Here’s why EML (ASX:EML) shareholders are suing their own company

EML shareholders are suing their own company…

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It was a relatively good day to be a shareholder of EML Payments Ltd (ASX: EML) shares this Thursday. Despite the losses of the broader S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO), the EML share price ended up closing 1.55% higher at $3.27 a share.

That move comes despite news today that some EML shareholders have banded together to file a class action against EML. It will be heard in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Shine Lawyers allege that an Irish subsidiary of EML, PFS Card Services Ireland Limited (PFS), “made misleading representations regarding their corporate governance and regulatory compliance”. According to the law firm, “thousands of Australian investors who put money into EML Payments” have joined the class action.

EML faces class action from its own shareholders

This relates to the well-publicised issues EML had with the Central Bank of Ireland earlier this year. Back in May, it became public that the Irish Central Bank had raised concerns over EML’s PFS business. The Central Bank alleged that the company was failing to adequately comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations. As we covered at the time, this had big implications for the entirety of EML’s European business dealings.

The reaction from shareholders was brutal. Within a day, the EML share price had lost more than 46% of its value. Even today, after EML has received something of an all-clear from the Central Bank, EML shares remain down around 37% from where they were before the concerns were aired publically.

Shine Lawyers point to the fact that “the revelation caused EML Payments Limited’s share price to plunge 46 per cent in a day, yet it took the Brisbane-based company four days to request a trading halt” as the reason for the class action.

Here’s some of what Joshua Aylward of Shine Lawyers class Action Practise, had to say:

The Central Bank of Ireland raised the alarm over potential non-compliance with anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations with PFS on May 13… This suggested the company’s European operations could be in jeopardy, but EML failed to disclose this to the Australian share market in a timely manner…

It is alleged that EML’s conduct showed disregard for its regulatory obligations and to the thousands of Aussies who invested their money into its businesses.

The class action is open to any investor that purchased EML shares between 19 December 2020 and 18 May 2021.

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Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns and has recommended EML Payments. The Motley Fool Australia owns and has recommended EML Payments. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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