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News >> Consumer Protection

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports that Cash Converters International Ltd (Cash Converters) has agreed to settle two class actions brought against the company by 37,500 customers, for A$23 million.

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The United States (US) Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that board game funding project creator Erik Chevalier, also doing business as The Forking Path Co, has agreed to settle charges that he engaged in a deceptive crowd funding scheme.

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The United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that it has fined Lloyds Bank Plc, Bank of Scotland Plc and Black Horse Ltd (together, Lloyds) £117 million for "failing to treat their customers fairly when handling [p]ayment [p]rotection [i]nsurance (PPI) complaints between March 2012 and May 2013".

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The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that Millard Refrigerated Services (Millard) has agreed to pay US$3 million to settle allegations brought by the DoJ and the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) in relation to an "airborne release of ammonia from Millard's Theodore, Alabama, facility in 2010" which allegedly caused adverse health effects for 152 people.

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The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that ConAgra Foods Inc subsidiary ConAgra Grocery Products LLC (ConAgra) has entered into a plea agreement to "plead guilty and pay [US$11.2 million] in connection with the shipment of contaminated peanut butter linked to a 2006 through 2007 nationwide outbreak of salmonellosis, or salmonella poisoning".

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The United States District Court has made available the opinion and order (11 May 2015) of Judge Denise Cote, in which she found Nomura Holdings Inc (Nomura) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) liable for selling Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and Federal Home Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), mortgage bonds that contained misleading statements and errors in the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

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The Supreme Court of Victoria (VSC) has announced that it has approved an AU$25 million settlement of the class action brought against the manufacturer, exporter and distributor of Bonsoy soy milk products in a judgment delivered on 7 May 2015. According to the VSC, Bonsoy was reformulated in 2003 "to include a product known as kombu extract instead of kombu powder", which likely increased the iodine content of the soy milk, and allegedly lead to 496 people suffering illness including thyroid problems.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that the Federal Court of Australia has ordered energy company AGL South Australia Pty Ltd (AGL) to pay penalties of A$700,000 and to provide refunds to 23,000 consumers totalling approximately A$780,000 after AGL made false or misleading representations in relation to discounts that certain residential consumers would receive.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that online group buying website operator Spreets Pty Ltd (Spreets) has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay AU$600,000 in penalties for making false or misleading representations to consumers about deals offered on its website.

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AirAsia X Berhad (AirAsia X), an affiliate carrier of airline business the AirAsia Group (AirAsia) has apologised for the cancellation of certain Adelaide–Kuala Lumpur flights in January 2015 and the re-routing of certain Melbourne–Denpasar flights in December 2014. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), some consumers "incurred additional out-of-pocket expenses" as a result of the cancellations, while the re-routings were necessitated by AirAsia X's "[failure to] obtain regulatory approval from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority in time to commence [direct] flights between Melbourne and Denpasar from [26] December 2014 as advertised". The ACCC advises that it has obtained a commitment from AirAsia X to address affected consumers' complaints.

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