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National Australia Bank faces lawsuit for allegedly violating trustee duties

National Australia Bank Ltd. is facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly violating super trustee duties and causing substantial losses to thousands of customers.

The class action was filed Jan. 22 by law firm Maurice Blackburn in the Victorian Supreme Court against National Australia Bank units MLC Nominees Pty. Ltd. and NULIS Nominees (Australia) Ltd. It was filed on behalf of over 330,000 MasterKey Business Super and Personal Super account holders with the bank. MLC Nominees was the trustee of the Universal Super Scheme, which in July 2016 merged with others to become the MLC Super Fund, of which NULIS was trustee.

The lawsuit alleges that the bank and its subsidiaries violated their duties as superannuation trustees by failing to transition more than A$6.3 billion of member funds to lower cost MySuper products, said Andrew Watson, the national head of class actions at Maurice Blackburn.

The customers were instead kept in expensive and poor-performing products. The bank is also accused of paying commissions to financial advisers who were banned in MySuper, according to a statement from the law firm.

The lawsuit comes a little over a month after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission commenced legal action against the bank for charging fees for no service from December 2013 to February 2019.

In July 2019, The Australian Financial Services reported that William Roberts Lawyers and litigation funding company IMF Bentham were looking to file lawsuits against National Australia Bank for allegedly failing to transfer a total of A$100 million of superannuation funds to MySuper products.