UPDATE: Early in 2015 we published this article, outlining the corruption in the banking sector and how the banks have been able to get away with the taking of peoples businesses, lively hoods, properties and homes.
We have seen what the banks have done with our Farmers in their ruthless attempts to generate more spoils for themselves. The banks could have carried this out in a much easier way for the Victim, but that doesn’t give the bank the money they can achieve by selling up the farmers and going through the corrupt process.
We now know how they have been able to do it and this has been exposed in previous writings.
Past attempts to expose these corrupt actions have been drawn out in to many words.
By you reading the next three pages which is a letter sent to Ms T Matulick, Secretary, Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services on the 19 March 2016, you will understand clearly how the banks have been able to get away with this. Now with the hard work carried out by many dedicated researchers we can expose this STING in a clearer way.
The information in this letter now condensed, shows exactly how the banks have been able to get away with this deceit.
The new entity to fight corruption is up and running known as Counter Corruption Analysts (CCA) will bring results.
As I have stated in a previous story Politicians are called to enforce the law on Banks and Bankers.
Please have a careful read of the following letter.
UPDATE: Following our Letter to all Politicians in Australia. Correspondence from the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and it's inconsistencies 16th June 2015.
MP Michelle Rowland (Federal Member for Greenway ALP) and Senator Fiona Nash (The Nationals) sent letters to The Treasure Mr. Joe Hockey and Josh Frydenberg the Assistant Treasurer, requesting a response to the matters raised in our correspondence to be investigated. Letter MP Michelle Rowland and Letter Senator Fiona Nash
Bank Victims would like to thank Michelle and Fiona for following up on our requests.
Both requests have been answered by the Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (response letter from Josh Frydenberg) (being almost identical letters)
The inconsistencies in Josh Frydenberg letter are set out in Bank Victims letter to MP Fiona Nash.
Bank Victims Submission to Parliamentary Joint Committee "The Impairment of Customer Loans" NOTE: The Parliamentary Committee have only published the first page of our Submission as references were made to Fiona Nash, Michelle Rowland and Josh Frydenberg. We have included our full submission here.
UPDATE: Letter received from MP Mr. Bernie Ripoll Australian Labour Party 25th March 2015
In the following letter Mr Ripoll's Policy and Media Adviser, states
"ASIC have advised that it does not believe that the matters raised to date evidence a breach of Australia Consumer Law. ASIC also advises that to date there is insufficient evidence to suggest a failure with the Code that would warrant a regulatory response from ASIC."
Bank Victims is currently seeking a copy of the letter Mr. Bernie Ripoll received from ASIC.
Dear Mr Cousins,
Thank you for your email, which I understand you have also sent to other members of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party.
Your email raises concerns about the Code of Banking Practice(the Code) and the compliance of Australian banks with Australian Consumer Law.
Upon receipt of your email I requested a briefing from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission(ASIC) on the issues you have raised.
ASIC have advised that it does not believe that the matters raised to date evidence a breach of Australia Consumer Law. ASIC also advises that to date there is insufficient evidence to suggest a failure with the Code that would warrant a regulatory response from ASIC.
Your email also raises concerns about the operations of ASIC and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in investigating allegations of illegal or inappropriate behaviour by banks.
ASIC is a statutory body that operates independently of Government.
However, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services has as part of its responsibilities the oversight of ASIC.
You may wish to raise your concerns reacting to ASIC and the FOS with the Committee Secretariat, however the activities of the committee are a matter for the members of the committee.
Policy and Media Adviser
Today “ALL BANK VICTIMS” ask the Politicians of all Parties to look closely at the proof now at hand and to change and make legislation to stop this now and prosecute the offenders.
The banks have caused criminal damage to Farmers and Small Business since 2004 and have blatantly used their position to steal from the people of Australia.
We today have the proof that the 16 Banks have operated outside the law and have with the assistance of FOS and ASIC been able to operate their elaborate operations of corrupt banking practices.
Only now through the dedication of investigators can we connect all the dots to the banks unconscionable actions.
Today we ask the Government at all levels, State and Federal to investigate these allegations of corrupt banking practices and prosecute relevant banks and bankers.
The Government should appreciate that all farmers operate as individuals and small business and therefore should have been protected by the 2004 “Code of Banking Practices”
Through recent research carried out into The Australian Banking Code, Petra White, Secretary JMA Parties and Boyd Skinner–Family, introduced a profound example to Professor Ian Harper, Chairman of Competition Policy Review. This document provides problems with the Facility Offer and Banking Contracts issued to customers of Australian major banks between 2004 and up until today.
In 2012 having reviewed documents that were published by the Senate Economic Committee Andrew Wilkie and other non-aligned Federal members introduced legislation in relation to “Codes of Banking Practices” that parliament should mandate. With the change of leadership, the bill was removed from the floor.
Members of Parliament representing Farmers and the public must introduce legislation to enforce honest banking and prosecute these offenders.
The Tasmanian Small Business Council (TSBC) has called upon the members of the Competition Policy Review to recommend that the appropriate Government agencies , undertake a comprehensive review of banking lending practices. The request named "The Great Australian Bank Scam" How major banks have colluded to deny borrowers natural justices was written by the Chairman Geoff Fader on 17th November 2014.
We applaud the Tasmanian Small Business Council and its paper “The Great Australian Bank Scam” as it states clearly the actions of the 16 major banks along with the non-actions of the Regulators.
It is now clear that the Regulators have known of the banks criminal actions and have not carried out their duties to stop and shut down these unconscionable bank contracts provided to Small Business and Farmers.
We have made mention of the non performance by the Regulators many times over recent years but all attempts to expose their non actions have fallen on deaf ears.
The ASIC requires that banks be members of an external dispute resolution service (EDR). For banks the nominated EDR is the FOS. The public is not generally aware that all banks, financial service provider and insurance companies are the members, stakeholders and financial funders of the FOS.
The FOS does not disclose to consumers that some of the directors of the Financial Ombudsman Service Ltd may also be currently serving officers of major banks or insurance companies. Neither does it readily disclose to any consumer, either before or during the course of determining a consumer complaint, that during the process of determining the complaint it will act as an advisor to it’s member bank without the consumer complainant’s knowledge.
The FOS does not disclose to any complainant that the advice given by the FOS “Banking Advisors”, which will be relied upon by the FOS in its Recommendations for or against a consumer complaint, is the opinion of a person who is a current employee of one of one of the big four banks. The FOS does not disclose that the wages of these “Banking Advisors” are paid by one of the major banks and that they are in fact bank employees who are seconded to the FOS on 12 month placements.
The ASIC has a very close working relationship with the Financial Ombudsman’s Service Ltd and with the banking industry. The ASIC is also the body charged with ensuring that companies and company directors comply with the corporate laws. Banks are companies subject to the Corporations Law and therefore to the scrutiny of the ASIC.
The FOS is a Company and as such is subject to Corporations Law. It should be required to disclose to all consumers that it deals with who it’s stakeholders and funders are, what conflicts of interests it has when dealing with a consumer complaint against a bank, and what it’s real relationship with the ASIC is.
Neither the ASIC nor the financial institution stakeholders of the FOS, should be the body reviewing or proposing amendments to the FOS Terms Of Reference (TOR) approved by the ASIC. A body independent of the FOS stakeholders (the banks) and the ASIC should examine the FOS Terms of Reference to ensure that consumers basic rights can be upheld when dealing with the Financial Services Ombudsman Ltd and it’s banker stakeholders.
The FOS stakeholders should not be involved in the appointment of any party to review the FOS’s Terms of Reference (approved by the ASIC) that it operates under. A review of the FOS Terms of Reference (the first since 2009) is currently underway.
This is a self-serving process being conducted on behalf of the FOS, by a body appointed by the FOS, seeking and accepting input from all bank stakeholders. This review is conveniently timed by the FOS to conclude prior to the commencement of your Senate Inquiry.
ASIC and The Financial Ombudsman’s Service Ltd (FOS)
The ASIC has ensured that the Financial Ombudsman’s Service is the only available avenue for a consumer to lodge a complaint against a Bank or financial institution. The ASIC refers consumers to FOS. The ASIC does not inform consumers that FOS is a company owned and funded by its stakeholders who are likely to be the same financial services providers (FSPs) against whom a consumer complaint will be lodged.
The FOS is a company which acts in the interests of FSP’s more than it does for consumers. To give an air of public legitimacy to it’s claims to be a provider of fair and independent dispute resolution for consumers the FOS makes numerous and extensive references to the ASIC on the Terms of Reference page of its web site.
In Issue 4 of the Financial Ombudsman’s Publication “The Circulator” FOS refers to ASIC Regulatory Guideline 139 in relation to “Systemic Issues”. The FOS states that under ASIC Regulatory Guide 139 it is obliged to identify, resolve and report on systemic issues and serious misconduct.
A systemic issue is defined in FOS’s Terms of Reference (approved by the ASIC) as an issue that will have an effect on people beyond the parties to a dispute. Serious misconduct is defined as conduct that may be fraudulent or grossly negligent or may involve willful breaches of applicable laws or obligations under the FOS Terms of Reference.
The FOS states that by dealing effectively with systemic issues and serious misconduct it can raise industry standards and help consumers to obtain fair compensation for financial losses. FOS says that it reports to ASIC quarterly on systemic issues and that it reports on the numbers of possible and definite systemic issues and on the nature, progress and resolution of definite systemic issues.
Importantly the FOS does not identify the FSP’s involved in FOS reports to the ASIC. FOS only identifies an FSP in a report to ASIC if the FSP has not dealt with a definite systemic issue to the satisfaction of the relevant FOS Ombudsman (as reported by FOS in it’s web site publication “Systemic Issues” in 2010).
FOS says that it has an established process for dealing with systemic issues and that once a possible systemic issue has been identified it is referred to the relevant financial services provider (FSP). FOS details the issue, asks for further information, and invites the FSP to formally respond.
FOS then assesses the FSP’s response and determines whether the issue is definitely systemic. Investigations are carried out by FOS’s systemic issues staff, in consultation with the relevant FOS Ombudsman.
If FOS decides that the issue is not in fact systemic, then the matter is concluded. If FOS decides that an issue is a systemic issue, then the FOS manages its resolution in conjunction with the FSP.
The FSP or bank involved in any serious systemic issue is never named in any required quarterly reporting to the ASIC, the FOS does not name the FSP or bank publicly, and consumer information fundamental to the protection of consumer rights in Australia is purposely withheld from every member of the public.
The ASIC reporting functions of the FOS, which have been approved by the ASIC, have served to ensure that members of the public have never been informed of any systemic issues relating to banking and that banks that engage in Maladministration in Lending are never named publically.
The ASIC has transposed its obligations to protect Australian consumers and to address systemic issues in the financial sector to an organisation which is fully funded by the banks, FSP’s, insurance companies and by those who create the systemic issues in the first place.
Further evidence of the deep involvement of the banks with the FOS is the fact that the FOS relies on the services of “Banking Advisors” when determining consumer disputes against banks. It is not generally known that FOS’s Banking Advisors are in fact full-time employees of the big four banks who are seconded to FOS on annual placement. Each advisor’s salary while seconded to FOS is paid for by the “Banking Advisors” employing Bank.
The banks and FSP’s are fully aware of all complaints made against them at all times, they are funders of the only consumer body who can consider such a complaint against them, and through their own employees seconded to the FOS are in a position to limit liability and damage to themselves.
The Code Compliance Monitoring Committee (CCMC) and the ASIC
The FOS states that it may refer a matter to the “Code Compliance Monitoring Committee”. The Code Compliance Monitoring Committee (the CCMC) is supposedly an independent compliance monitoring body established under Section 36 of the 2013 Code of Banking Practice. The Code of Banking Practice (the Code) gets a mention in the ASIC approved FOS Terms of Reference.
The CCMC monitors subscribing banks’ compliance with the Code. Under the Code each bank agrees to lodge an Annual Report with the CCMC about their compliance with Code obligations during the reporting year. Since 2008 this has simply been in the form of a questionnaire issued by the CCMC which acts as a self-assessment by banks with regard to compliance with the Code. There is no external reporting requirement by the CCMC to the ASIC and being a body funded by financial service providers there is no control over the CCMC by the ASIC.
The ASIC therefore maintains itself conveniently “blind” to the identity of any bank involved in systemic issues of Maladministration in Lending and reports nothing to consumers or to the Australian Government. Banks involved in Maladministration in Lending whose identity is known by the FOS, the CCMC and by the consumers who have lodged complaints with the FOS, continue on with “business as usual”, secure in the knowledge that the public will never know. Claims by the ASIC that it is a “gatekeeper” or that it promotes “gatekeeping” in the financial services sector are not founded in fact or supported by actions.
THE CCMC Relationship with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
The CCMC receives operational and administrative support from FOS pursuant to a service agreement between the CCMC, Australian Bankers Association and the FOS. This agreement includes access to accommodation and common office resources. The CCMC says that it will continue to ensure that it retains its independence in its governance arrangements, processes and decision making. How this can possibly happen is not apparent when;
- the funders of the CCMC are banks and financial service providers
- operational and administrative support to the CCMC is provided by the FOS
- the FOS is an organisation also funded by banks and financial service providers
- the FOS exists and operates specifically under terms of reference approved by the ASIC
- there is free exchange of information between the FOS and the CCMC
- there is free exchange of information between the CCMC and it’s funders who are banks and financial service providers.
ASIC has failed to ensure that consumers get a fair hearing when dealing with FOS regarding complaints against Banks and Insurance companies
The FOS was established under ASIC Regulatory Guideline 139 with the full knowledge and approval of the ASIC. The FOS is the only consumer organisation available to consumers in Australia for complaints concerning the actions of a bank.
Consumers are not treated fairly or impartially when dealing with FOS. The FOS has established a “Secure Services” area on its website. The FOS has one secure services area for its members including banks and financial services providers, another separate one for consumer advocates, and no secure area at all for consumer complainants.
According to the FOS by mid 2012 more than 5,300 staff from their FOS members including banks and insurance companies had access to the secure services area of the FOS. Employees of FOS’s members (banks and insurance companies) have open access to FOS’s reports and can view and download reports on open and closed consumer disputes for any period from 1 January 2010 to the present. They can search for a particular dispute or all of the disputes that meet certain criteria.
FOS says that members who have had systemic issues can view and download reports on these issues. What this in effect means is that staff of banks and insurance companies can freely view the FOS reports on consumer disputes in progress with banks at any time. This places consumers who have lodged complaints with FOS at a severe and unfair disadvantage.
ASIC’s deep and non-transparent relationship with financial service providers, insurance companies, and the FOS are matters requiring urgent investigation. The FOS system is not open or transparent and its modus operandi is condoned by the ASIC.
It is too late for many of us who have been the Victims of these banking criminals but there are Farmers and Small Business being brought down today by these bank contracts.
We plead with the politicians to step up to the plate and change Australia’s Banking criminality once and for all.
I am privileged to be part of the conduit of information that has been assembled by dedicated individuals and Councils. We must have change now with this overwhelming proof of corruption by the Banks.
Bank Victims ask the politicians to take a serious look at ASIC and FOS and their power to squash any uprising against bank corruption.
2015 is the year of hope where the Australian public want the banking system overhauled and banking criminals prosecuted, not just fined.
Recent events in America, where the Government has fined the Bank of America some $16 billion dollars is a strong indication that the Australian Banks will be made accountable.
The American people now want the American Bankers prosecuted personally under the corporations act. This is possible.
"Clearly, we can see from experience that immunizing Wall Street from criminal prosecutions simply encourages more criminal conduct. It is time our government enforced the criminal laws against the super-rich. Nothing would be more effective in deterring crime on Wall Street than putting senior officers of JP Morgan Chase in jail for the crimes they have committed".
In America there is strong discussion of prosecutions of the bankers under the “RICO ACT” Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
“AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS AT ALL LEVELS PLEASE WAKE UP”
Australia needs to lead with a strong government that will prosecute both the Company and the individual board members for their participation in the Sting against the Australian people.
We have 16 banks in Australia that must be made accountable.
There will be a Class Action in 2015 against the NAB which brought our Companies and thousands of others down through these unconscionable contracts.
With such blatant proof lets see their legal team try and convince the Australian public that the NAB and the 15 other banks were not operating as criminal organisations.
This letter has been sent to the following Members of Parliament. No responses have been received as at 3rd February 2015.
Also one of the many NAB Victims
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