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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank welcomes GS court action

28 May 2010 |Media centre

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (BEN) has welcomed news that Macpherson and Kelley (M+K) lawyers have finally issued class action proceedings relating to the Great Southern managed investment schemes (MIS).

BEN group managing director Mike Hirst said after months of misleading and inaccurate claims by M+K, the bank looked forward to its day in court.

“Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has always acted within the letter and spirit of the law relating to loans it provided to investors in Great Southern managed investment schemes,” Mr Hirst said.

“We look forward to demonstrating this through the courts, and providing some clarity and confidence to our shareholders, customers and staff.”

Mr Hirst said the banks’ share price and credit rating had been negatively affected by allegations relating to its portfolio of loans to Great Southern MIS investors.

“We now look forward to demonstrating through the courts what we have always argued – specifically that these loans are legitimate and are required to be re-paid by these investors,” Mr Hirst said.

Investors in Great Southern MIS are typically high net worth individuals who have been advised by their accountant or financial planner to invest in the schemes, and have received significant tax benefits already from their investment.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank notes there are no allegations of wrongdoing by the bank in this action launched in the Victorian Supreme Court.

“The loans relating to this court action are for MIS (2005 and 2006 woodlot schemes only) that continue to operate under a new responsible entity,” Mr Hirst said.

“It would appear difficult for these investors to quantify what – if any – loss has occurred when their investment is ongoing.

“In addition these investors qualified for upfront tax rebates nearing 50-cents in the dollar due to their investment,” he said.

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