Slater and Gordon has commenced legal proceedings against Westpac for the sale of consumer credit insurance (CCI) policies. Slater and Gordon previously settled a similar case against NAB for $49.5 million, providing compensation to NAB customers who purchased worthless CCI. The Westpac CCI Class Action is being run on a no win, no fee basis and without a litigation funder.
The Westpac CCI Class Action is part of a series of cases following the Banking Royal Commission, which heard that banks were using unfair tactics to sell unnecessary CCI products to customers who were ineligible to claim under the policies.
We allege that Westpac and insurers engaged in unconscionable and misleading and deceptive conduct by selling worthless insurance products to their customers.
What is the Westpac CCI Class Action about?
On 28 February 2020, Slater and Gordon filed a class action against Westpac, Westpac Life and Westpac General (together, the Respondents) in the Federal Court of Australia on behalf of persons who held CCI for their Westpac credit card, flexi loan or personal loan, namely:
- Westpac Credit Card Repayment Protection;
- Westpac Flexi Loan Repayment Protection; and
- Westpac Personal Loan Protection.
The class action is based upon allegations that the Respondents:
- engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct (for example, by failing to inform some customers that the policies were optional);
- caused customers to make payments as a result of the mistaken beliefs of some customers that the policies were not optional or provided value;
- engaged in unconscionable conduct by, among other things, using 'unfair tactics' in arranging the issue of the policies and not giving customers an adequate opportunity to consider whether the policies were suitable for them; and
- unlawfully provided personal advice to some customers who purchased the policies in a bank branch or over the telephone after 28 February 2014.
For more information on class actions, read our class actions 101 guide.
Am I eligible to participate?
You may be a class member in the Westpac CCI Class Action if, at any time since 1 January 2010, you:
- were issued with a Westpac Credit Card Repayment Protection policy, Flexi Loan Repayment Protection policy or Personal Loan Protection policy; and
- have paid a premium for that policy (or policies).
Group members who wish to participate in the proceeding
If you received an Opt Out and Commencement Notice, you may be a member of the class action and do not need to take any steps to remain a class member at this time.
However, if you wish to receive updates on the progress of the class action and be directly notified of any major developments in the claim, you can register your interest in the Westpac CCI class action by completing the registration form here. If you register, you will receive updates from Slater and Gordon using the contact details you provide.
If you do not wish to receive updates about the Westpac CCI class action, you do not have to register and can choose to do nothing.
As a group member, whether you actively register or simply remain a class member by taking no further steps to remove yourself from the claim at this time, your individual claim will be resolved through the class action. You will be bound by the outcome in the class action. This means that you will not be able to bring your own separate claim against Westpac and its insurers.
Will I have to pay legal fees if I participate?
No. This class action is being run on a “No Win, No Fee” basis, which means that class members who participate in the class action will not be required to make any contribution towards the legal costs unless the class action is successful.
If the class action is unsuccessful, Slater and Gordon will not charge legal fees and no class member will be liable for any legal costs. If the class action is successful, the Court may be asked to approve reasonable legal costs to be deducted from any settlement or judgement obtained on a pro-rata basis. This means that if you participate in the class action and remain a class member, you will never be out-of-pocket for legal costs.
If you would like to register your interest in the class action, please click below:
Frequently Asked Questions
A class action is a type of legal proceeding in which one person, the Applicant, brings a claim on behalf of a wider group of people who have been affected by the same or similar conduct. By grouping claims together and pursuing them collectively, the overall value of the claim makes it economically worthwhile to do so, even in circumstances where the value of individual claims are modest.
If you wish to register your interest in the class action, you may do so via the ‘Registration’ button above. If you have registered your interest in the class action, you will receive group member updates from Slater and Gordon when there are major developments in the class action. Additionally, all potential group members will continue to receive Court ordered notices, such as the recently received Opt Out Notice, when required by the Federal Court of Australia.
Class actions in Australia are typically commenced on an ‘opt out’ basis, which means that the Court assumes that you wish to be part of the class action unless you take active steps to remove yourself from the proceeding, by completing an ‘opt out’ notice telling the Court that you do not wish to participate.
The Federal Court of Australia made orders on 25 September 2020 requiring class members to take steps to remove themselves from the proceeding (known as “opting out”). The deadline for opt out was 4.00pm AEDT on 11 January 2021 (Opt Out Deadline), which has now passed.
If you chose to opt out of the proceeding, you are no longer a class member or part of the class action. This means that you will not be entitled to any benefit or compensation that may be obtained in the class action. However, you still have the right to bring your own claim against Westpac and its insurers if you wish to do so.
At this stage, you can register your interest using the ‘Registration’ button above or you can do nothing. By registering, you have not joined the class action, you have only registered your interest. We will get in contact with you if we need additional information from you.
Generally, most class actions tend to take between one and three years to resolve, although each class action is different, and the time required for a claim depends on a variety of factors, such as the complexity of the issues involved, the amount of evidence to be considered, and the tactics adopted by the respondents in defending the claim.
For more information regarding the Westpac CCI Class Action, please refer to the following documents:
Please note that the applicant intends to seek leave to file an amended statement of claim and originating application in light of the decision in Reilly v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (No 2)  FCA 1502, a representative proceeding against ANZ, which relates to analogous CCI products. Amongst other things, the proposed amendment would have the effect that claims made of unconscionable conduct and misleading or deceptive conduct in respect of Personal Loan Protection will be limited to the period from 28 February 2014.