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Queensland tech firm EML Payments could face a class action for allegedly failing to disclose a money-laundering probe into its Irish subsidiary to shareholders.
Maurice Blackburn lawyers say EML's shares plummeted 45 per cent on the Australian Stock Exchange on May 19 when it announced that the Central Bank of Ireland had "significant regulatory concerns" about its subsidiary PFS Card Services (Ireland) Ltd.
The central bank said it was concerned about the EML unit's compliance with Irish anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing rules.
Maurice Blackburn said the Queensland firm announced days later that it had actually had "increased interaction" with the Irish central bank since mid-December.
Maurice Blackburn senior associate Michael Donelly says EML should have disclosed that information to the market and shareholders immediately, rather than waiting until after the Central Bank of Ireland's announcement in May.
"Under Australian law, companies are required to inform the market of all relevant developments to ensure transparency," Mr Donelly said in a statement on Friday.
"On any reasonable interpretation, it appears the company should have disclosed its interaction with the Central Bank of Ireland at the first available opportunity."
He said EML may have breached continuous disclosure laws or engaged in "misleading or deceptive conduct".
Mr Donelly said the Irish central bank's investigation was of "grave concern" for EML shareholders.
"An object of the anti-money laundering laws is to promote public confidence by the disruption of money laundering," he added.
"Shareholders are entitled to expect that a company involved in international finance would have best practice governance and risk control frameworks and not run foul of regulators."
Maurice Blackburn has called anyone who held shares in EML between November 11, 2019 and May 18 this year to register for the class action.