Investors consider CBA compensation over Storm

Thousands of investors in failed company Storm Financial are deciding whether to accept a new offer from the Commonwealth Bank or continue to fight in court.

The Townsville-based company folded in 2008, with investors losing up to $800 million.

Nearly 5,000 people, many of them elderly, had invested with Storm, many borrowing against their homes to invest in shares and other assets.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) says an extra $136 million would be made available to customers who borrowed from the Commonwealth Bank to invest through Storm.

The compensation is in addition to $132 million already provided to investors though CBA's resolution scheme.

For customers who still owe money to the bank under their margin loan after the compensation payments, the bank has agreed to write-off the balance of those loans.

CBA will also write off any interest charged during repayment moratorium periods that were granted to some customers.

But investor spokesman Mark Weir says victims are still deciding whether it is worth taking the money or fighting it out in court.

"We'll have to analyse what it means to people and determine whether or not it's adequate for them to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and carry on with dignity," he said.

Mr Weir says for many victims of the collapse, it may not deliver justice.

"Their initial investment with Storm Financial was aimed at securing a retirement outside of the social welfare system, if it enables them to do that it will be well and good," he said.

"But it's early days to determine whether it's a sell-out or whether it will deliver justice to those investors." ASIC had accused CBA of acting unconscionably by selling an unregistered management investment scheme to Storm customers prior to its collapse.

The deal means ASIC will drop its case against the Commonwealth in the Federal Court.

The regulator, however, is still taking court action against Storm, the Bank of Queensland and Macquarie over their parts in the collapsed investment scheme.

That case will go ahead on Monday.

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