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NAB to Be Sued Over U.S. Subprime Exposure, Firm Says

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Schneider in Sydney at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joe Schneider at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

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