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Fees class action funder faces $9.5m hit

AAP logoAAP 27/07/2016

The High Court's dismissal of a customer class action against ANZ over credit card fees may cost the company that funded the case as much as $9.5 million.

Litigation funder IMF Bentham said it had already written off its intangible assets related to the ANZ case when the Federal Court ruled in favour of the bank in 2014.

The High Court's dismissal of an appeal by customers may have consequences for similar legal actions against other banks, and IMF Bentham said it will recognise other impairments and higher costs if its related bank fees cases are discontinued.

That could reduce its net profit for the 2015/16 financial year by no more than $9.5 million, it said.

IMF Bentham made a net profit of $6.3 million in the 2014/15 year, and posted a $944,000 loss in the six months to December 2015.

Its shares dropped as much as eight per cent on the High Court's decision on Wednesday, and at the close of trade were down nine cents, or 5.6 per cent, at $1.53.

The judgement handed down in Brisbane followed a six-year legal battle, which initially went the way of customers in a February 2014 ruling before the Federal Court overturned the decision last year.

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