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Former Cairns developer and bank battler backs ombudsman review

Former Cairns developer and bank battler backs ombudsman review
A STAUNCH Cairns campaigner against the big banks has backed a decision by the city’s federal MP to not support a royal commission into the financial industry.

Former developer Roy Lavis gave evidence to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services over the role he says the Commonwealth Bank played in the collapse of CEC Group in 2011.

The fall of the Cairns-based company resulted in the loss of 600 local jobs.

Mr Lavis said he was also set to give evidence to a review into small business lending practices by Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell later this month.

He described the review as a “far better” option than a royal commission, which had been championed by Labor and previously by Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch.

Mr Entsch came under fire from Labor Senator Murray Watt this week for voting against a royal commission when Labor raised it in Parliament.

But Mr Lavis (above) firmly believed it was the right move.

“This way we will be heard,” he said.

Mr Lavis said it had been almost nine years since disputes with his bank.

“... this is the first time that I’ve been in a situation where I will genuinely be heard and something will be done about it.

“I’m very excited.”

Mr Lavis said when he was seeking help about his battle with the bank he approached police, Legal Aid, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

“It seems to me the banks are a law unto themselves,” he said. “But what the ombudsman will do is hear our submission and will be able to adjudicate on that submission and from there it will be taken to a tribunal, if necessary.

“All a royal commission would do is put a report up.”

Member for Kennedy Bob Katter seconded the Opposition’s motion in Parliament for the immediate establishment of a royal commission into banking, but it was ultimately unsuccessful.

In the House, Mr Katter spoke about the high number of agricultural foreclosures in rural Queensland.

“You can’t begin to imagine the pain and misery coming out of our little towns because of the banks,” the MP said.

“People have been meeting their interest and repayments and they are still sold up by the banks even if their contracts say they can’t.

“The banks’ performance has been appalling.”

Author: Jim Campbell
Source: This stroy was first published in the www.thecairnspost.com.au
Last modified onThursday, 08 September 2016 01:52

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