Letter to The Australian newspaper re David Tweed

22 March 2004

The following letter was forwarded to the Editor of The Australian in relation to an article that appeared on 18 March 2004 regarding action being taken against the Bank by David Tweed.

Dear Sir

I refer to an article that appeared in your edition of Thursday 18 March 2004 under the headline "Scammer standing up for principle" and would like to present the Commonwealth Bank’s position to your readers. This position was provided to the journalist.

The Commonwealth Bank is also committed to standing up for a principle and that is "to protect the interests of its shareholders". In this regard, the Bank contacted all of its shareholders in March 2003 warning them of the practice of parties obtaining copies of the share register of listed companies to buy their shares at a discounted price. The Board also advised shareholders that the current market price of shares should be checked and independent advice sought if an unsolicited offer was received. Subsequently, the Corporations Act was amended to provide greater protection to shareholders in these circumstances.

The Bank believes that it complied with the requirements of the law in the manner it provided its shareholder register to Mr Tweed and is defending proceedings brought against it in the Federal Court. Ultimately, the Court will rule on this matter.

I would appreciate this information being brought to the attention of your readers.

Yours sincerely

Bryan Fitzgerald
General Manager, Media and Community