Commonwealth Bank is facing a class action over alleged super breaches. Picture: AAP
Commonwealth Bank is facing a class action over alleged super breaches. Picture: AAP

CommBank’s day from hell amid outage chaos

The Commonwealth Bank was in crisis mode after a major outage that left customers unable to pay for items in stores, halted cardless cash withdrawals and impacted direct debit payments.

As of 1am AEST, the Commonwealth Bank released a statement, saying that "services are starting to recover" but there could be "a delay in payments appearing in accounts".

Earlier, some branches were closed amid the debacle, with some of the bank's call centre services also affected.

It comes as the financial giant faces a class action on behalf of thousands of MySuper account holders with Colonial First State, amid the fallout of the Hayne banking royal commission.

Commonwealth Bank is facing a class action over alleged super breaches. Picture: AAP
Commonwealth Bank is facing a class action over alleged super breaches. Picture: AAP

"Due to this incident some of our branches have temporarily closed," the bank said in a statement.

"We are urgently working to resolve this issue and we're very sorry for the inconvenience.

"Some of our call centre services are also impacted meaning we are unfortunately limited in what we can provide."

It said its ATM and EFTPOS merchant services were currently online, but CommBank app, NetBank payments and BPAY services including PAY-ID payments were currently unavailable.

"We are urgently working to resolve an issue affecting some of our services," it said."

Earlier, Maurice Blackburn revealed it had filed a class action in relation of in relation to alleged breaches of super trustee duties.

The class action against the big four bank alleges that the breaches by Colonial First State - which is owned by CBA - have caused substantial losses to over 100,000 members stretching back several years.

Miranda Nagy, principal lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, said the case will focus on Colonial's failure to transition $3.2 billion of accrued default amounts (ADAs) over to the lower-cost, higher-performing MySuper product in a timely way and in the best interests of superannuation fund members.

"The contraventions at the heart of this case resulted in members in FirstChoice Employer Super paying higher fees and receiving a lower investment return for an extended period of time, when they could have been in Colonial's cheaper, better-performing MySuper product earlier," Ms Nagy said.

It’s been a month of drama for the Commonwealth Bank. Picture: AAP
It’s been a month of drama for the Commonwealth Bank. Picture: AAP

Ms Nagy said the alleged breaches had left retirees out of pocket over unnecessary fees and products.

"The whole point of the MySuper reforms was to make sure that millions of everyday Australians who hadn't made an active decision about their super, were not 'getting charged for valet parking when they were taking the train', as Minister Shorten said at the time.

"MySuper was introduced to protect the retirement outcomes of Australians by ensuring that consumers weren't losing money on unnecessary fees and products, and Colonial had a legal obligation over and above a basic moral obligation to move default member balances into MySuper at the time that best met their members' needs, not their own," Ms Nagy said.

The class action alleges that colonial failed to exercise the degree of care, skill and diligence required of a prudent superannuation trustee.

It also alleges Colonial did not perform its duties and exercise its power in the best interest of beneficiaries and give priority to the interests of beneficiaries where a conflict of interest arose.

The latest development comes after Commonwealth Bank's CommInsure life insurance unit was charged with 87 counts of unlawfully selling life insurance policies over the phone.

The maximum penalty for each of the charges is $21,250, or $1.8 million in total.

The charges were announced by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission October 4.

ASIC alleges that CommInsure, through its agent, telemarketing firm Aegon Insights Australia, unlawfully sold the life insurance policies known as SimpleLife over the phone between October and December 2014.