Class action against bank

22 Feb, 2014 01:00 AM
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The class action will be facilitated by farm lobby group Rural Action Movement
We have plenty of people who are keen to pursue this
The class action will be facilitated by farm lobby group Rural Action Movement

ABOUT 15 WA farmers have expressed interest in joining a potential class action against the ANZ Bank.

The class action will be facilitated by farm lobby group Rural Action Movement (RAM).

Those farmers involved in the action have already sought legal advice and met with lawyers in Perth this week.

RAM president Greg Kenney said although the class action was initially slow to gain momentum, there had been a reasonable response by late last week.

"Certainly we have plenty of people who are keen to pursue this," Mr Kenney said.

"They are from everywhere, places where you wouldn't believe, mainly the inner sanctum of the central Wheatbelt.

"They have bought land and exposed themselves to a bit of debt, suddenly their equity has dropped and they have fallen into this sub-prime category."

Interestingly, Mr Kenney said there had only been interest from three producers from the eastern Wheatbelt region.

Despite a good 2013/14 harvest, Mr Kenney said the financial situation in rural WA was still desperate.

"There is still a lot of pain in the bush," he said.

Mr Kenney said one of RAM's core objectives was for both the Federal and State Governments to reinstate a sovereign primary industries bank to cater for the unique financial requirements of rural Australia.

"What the banks have been doing in the bush needs to be investigated and on the back of that, the aim is to ultimately establish a sovereign primary industry bank because it is really the only solution to this," he said.

"The commercial banking world has never been a good fit for agriculture. Our productivity is just too variable and it just doesn't fit in with their criteria.

"The banks might be a good fit for the housing market but not for the bush."

FarmWeekly

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