Bendigo finalises Great Southern settlement


By Julie May

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (BAB) has welcomed today’s decision of the Supreme Court of Victoria to approve the settlement reached with borrowers who invested in certain agricultural managed investment schemes run by Great Southern.

BAB managing director Mike Hirst said Justice Croft’s approval of the deed of settlement brought the class actions involving the bank to a close.

Further, the bank would write to borrowers and advise them of the outcome of the class action.

“The deed of settlement, which applies to approximately 2000 of the bank's borrowers, provides for a payment of $23.55 million (which is not funded by the bank) to be made, upon a scheme of arrangement coming into effect, most of which is to reimburse those investors who contributed to Macpherson & Kelley’s legal fees,” BAB said in a statement.

The deed confirmed loans with BAB were valid and enforceable, that accrued standard interest on loans was payable, and overdue interest that had been accrued and unpaid as at today’s date had been waived.

“The bank’s agreement to waive overdue interest acknowledges the protracted nature of the court proceedings and the goodwill of the bank in seeking to work with borrowers to finalise this matter,” Hirst said.

Further, he said the bank was committed to helping all borrowers to meet their obligations to repay their loans and the bank would not commence recovery proceedings for at least 30 days from today.

“While we’d prefer prompt payment of the debt, we understand some borrowers might not be in a position to pay the full amount in that timeframe,” Hirst said.

“We’re happy to work with people – and even refinance loans where that makes sense – to ensure they can meet their obligations without hardship.”

“We understand this has been a difficult process for all parties concerned, but we remain committed to providing a high standard of service and working with people to ensure the loans are repaid in full over time.”

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