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Senator calls for Bankwest probe

Senator calls for Bankwest probe
A fresh inquiry into Bankwest's sale to the Commonwealth Bank has been demanded by a WA senator who claims legitimate customers were forced to the wall.

Liberal Senator Alan Eggleston used an address to the Senate to allege the Commonwealth "improperly and aggressively" impaired loans of Bankwest customers at the height of the global financial crisis.

In 2008, Bankwest's owner HBOS faced huge financial troubles in its home market of the United Kingdom.

The Commonwealth paid just over $2 billion for Bankwest and within a year put the value of its acquisition at almost $3.7 billion.

At the time of the sale a series of customers, many in WA, had their loans with Bankwest impaired and were forced to sell up underpinning assets.

Senator Eggleston said many people were "left bankrupt, others destitute, some mentally broken". "Quite simply, CBA improperly and aggressively impaired loans which would not have otherwise been impaired by Bankwest," he told the Senate.

Senator Eggleston said a public inquiry that looked at whether the foreclosures were in part driven by new global banking regulations and if investors need greater protections was necessary.

The Commonwealth rejected outright Senator Eggleston's claims.

Author: Shane Wright
Source: The West Australian


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