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Triple class action threat for AMP

 

Wealth management giant AMP could face three shareholder class actions after it admitted to cheating customers and lying to the corporate regulator.

Law firms Shine Lawyers, Slater and Gordon and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan are investigating class actions against AMP on behalf of shareholders, following the scandals revealed at the financial services royal commission.

Slater and Gordon and Shine on Tuesday said AMP may have breached continuous disclosure obligations by failing to inform the market of the company's dealings with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Slater and Gordon head of class actions Ben Hardwick said the AMP claim had the potential to be one of Australia's biggest investor class actions.

"More than a billion dollars has been wiped from AMP's market cap since these revelations were made public during the royal commission hearings and it has left thousands of investors reeling," Mr Hardwick said.

"We allege that this conduct was both unlawful and unethical and reflected serious compliance problems within AMP, and the market had a right to be informed about what they were buying into."

Quinn Emanuel on Monday said it will file a class action against AMP within two weeks, as it had started investigating an action after the wealth manager's share price began falling in March.

AMP's market value has fallen by more than $2 billion since its executives began giving testimony to the royal commission last week, with its shares down for a seventh consecutive trading session on Tuesday, down 2.4 per cent at $4.07 at 1445 AEST.

The 169-year-old company has admitted it charged customers fees for financial advice that was never delivered, and repeatedly lied to ASIC about its behaviour.

Chief executive Craig Meller resigned on Friday, and said he was "personally devastated" after learning of behaviour that may yet result in criminal charges.

AMP and the nation's big four banks have already paid almost $219 million in compensation to more than 310,000 financial advice customers charged fees for no service.