(Reuters) - Australia’s corporate watchdog said on Wednesday it would not appeal the Federal Court’s dismissal of its lawsuit accusing Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) of failing to meet responsible lending obligations in approving mortgages.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said in a statement it “is mindful of the impact of the additional time required to resolve this matter in the current challenging economic circumstances.”
The Federal Court in June sided with a lower court, finding that Westpac had done nothing wrong by using an automated system rather than manually checking each applicant’s living expenses.
It was one of numerous lawsuits by Australian regulators after a Royal Commission inquiry found evidence of widespread misconduct in the financial sector in 2018 and 2019.
Australian consumer rights groups, including the Financial Rights Legal Centre and CHOICE, said in a joint statement they were “extremely disappointed” by the decision not to appeal.
Shares of Westpac closed down 0.6%, outperforming a 1.3% drop for the broader market .
Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Edwina Gibbs