National Australia Bank Ltd. will be sued by shareholders who lost money because of the bank’s exposure to U.S. subprime debt, Maurice Blackburn, an Australian class-action law firm, said in an e-mailed statement.
Maurice Blackburn, with 20 offices along the east coast of Australia, will file the lawsuit tomorrow, the firm said. Amanda Tattam, a Maurice Blackburn spokeswoman, confirmed the statement.
The firm has scheduled a news conference at its Sydney office tomorrow.
National Australia Bank’s profit for the six months ended September 2008 fell 24 percent from a year earlier as it increased provisions for potential securities losses. Bad debts climbed to A$2.5 billion ($2.4 billion) in fiscal 2008, from A$800 million a year earlier, as the company set aside A$1 billion for U.S. subprime-related collateralized debt obligations.
Bank officials didn’t immediately respond today to requests for comment.