurice Blackburn alleged that the two entities, MLC Nominees Pty Ltd and NULIS Nominees (Australia) Ltd, kept account holders in products with higher fees and commissions.

NAB did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours.

The lawsuit was filed in the Victorian Supreme Court. “This is another regrettable case of mismanagement in the superannuation sector,” said Andrew Watson, national head of class actions at the law firm.

He said the lawsuit would center on “NAB’s failure” to transition more than A$6.3 billion ($4.31 billion) of default member balances to a lower cost product in a timely manner.

Last month, Australia’s securities regulator took the country’s third largest lender to court, accusing it of inappropriately taking fees from financial planning customers.

Australia’s “Big Four” banks are bracing for another year of pain after a string of scandals and damaging revelations from a government-backed inquiry into financial sector misconduct.

(The story corrects number in paragraph one to 330,000, from 333,000)

Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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