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TOPIC: VLSB "spies" on Prosecution Brief from FBI to AFP?

VLSB "spies" on advocates for the Royal Commission 4 months 2 weeks ago #3832

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"Spying" on advocates for a Royal Commission into Australia's regulators that end up at Royal Commission to say:
Australian Financial Review Apr 27 2018 6:59 PM

James Frost

ASIC's failure to pursue financial planners through civil, criminal or other methods have been explored in close quarters by the Hayne royal commission with a senior ASIC executive forced to admit its efforts were hampered on multiple fronts.

ASIC's senior executive leader for financial advice Ms Louise Macauley drew the short straw to represent and explain the corporate cop's approach on the final day of two weeks of public hearings into financial advice.

Under questioning by counsel assisting Ms Rowena Orr QC, Ms Macauley explained why the regulator made so many compromises including pursuing negotiated outcomes such as enforceable undertakings in instances where misconduct and the provision of "jaw-droppingly" inappropriate advice were evident.

"We would do this when they approach us and make us an an offer we think would give a better outcome than the alternative ... where what was offered is better than what we think we could get from a delegate".

During the morning's session it was revealed that ASIC has only taken one criminal action against an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) holder in the last ten years. It has taken none in the last five years.

Since 2013, it has cancelled the licences of two dealer groups and suspended another two. The two licences that were suspended were for six and eight weeks respectively. Ms Macauley said she understands each time another licence within the group was used within the suspended period to continue providing services to clients.

Against individual financial advisers ASIC has had marginally more success. It has made 229 banning orders since 2008. Around half of those were permanent. This year ASIC has sought to ban ten advisers to date. It estimates there are 25,000 advisers active in 2018.

"Do you think that ASIC has used its banning powers enough to deal with misconduct in the financial advice industry?" Ms Orr asked.

"No, I don't think that we have. I think we have used them to the best of our ability, given our resourcing levels and - and the other areas in which we need to regulate financial advice." Ms Macauley replied.

While ASIC has the power to ban and suspend financial advisers it does not have the power to ban someone from managing a financial planning practice. Ms Macauley said the situation was "not satisfactory".

She further said the $3 million that both ANZ and Commonwealth Bank paid as part of their enforceable undertakings over fees-for-no-service was inconsequential considering the size of each institution's balance sheet.

Ms Orr then asked about looming changes that would extend the breach reporting period from ten business days to thirty business days. Ms Orr asked ASIC's Ms Macauley if any financial institution had been taken to court over not meeting the breach reporting deadline.

Ms Macauley said that ASIC had sought legal advice over whether it was feasible to pursue a licencee over failing to meet the breach reporting deadline but had decided not to do so based on the advice given. Commissioner Hayne remarked on the strangeness of the circumstances.

"It is an unusual position to arrive at isn't it that the operation of the law depends on the way those governed by the law organise their own internal affairs?"

Ms Macauley said that even in the circumstances where the quality of advice was obviously bad that ASIC would face significant resistance from the financial planner involved as they attempted to explain why the advice was appropriate.
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VLSB "spies" on Prosecution Brief from FBI to AFP? 4 months 2 weeks ago #3836

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The LSBC were terrified, said customers of Howard Bowles' legal ethics board as the customers assisted the SEC and FBI and refused to be intimidated or lent on by Bowles and his colleagues' threats to thei livlhoods.
Commonwealth Bank downgraded by ratings agency amid concerns over management

CBA debt default risk marked negative by Fitch as Westpac lifts first-half profit 5.8% to $4.25bn

Australian Associated Press

Mon 7 May 2018 16.05 AEST
Last modified on Mon 7 May 2018 16.26 AEST

The Commonwealth Bank
Fitch downgraded Commonwealth Bank’s outlook for its long-term debt default risk from stable to negative. Photograph: Daniel Munoz/Reuters

The ratings agency Fitch has downgraded Commonwealth Bank’s outlook for its long-term debt default risk from stable to negative.

Fitch reaffirmed CBA’s default rating but says its revision of the outlook to negative reflects the bank’s “risks in remediating shortcomings” in governance following a highly critical report on its culture and governance by the financial regulator.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority released a report on the bank last week that criticised CBA’s board, management and company culture for being complacent, insular and blinded to risks as profits continued to grow.
Does working with money make us worse people?
Gordon Menzies
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Apra now requires CBA to have an extra $1b in regulatory capital and to take remedial action in implementing its report’s 35 recommendations.

Fitch says it is concerned management’s focus may divert from ongoing operations, which will increase costs and lead to a weaker financial position for the bank.

“There is also a risk that ongoing inquiries into the sector, including the royal commission, identify additional shortcomings,” a statement from Fitch Ratings said. “If this occurs, it may leave CBA more susceptible than peers to a weaker operating environment.

Fitch said it revised the outlook because shortcomings of CBA in risk appetite, management and strategy were “more widespread” than previous assessments had shown.

There are also a number of external factors that could lower the bank’s rating in future, including household debt risks, potential sharp rises in interest rates and deterioration in funding and liquidity for banks.

Increased competition from non-bank lenders, particularly in the digital space, may also weigh on CBA’s future rating, Fitch added.

Despite being downgraded to a “sell” advisory by UBS analysts, Westpac has lifted first-half profit 5.8% to $4.25bn and says its mortgage book is “fundamentally sound”.

Westpac’s cash profit for the six months to 31 March was up from $4.02bn in the prior corresponding period, with consumer and business banking driving the increase.
Laughing all the way to the bank? The banks are – with impunity
Martin Farrer
Martin Farrer
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Australian mortgage lending was up 5.6% on the same time a year earlier and net interest margin (NIM) – a key measure of profitability – rose 0.07 percentage points over the half and by 0.10 percentage points over the year.

Higher rates for interest-only and investor mortgages were the biggest driver of the improved NIM, and the Westpac chief executive, Brian Hartzer, said the bank was well placed to capitalise on a slowdown in east coast housing markets.

“While the housing market is expected to continue to cool, this dynamic means that opportunities are opening up for first home buyers, who are beginning to step up in place of investors,” Hartzer said. “With solid underlying demand relative to supply, and almost 70% of our customers ahead on their repayments, the Australian housing market is in good shape.”

Two weeks ago, UBS analysts cited incomplete income and expense checks on home loan customers when they downgraded Westpac a “sell”.

But Westpac on Monday called its credit portfolio “fundamentally sound”. Australian mortgage repayments 90 or more days overdue represented just 0.69% of the book – 0.02 percentage points higher than both six months and a year ago. The bank holds a total 398 repossessed houses nationwide.

The federal government’s bank levy trimmed 0.05 percentage points off the NIM, while the banking royal commission added $34m in extra costs.


Australian economy
Business (Australia)
Banking royal commission
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VLSB "spies" on Prosecution Brief from FBI to AFP? 4 months 2 weeks ago #3837

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May 1 2018 at 4:39 PM
Updated May 1 2018 at 4:52 PM

My Saved Articles Print License article

CBA in-house lawyers under spotlight after APRA inquiry

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Commonwealth Bank Group chief risk officer David Cohen's department was "reactive" in dealing with risks.
Commonwealth Bank Group chief risk officer David Cohen's department was "reactive" in dealing with risks. Wayne Taylor

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by Misa Han

The prudential inquiry's finding that Commonwealth Bank was too "legalistic" and "adversarial" when dealing with regulators has put focus on the bank's in-house risk and legal teams.

In a damning assessment of the bank's risk area, led by David Cohen, and legal team, led by Anna Lenahan, the prudential inquiry found the bank has been "reactive" in dealing with risks.

The inquiry concluded a "slow, legalistic and reactive" and "at times dismissive" culture characterised many of the bank's dealings with regulators.

The findings were based on the inquiry panel's meetings with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre and the Financial Ombudsman Service.

CBA group chief risk officer Mr Cohen is a former CBA group general counsel and before that AMP's general counsel and an Allens partner. Group general counsel Ms Lenahan is a former chief risk and legal officer at Suncorp Group, and was also a partner at Allens.
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In the 2017 financial year, Mr Cohen received $2.3 million in remuneration, including over $1 million in bonuses. Ms Lenahan received close to $1.4 million during the same period, including more than $800,000 in bonuses.

The inquiry said the chief risk officer's fixed and variable remuneration mix is not materially different from that of other executives.

It said at some other banks chief risk officers typically have a higher weighting on fixed remuneration "aimed at safeguarding the independence of this critical function".

CBA also spent $404 million last financial year in "professional fees", which includes its legal fees. It spent $247 million on professional fees in the 2016 financial year and $390 million the year before.
Defensive and perfunctory

However, addressing the media on Tuesday, chief executive Matt Comyn said the legal department could not be blamed for the inquiry's findings.

Mr Comyn admitted the bank has been "defensive", "legalistic" and "perfunctory" in some instances in the past.

The APRA report found: "The regulatory agencies found CBA defensive, and at times perfunctory, in its attitude to matters raised by them.

"The panel heard that CBA's 'default response' to being challenged was a legalistic and defensive."

The inquiry said at times CBA would insist on hearing why it was legally required to take action before it would do so.

"This adversarial approach appeared to put strict legal interpretation above risk or customer outcomes. Observations were also made on the difficulty of obtaining cooperation on matters where the group legal department had already provided a response."

The report emphasised compliance obligations are broader than strict legal requirements, and incorporate standards of integrity and ethical behaviour.

The inquiry also recommended business unit chief risk officers to have "the necessary independence to provide effective challenge to the business".

The finding comes as the bank is facing a number of legal actions from the regulators including money laundering allegations from AUSTRAC and bank bill swap rate rigging allegations from ASIC.

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VLSB "spies" on Prosecution Brief from FBI to AFP? 4 months 1 week ago #3845

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they were spying on our tv shows, says Spencer Murray who appeared on A Current Affair as part of the political campaign to establish a Royal Commission.

Banksters: the scandalous conduct of a global bank.

“You have to ask: if you don’t prosecute these people, who the hell are you going to prosecute?” Former US Senate investigator

HSBC is one of the world’s largest and most powerful financial institutions with offices on five continents, including in Australia. It likes to spruik its financial might and global reach. Behind the corporate gloss, it has a far less attractive reputation. The bank has been at the centre of several of the biggest financial scandals uncovered this century.

“Affiliates of drug cartels were literally walking into bank branches with hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of US cash… that didn’t happen once, it didn’t happen twice, it happened systematically over the course of about a decade.” Former US Deputy Federal Prosecutor

HSBC, or the Hong Kong & Shanghai banking Corporation has been implicated in a raft of illegal activities, from money laundering for the mafia, to enabling tax evasion and currency manipulation.

“No matter where you live, no matter what kind of business you are in, if you wish to enter the offshore system, HSBC is likely to be your bank.” Investigative journalist

In this global investigation, the role of HSBC in these scandals is laid bare.

“There is simultaneously drug money, money from terrorism, money from Belgian diamond dealers, money of the French dental surgeons, money of the elite and the world of showbiz, of French and European aristocracy... it was a national sport, hiding money in Switzerland and at HSBC.” Reporter

Despite the revelations, the bank has flourished, leaving investigators frustrated.

“How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords before somebody says, ‘We’re shutting you down’”? US Senator

The film raises disturbing questions about who is in charge of regulating the banks in an increasingly globalised financial world.

“Who has jurisdiction over an institution that operates in a hundred countries? Who has the responsibility for taking on that kind of criminal undertaking?”Former US Senate investigator

Regulators stand accused of failing to adequately punish the bank and impose penalties that hold HSBC to account.

“Are we capable of regulating the banks properly? Of course we are. Do we want to, is really the probably important question.” UK MP

With the rise of China, HSBC is positioning itself as the bank of choice to drive China’s global economic ambitions, which makes investigators uneasy.

“As you have firms of the stature and the size of HSBC marrying up with rising Chinese banks that are now so huge, it’s a recipe for potential disaster.” Former undercover agent, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Banksters, by Jerome Fritel & Marc Roche for French broadcaster Arte and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 14th May at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 15th May at 1.00pm and Wednesday 16th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iviewand at
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VLSB "spies" on Prosecution Brief from FBI to AFP? 4 months 6 days ago #3865

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Dnnis Sgargetta said they were terrified. The kleptocracy prosecutors of Razak will go through the ANZ.
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ANZ stand over men? Channelnews Asia 4 months 6 days ago #3866

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ANZ Bank Now Using Mobile Technology To Harrass Qantas Frequent Flyer Customers
By David Richards| 15 May 2018

ANZ bank who are currently under investigation at the Banking Royal Commission is now using new mobile technology to hound Qantas Frequent Flyer customers, with automated telephone calls, to both land lines and mobile phones, in the past this bank were known to use standover men to chase down ANZ debtors.

From early morning to late at night the ANZ bank is now calling customers who have missed a payment on their credit card using hidden number calling even for amounts as low as $25.

They are also hitting the same customers being called with double digit interest on their cards, while also charging them a $20 late fee on top of the double-digit interest.

At the same time their customers who want to query a card transaction are made to wait online for up to an hour.

And if you are thinking of walking into an ANZ bank for some service as I did recently in an effort to cancel my ANZ card, forget it, as all the teller will do is pick up a phone and connect you with a call centre, where you once again have to wait in a queue.

I have an ANZ Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card which I was using as a backup to my regular Westpac credit card.

I did this when during a trip to New York my Westpac card was compromised at LA airport.

Within an hour Westpac was on to the fact, that unauthorised payments were being made from my card, for the simple reason that their artificial intelligence built into their card security system, was telling them that some weeks prior I had used the credit card to pay for an airline ticket and right at the time of the two unauthorised transactions ,I was sitting on an aircraft between LA and New York.
When I got to New York I was unable to use my Westpac card, so I got a back up card via a Qantas Frequent Flyer offer,the bank was ANZ.

Recently I made a $454 transaction on my ANZ Visa card.

And because I was overseas I did not get around to paying off the card immediately as I normally do.

In the past I have paid down thousands within weeks of a transaction being made, whether it be for an airline payment or hotel or a subscription but this appears to make no difference with ANZ.

Then came the ANZ calls day and night, it was pure automated harrasment, yesterday I got six calls in 6 hours.

After paying down the $454 I decided to ditch the card.

I tried to do it online but that was a waste of time and after 45 minutes I gave up and decided to visit my local North Sydney branch.

After waiting for a bank teller, I was told that the teller could not cancel the card.

He then made me sit and wait while he called the same call centre I had earlier given up on.

And to make matters worse, the operator said that she could not cancel the card as the payment from my Westpac account earlier that day was not showing up I asked why the real-time funds transfer system between bank accounts, even from different institutions was not in place she did not have an answer.

This is the same system that the ANZ bragged about back in October last year claiming that from January 2017, and due to a billion-dollar infrastructure upgrade.

Customers of the big four banks and about 50 smaller institutions would automatically be able to use instant payments between the banks.

Not so at the ANZ Bank who in the past have used known standover men to visit the homes of people who had fallen behind in their payments.

Tom Erikson was a well-known Melbourne standover man who described himself as a private detective.

Known to associate with criminals such as Christopher Dale Flannery who was a Painter and Docker known as “Rent A Kill” Erikson bragged to me on several occasions that he had access to banking information from the ANZ bank.

He showed me confidential documents relating to individuals who were ANZ customers that that he was tasked to hunt down, he said that they were paying him a retailer and a performance fee for his work.

Erikson was a thug who would use intimidation to collect debts.

Chief risk officer of ANZ’s digital division Kylie Rixon which is the same division that is now using mobile phone technology to harass their customers recently revealed at the ANZ bank had provided financial advice that was not in customers’ best interest.

Questioned at the Royal Commission over a 2015 compliance audit into the bank’s three main advice groups — ANZ Financial Planning, RI Advice and Millennium she admitted that one in every 20 pieces of advice given to customers failed to meet the requirement that the advice was likely to be in the best interest of the client.

She was also asked: “What’s sampled in an audit is meant to be representative of what’s happening across the business?”

“Yes, that’s true,” Ms Rixon replied.

The audit, which looked at advice provided between June 2013 to June 2015, found 11 per cent of Millennium3 advisers and 6 per cent of ANZ Financial Planning advisers were rated at “high risk” of not providing appropriate advice.

Ms Rixon described the assessment as “very regrettable” and admitted there were deficiencies in ANZ’s systems.

The audit also found the number of cases where inappropriate advice was given dramatically jumped, despite a drop in the number of advisers.
About Post Author
David Richards
David Richards has been writing about technology for more than 30 years. A former Fleet Street, Journalist He wrote the Award Winning Series on the Federated Ships Painters + Dockers Union for the Bulletin that led to a Royal Commission. He is also a Logie Winner. for Outstanding Contribution To TV Journalism with a story called The Werribee Affair. In 1997, he built the largest Australian technology media Company and prior to that the third largest PR Company that became the foundation Company for Ogilvy PR. Today he writes about technology and the impact on both business and consumers.
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