Federal Court says ACCC case against Bank fails

19 December 2003

The Federal Court of Australia, in Brisbane, has ruled that action commenced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against the Commonwealth Bank has failed.

The action, which alleged that the Bank had acted in an unconscionable manner in a case relating to the provision of finance to its customers Mr and Mrs Gleeson for the purchase of an investment property was rejected by Justice Susan Kiefel.

The Commonwealth Bank today said it was pleased that the Court had found that the ACCC action had failed.

The Commission’s case was based on a claim that the Gleesons were under a special disadvantage so as to not be able to judge or protect their financial interests.

In the findings, Her Honour said that the Bank’s terms and conditions "clearly advised the Gleesons that the Bank would not be disclosing its valuation" and that "if they had any doubt about any matter they were advised to seek the services of a financial counsellor or legal adviser".

Her Honour also said "that the Gleesons had been alerted to the prospect that it was not a good investment" and pointed out that Mr Gleeson had spoken to real estate agents about the property and to his accountant in that period.

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