One of Australia's biggest banks reached a settlement with an Indian couple who sued the company for $1.9 billion. A high-profile Indian-origin couple, Pankaj and his wife Radhika Oswal have reached a defrayal agreement with the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), alleging that the banking group had short-changed them over $580 million when selling their stake in Burrup Fertilisers after the company went into receivership.
Importantly, the NRI couple, Pankaj and his wife Radhika Oswal has launched a huge lawsuit against ANZ bank, which is one of the biggest in Australia's legal history, for allegedly undervaluing shares of their fertiliser company to recoup millions in debts. The lawsuit was one of the biggest in Australia's legal history. The lawsuit was one of the biggest in Australia's legal history.
ANZ said the terms of the settlement were confidential but the deal with the Oswals meant the bank would take a $110 million hit to its bottom line this year. Shayne Elliott, CEO of ANZ, said that the settlement does not mean the bank has accepted guilt.
"ANZ does not accept many of the claims made in court and we completely reject the allegations made against our staff", Elliott said in a statement to shareholders.
The Oswals' spokesman said it was "curious" that the bank would be willing to pay a significant amount of money to stop allegations that it claimed were untrue.
The couple is very satisfied with the settlement and was pleased to be able to put the facts before the court, and they are pleased it’s all over’. A spokesperson for the Oswals said the couple, who also settled a tax bill with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) worth an estimated $76.4 million, would be leaving Australia.
A local council announced in September that the 6,600 sq.mt house, which the couple planned to spend $53 million to build, would be demolished and turned into road-building material. The million dollar house dubbed the ‘Taj Mahal on the Swan River’ was left half-completed by the couple when they were forced to sell their share in Burrup as well as a luxury jet worth tens of millions of dollars and a fleet of luxury cars.