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Thursday, October 21, 2021

ANZ settles legal dispute with Oswals

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PANKAJ and Radhika Oswal are “very satisfied” with a commercial settlement with the ANZ after a high profile legal dispute.

The former Perth couple had been seeking up to $2.5 billion in damages from the ANZ and receivers over the sale of their Australian fertiliser business.

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“The Oswals are very satisfied with the settlement and pleased that the matter is over,” the couple’s spokesman said on Thursday.

“They are grateful that the Australian justice system allowed them to tell the Australian public what happened at Burrup before and after the receivership.”

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The ANZ announced $145 million would be added to the 2015/16 full year results, but would not reveal how much the Oswals were paid.

“The $145 million figure the ANZ described as ‘an additional provision charge’ does not reflect the size of the settlement,” the Oswals’ spokesman said.

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“We are bound by a confidentiality agreement not to disclose the settlement terms.”

They described it as “curious” that the ANZ rejected all allegations but was prepared to pay a significant sum to stop them.

“The $100 million claim against the Oswals has also been dropped. Further, the Oswals have settled with the Taxation Office and are now free to leave Australia,” the spokesman said.

During the Victorian Supreme Court action, a senior bank official was accused of physically assaulting Mr Oswal by putting him in “an aggressive sort of headlock” when the pair was alone during an impasse in negotiations in December 2009.

The Oswals also accused the ANZ of racial bigotry.

The bank denies pressuring Mrs Oswal into signing the guarantees, a year before it appointed receivers in December 2010.

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott “completely” rejected the allegations made against the bank’s staff.

“However, we believe the settlement is the right decision for shareholders bearing in mind the residual risks in a case of this size and complexity,” Mr Elliott said in a statement.

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The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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