BFCSA Blog

Led by award-winning consumer advocate Denise Brailey, BFCSA (Inc) are a group of people who are concerned about the appalling growth of Loan Fraud around the world. BFCSA (Inc) is a not for profit organisation in the spirit of global community concern and justice.

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Overhauled ASIC unveil new plan to get tougher and litigate first Australian Financial Review 02 Jan 2019 11:00 PM Patrick Durkin   EXCLUSIVE  The corporate regulator's overhauled leadership team is vowing to get tougher on business misconduct and take greater risks going to court as part of a new, litigate-first strategy, newly appointed regulator Sean Hughes warns. The threat comes as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission reveal they have been deluged with corporate breach reports and complaints in the wake of the Hayne royal commission and want to run their budget "close to empty" to turn around the perception they are the soft cop on the beat. Mr Hughes, the former head of New Zealand's regulator, who Nationals senator John Williams said should be leading ASIC, has warned the public will need to accept the regulator will lose more cases and take longer to secure a result. The new strategy...
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Royal commission fears spark mass insurance exclusions Australian Financial Review 02 Jan 2019 6:39 PM James Fernyhough   "Virtually all" insurers in Australia are now putting royal commission exclusion clauses into new directors and officers liability policies as they prepare for a surge in class actions as a result of the explosive Hayne royal commission hearings, insurance broking giant Marsh has revealed. Craig Claughton, head of financial and professional practice at Marsh, said the exclusions affected directors of financial services companies, a sector that accounted for more than a third of the market capitalisation of the ASX. He said the banking royal commission factor was pushing up already rocketing D&O premiums – doubling the cost on average – and increasing the excess payable by several times. In July The Australian Financial Review reported that some insurers were starting to write exclusions on royal commission-related claims into their D&O policies. Six months...
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Financial Review quarterly survey of economists: consumption growth at risk Australian Financial Review 02 Jan 2019 7:57 PM Vesna Poljak   Australian households probably have too much debt but it will become a problem only if interest rates rise and unemployment increases, top economists agree, channelling their concerns into the risks to consumption growth in the year ahead. Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Guy Debelle admitted in December that 10 years after the global financial crisis nobody had any reliable idea of how much debt was too much. "We still don't really have a great handle on what level of leverage is dangerously excessive for governments, households, banks and corporates. This surely is a major challenge for the economics profession to address," Dr Debelle said at the time. The Australian Financial Review's quarterly survey found that economists broadly agree Australia has undesirably high levels of household debt, but the right...
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Only a death will make government fix the problem of high-rise safety Australian Financial Review 03 Jan 2019 2:46 AM Sue Williams and Jimmy Thomson   Someone will have to die before the NSW government properly fixes the system for making sure high-rise buildings are constructed safely, a leading Australian building consultant has claimed. And the answer is not to blame certifiers, who have neither the skills nor requirements to be quality controllers. "It will take that kind of tragedy before they'll act," said Robert Hart, following publicity surrounding the Opal Tower crisis. Meanwhile, the state government targeting "dodgy certifiers" is missing the point, added Mr Hart, one of the members of a specialist committee set up by Engineers Australia to report on the state of new apartment buildings in NSW. Mr Hart, who's been central to a number of Engineers Australia inquiries into building-industry certification, said he is outraged by...
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Housing Bust in Sydney & Melbourne Gains Momentum Wolf StreetJan 2, 2019 Wolf Richter   But the central bank has kept interest rates at record lows! The relentlessness of the housing busts in the regions of Sydney and Melbourne – they account for about 55% of Australia’s housing stock by value – is quite something. At some point, it seems, the price declines would slow down at least for a little while, or even perform a quick bounce, before falling again. But no. The downward momentum is picking up. For Sydney, according to CoreLogic’s Daily Home Value Index, prices dropped 1.8% in December from November, in just one month! The index is now down 11.1% from its peak in July last year. In the calendar year 2018 in Sydney, the prices of all types of dwellings fell 8.9%, with prices of single-family houses down 10.0%, and prices of condos (“units”) down...
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Corporates bank on ad splurge to sway consumers The Australian 12:00am December 31, 2018 Nick Tabakoff   Bad press in the banking and energy areas has prompted some of the largest corporates in the two sectors to fight back through a massive increase in advertising, as they try to regain consumer trust. Data for the year to the end of October shows the two sectors have recorded two of the largest rises in outlays, percentage-wise, on ad spending. The Standard Media Index figures show that ­advertising by banks rose by $45.6 million to $299.2m for the first 10 months of the year, the largest rise in dollar terms of any sector. This came against the backdrop of the banking royal commission. Westpac, Commonwealth and ANZ have continued to advertise strongly since the proceedings before former High Court judge Kenneth Hayne. Similarly, utility companies, primarily electricity distributors, recorded by far the largest...
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Cabinet papers 1996-17: Howard helped plot mass dock sackings The Australian 12:00am January 1, 2019 Ewin Hannan   The Howard cabinet authorised the advance of significant taxpayer funds to Chris Corrigan, ­allowing the businessman to fund the mass sackings of 1400 union employees, thereby plunging the country into a polarising confrontation on the nation’s docks in 1998. Two weeks after the then Patrick chief’s plan to train an alter­native non-union workforce in Dubai was exposed in federal parliament, cabinet agreed on ­December 16, 1997, that funds should be made available to waterfront employers to pay for worker redundancies. Newly released cabinet documents show the government agreed to make the funds available through a “repayable loan … at no expense to the taxpayer” from mid-February 1998. Seven weeks after the funds became available, waves of security guards, some in balaclavas and ­accompanied by dogs, swarmed across Patrick terminals just before 11pm on...
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A right pain: Royal commission shines light on bank-run compo Sydney Morning Herald 29 December 2018 12:00am Clancy Yeates   Wayne Metters has been locked in an insurance dispute with Westpac-owned BT for about five years. A 57-year old former Westpac banker from Sydney, Metters has a degenerative neurological condition that has led to a rare form of arthritis that creates a burning sensation in his hands. The condition makes typing "very, very difficult," and alongside back pain, it has severely restricted his ability to work for a sustained period. “My future work life is very restricted. Mentally, you think ‘well I can do a thousand things’, but finding an employer that would fit in with those things is very hard,” he says. While Metters was able to claim on two other policies he held through super funds, his 2013 claim of more than $230,000 for total and permanent disablement with...
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Investment: Superannuation and house prices post dire result in 2018 Australian Financial Review01 Jan 2019 11:45 PM Tim Boyd   EXCLUSIVE  Investors have suffered from a double blow to their net wealth as the sharemarket tumbled and house prices fell at a near record rate producing flatlined superannuation returns for the year. Data provided to The Australian Financial Review from research house SuperRatings showed the median balanced super fund posted a zero per cent return for the year to December 31. This is the lowest return since 2011 and the result was largely driven by volatility in equity markets through the back half of last year. Investors in the median balanced super fund have enjoyed gains for the last six years, including double-digit returns for three of those years. Returns ranged from 5.6 per cent in 2015, up to 16.3 per cent in 2013. The median balanced fund fell 1.6 per...
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ASIC probe into firms’ super deals The Australian 12:00am December 31, 2018 Michael Roddan   EXCLUSIVE  The corporate watchdog will launch an unprecedented investigation into deals between ­employers and the superannuation funds into which they tip more than $50 billion of their workers’ savings each year. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission probe comes after the Hayne royal ­commission into the banking ­industry and financial services highlighted how companies shunted employees into fund managers that had failed to act in the best interests of savers. The deals between employers and super funds are often brokered through enterprise bargaining agreements or by special contracts struck between company management and retail superannuation providers. Under the current default fund system, employers select funds to receive the savings of the 80 per cent of employees who fail to nominate their own nest-egg manager when starting a job. A 2012 review of the super system by...
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APRA caves in to IOOF’s demand for more time Australian Financial Review 01 Jan 2019 11:00 PM James Frost   The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has buckled to IOOF's demand for more time to unwind its controversial dual structure, giving the diversified financial services firm an additional six months to fix an issue it first raised in 2015. IOOF operates a structure where the superannuation and investment management business are run under the one umbrella, which can lead to conflicts when the interests of the shareholders are prioritised over the interests of super fund members. APRA lost its patience with IOOF on September 4, 2018, when it was forced to perform a secret and emergency downgrade of its risk rating, leaving the company one step away from a forced restructure. In the same September letter, APRA's executive general manager, Mark Adams, set out a list changes IOOF needed to implement with...
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Aggressive shadow banks grow market four-fold by cutting rates, easing terms Australian Financial Review 01 Jan 2019 11:00 PM Duncan Hughes   Shadow banks are growing market share among owner-occupiers at four times the rate of their mainstream banking rivals by aggressively pitching for borrowers rejected by nervous deposit-taking lenders with offers of lower rates, easier terms and cash incentives. Lenders such as Resimac Group, the newly named amalgam of shadow banks Homeloans and Resimac, is restructuring its loan book to accommodate more sub-prime borrowers with patchy credit rates unlikely to get a loan from a mainstream competitor. For example, it is simplifying the way it reviews borrowers with existing defaults and bankruptcies ranging from listed but discharged bankrupts through to those with more than one default on their credit bureau report. It has also launched a "summer campaign" for the new Resimac Group brand with cuts of up to 30...
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Blame game ignites over Sydney’s Opal Tower The Australian 12:00am January 2, 2019 Ean Higgins   EXCLUSIVE  A fierce and public blame game has erupted between the developer and the builder of the cracked western Sydney high-rise Opal Tower, with the parties positioning for an expected legal maelstrom over who will bear liability for the damage and economic loss to unit owners. The developer, Ecove, took the extraordinary step yesterday of revealing aspects of a confidential contract with the builder, Icon, in a bid to establish that Icon was ­responsible for both the construction and detailed design of the 36-storey apartment building at Olympic Park in Homebush. Icon retaliated, a spokes­woman telling The Australian “our priorities remain the safety and welfare of the residents and rectifying the issue, not on attempting to cover our backsides”. Uncertainty surrounds just when the residents of the building, about 300 in total, will be allowed...
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TO ALL CONSUMERS OF BANK PRODUCTS   Denise L Brailey,    2019 will be the year of exposure of Australian Major Banks to the chaos they have caused to at least 4 million of people. CEO's of Major Banks conspired with the Howard Government in 1996, to permits sub prime lending to become a massive money making machine where banks win, consumers lose the homes they once owned. Hockey set up the Regulator to blame the sellers, who had no idea what the fraud was. Banks then LIED to say "only 1% of the loan books are LOW DOCS or SUB-PRIME or Interest Only." (Same product). If that was true then how is it that an army of 100,000 sellers were trained to fill in a form and submit that form to the bank. The internal robotic form known as a the Tracker manipulated intentionally the scant incoming data and then the...
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Banking royal commission: big four bank’s fears and failings laid bare in deep dive into APRA papers The Australian 12:03pm December 13, 2018 Chris Jenkins   A treasure trove of the big banks’ fears and failings has been unearthed by a review of communications with regulators submitted to the Hayne royal commission. The royal commission required banks to submit countless documents detailing their activities, including records of conversations and correspondence that executives and directors had with industry regulator the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Summarised in a research note by investment bank UBS carrying the title “APRA uncut — the raw conversations APRA had with the banks”, the documents show, among other things, that Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn was keen to know if his organisation performed the worst of the banks on APRA’s targeted review so that he could use the information to spur staff to fix problems. “APRA was quick...
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Mortgage calculator to help consumers beat banks Australian Financial Review 13 Dec 2018 6:00 PM John Kehoe   The Morrison government is developing tools including an online calculator to make it easier for borrowers to compare confusing interest rate pricing between home lenders. An online calculator recommended by the Productivity Commission to compare home loan interest rates and bring more transparency to the mortgage market is actively being worked on. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government strongly supports the Productivity Commission's June recommendation of the development of an online calculator. "The government has asked the Council of Financial Regulators to accelerate the development of options for its implementation," he said. The Australian Competition Consumer Commission said on Thursday the online tool would report "on actual interest rates paid and discounts received by different types of borrowers". "The ACCC is working with the Council of Financial Regulators in the development of the...
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As credit tightens, Aussie banks binge on offshore bonds Macro Business12:10 am on December 14, 2018 Leith van Onselen   The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its National Financial Accounts for the September quarter, which revealed a 1.8% quarterly decline in Australian banks’ gross external liabilities (offshore borrowings), but a large 7.6% increase over the year. One Name Paper (-$24 billion) and Deposits (-$10 billion) drove the quarterly decline in offshore borrowings by the banks over the September quarter, partly offset by a $9 billion rise Bonds and a $4 billion increase in both Loans and Other. Over the year to September 2018, Australian banks’ offshore borrowings rose by $62 billion (+6.8%), with Bonds (+$44 billion) and Loans (+$14 billion) driving the rise: The surging growth in bank offshore borrowings over recent years has been driven primarily by Bond issuance, which has hit an all-time high:   This appears to be...
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Lunatic RBA runs riot Macro Business 12:21 am on December 14, 2018 David Llewellyn-Smith   The politico-housing swamp has entered a corruption blow-off. One does need to be Albert Einstein to see why. House price falls are steepening and the panic in official circles is mushrooming. This week saw two extraordinary events that illustrate the circling of the wagons among the ruling class. The first was the COAG meeting which pretended to produce a population policy. In reality it was a complete snow job with the only “expert” appointed to lead discussion a discredited population booster with ties to the Scanlon Foundation, Australia’s primary business lobby for more people. No immigration cut came out of the meeting to take pressure off wages and the great crush-loading. The second event was the extraordinary declaration by the Council of Financial Regulators (CFR) that banks were lifting lending standards too far. This even before...
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  https://www.change.org/p/andrew-thorburn-no-bank-ceo-bonuses-5cf09507-0e28-427f-81e4-b482e2b0cf9c I’ve been lobbying hard for 18 years to make the Banking Royal Commission a reality. This year, it finally happened and like many hardworking Australians, it has left me in a state of shock and anger. What these banks have gotten away with is unethical and at times criminal. So why is it that the bank CEOs are getting massive, multi-million dollar bonuses? Some of their contracts and exit fees can amount to up to $150 million for five years work. NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn will this year pocket $4.375 million after bonuses. What’s worse, NAB claims this is punishment as he will earn $2 million less this year. The banks’ shareholders are up in arms and have been protesting by voting against the banks' remuneration reports. I think we need to send a bigger message to the banks. Those of us who don’t have a vote on the big...
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Value of new housing loans dive in September quarter The Australian 11:00pm December 12, 2018 Samantha Bailey   The value of new housing loans in Australia plunged 7.4 per cent to $89.2 billion for the September quarter, according to data released by the prudential regulator. The quarterly ADI report, which details commercial property exposures, residential property exposures and new housing loan approvals, found that impaired assets and past due items lifted 5.4 per cent to $27.6bn for the period. The total value of domestic housing loans on the books of authorised deposit-taking institutions rose 5.4 per cent on the previous year to $1.6 trillion, APRA said. It comes amid predictions the domestic housing market will continue its downturn next year, and it could worsen if economic growth slows and Australia’s unemployment rate rises. Chris Bedingfield, joint managing director of Quay Global Investors, said on Monday the property market downturn could last...
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