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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Banking royal commission: How ASIC went missing in action with the banks By business editor Ian Verrender Posted about 2 hours ago RELATED STORY: O'Dwyer dodges questions on delay of banking royal commission RELATED STORY: Barnaby Joyce says he was wrong to oppose a banking royal commission RELATED STORY: CBA customer dead for a decade but still charged fees, commission hears First, the recriminations. Then the tough talk. Barnaby Joyce's admission that he was wrong to oppose a royal commission into banks was quickly steamrolled by Treasurer Scott Morrison's resolute and defiant shift, quickly upgrading the corporate regulator's legal arsenal. Admirable maybe, but somewhat belated. Worse than that, in his hasty attempt to take control, Mr Morrison has overlooked the fundamental reason for the shocking revelations taking place under the steely gaze of commissioner Kenneth Hayne. It's not that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is in need of added muscle. It needs to grow a spine....
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Ban percentage fees to fix the advice industry The Australian 12:00am April 21, 2018 Alan Kohler   It’s perfectly understandable that AMP’s and CBA’s financial planning arms kept charging fees when no services were being provided — even, in the case of CBA, to the long deceased — because there is very little difference between providing financial advice and not providing it. Financial planning services, especially those provided by the banks and AMP, have always been a joke, and it is beginning to look like His Honour Kenneth Hayne, royal commissioner, is going to so find. It is almost as big a joke as the statement in the royal commission’s terms of reference that Australia boasts “the strongest and most stable banking and superannuation systems”, and “world’s best prudential regulation and oversight”. The fact that financial advisory practices were continually referred to in the commission this week as “dealer groups”, which...
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Royal commission: John Howard in no rush to judge banks The Australian 12:00am April 21, 2018 Adam Creighton   Former prime minister John Howard has declared it too early to tell whether the Hayne royal commission into misconduct in fin­ancial services will turn out to be worthwhile, defending banks’ freedom to set remuneration as they see fit. In a wide-ranging interview to appear in The Australian next week, Mr Howard said he thought revelations at Kenneth Hayne’s commission in Melbourne were largely known to authorities, adding he “wasn’t going to speculate” on whether the government had been wrong to resist the inquiry. A strident critic of the commission, which was announced under duress by the Turnbull government in December, Mr Howard said he would “prefer to wait” until the inquiry delivered its findings by February next year. “I don’t for a moment condone any deceptive behaviour of either customers or of...
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Banking royal commission: ‘we were wrong,’ say the Big Four chiefs The Australian 12:00am April 21, 2018 Anthony Klan, Ben Butler   Wrongdoing uncovered by the fin­ancial services royal commission has forced the heads of the big four banks to concede their longstanding opposition to the inquiry was wrong and prompted Scott Morrison to warn boards they were responsible for “abhorrent” conduct uncovered by the probe this week. “Clearly I was wrong,” ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott told The Weekend Australian. NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn said the inquiry had heard “confronting” and “un­acceptable” evidence. “It is now clear to me that the royal commission is necessary, and justified,” he said. After opposing the idea for years, the banks called for the commission in November, believing it would act as a political ­circuit-breaker rather than uncovering serious misconduct. Responding to The Weekend Australian’s inquiries, CBA chief executive Matt Comyn and his...
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ANZ financial advice puts client 14 years behind, banking royal commission hears Australian Financial Review Apr 20 2018 5:58 PM Fiona Buffini   ANZ financial planner Christopher Harris advised one of his clients that rolling over her superannuation into a new account could save $238 a year. But for that advice, he charged her $3,000 upfront plus an ongoing fee of $3,790 a year, a strategy that would take 14 years to even break even. The behaviour of Mr Harris, who provided advice on behalf of ANZ-owned Millennium 3, was one of the shocking stories of inappropriate advice told to the banking royal commission on Friday. ANZ executive Darren Whereat could only agree with counsel assisting the commission Rowena Orr, QC,  that the advice was "inappropriate". He also had no defence for why none of Mr Harris's clients have received any compensation, three years after the advice was given. "It's not...
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And what have regulators got to say for now they have been exposed as moles?   Royal Commission: no easy fix for systemic corruption Posted by Michael West 21 April 2018 https://www.michaelwest.com.au/royal-commission-no-easy-fix-for-systemic-corruption/ There has been great surprise at the revelations of bad behaviour by this country’s biggest financial institutions in recent days, though not everybody was shocked. For two decades, this reporter has fielded complaints about rip-offs and bank victims getting the regulatory cold shoulder. What will come of the Royal Commission? Will AMP be lose its financial services licence like small operators who break the law, or will the systemic corruption which was on display at the Royal Commission this week continue to flourish? When James Wheeldon was a young lawyer working at the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, he had to report to a senior lawyer, a lawyer who was on secondment from the National Australia Bank. “My job a...
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Perhaps people are suddenly realising they are all bank customers with accounts, ins. policies, superannuation and many of them with mortgages themselves....which are likely to be fraudulently tampered with after they signed up!  BANK CHIEFS WERE THE ENGINEERS!  We told Parliament that on so many occasions.  “I charge dead people, and other horror scenarios for the Government’ Bernard Keane 19 April 2018 https://www.crikey.com.au/?daily_insider=19-4-18#article_623951 The government’s embarrassment over the constant stream of shocking revelations about misconduct within major financial institutions — shocking even for veteran finance watchers in both the scale and the seniority of involvement within major corporations — isn’t the only political impact from events unfolding in Melbourne. The long period of hardline defence against royal commission calls — including outright mockery of the idea by figures like Scott Morrison — is already yielding a goldmine of quotes for Labor as each day produces new shocks. Morrison, foolishly, kept doing this...
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Scott Morrison didn't want to know the details Australian Financial ReviewApr 20 2018 11:00 PM Jennifer Hewett   Treasurer Scott Morrison admits he was "surprised" by the bad behaviour exposed at the royal commission despite his previous insistence it would uncover no issues not already known to government. "When I say they were known to government, they were known to government agencies," he told AFR Weekend. "There is a difference between individual ministers being aware of particular things and the regulatory agencies being aware of them. It is the regulatory agencies that are the ones to take action on these particular things. "In particular with the issue with AMP, that was obviously known to ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) which had an ongoing investigation into that very matter." However Mr Morrison suggested ASIC had not done enough to satisfy the royal commission, or by implication the government, in terms of...
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Banks set to declare $13.2bn in profits for six months The Australian 12:00am April 20, 2018 Michael Roddan   Despite the doom and gloom of the royal commission, Australia’s biggest banks are poised to sign off on a collective $13.2 billion profit for the past six months. ANZ, Westpac, National Australia Bank will all open their interim accounts early next month, while Macquarie Group will report its full-year profit. Commonwealth Bank, which operates on a different financial calendar, in February posted a half-year cash net profit of $4.74bn. The remaining banks’ financial accounts are expected to show slightly higher regulatory and compliance costs due to the royal commission, but otherwise, revenue growth is expected to be maintained. ANZ, which reports on May 1, is expected to unveil a cash profit of $3.4bn for the most recent six months. The same week, NAB is likely to book a $3.3bn interim profit, while...
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Westpac's bad advisers still received bonuses, banking royal commission hears Australian Financial Review Apr 19 2018 7:00 PM James Frost   A Westpac planner who persistently scored the lowest possible score during internal audits was still able to collect his bonuses under the bank's "consequence management system". Andrew Smith, operating under the St George brand, was not subject to consequences during his time at the bank, despite receiving multiple warnings about his conduct, the Hayne royal commission has heard. Counsel assisting Rowena Orr QC took BT's national head of financial advice Michael Wright to task over internal auditing of financial planners that was limited to reviewing a handful of files every year. "I want to put to you squarely that the systems failed because your system was to review four files each year for an adviser, and the advice could receive sub-par results on the majority of those files and still...
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Banking royal commission: planners at Commonwealth Bank subsidiary charged dead clients The Australian 10:24am April 19, 2018 Ben Butler   Financial planners at a Commonwealth Bank subsidiary charged fees for ongoing services to clients who had been dead for years, the banking royal commission has heard. One planner’s client had been dead for seven years before the planner contacted his widow, and then took “no action” to fix the continuing charges, a document tendered to the commission this morning shows. Management of Count Financial, the CBA subsidiary responsible for the planner, proposed that the planner be disciplined with a warning, the document, from its internal risk and compliance forum in late 2015, shows. The planner was given a “low” rating and “had not conducted reviews for ongoing service clients”, Count management were told in the document. “Recommend warning letter as a priority due to 4 instances and systemic issues identified,” management...
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Criminal penalties, fines boosted amid banking commission outrage Australian Financial Review Apr 19 2018 11:07 PM Phillip Coorey, Andrew Tillett   Penalties for corporate misconduct will be boosted to include fines of more than $200 million,  and the financial regulators granted stronger powers to hire and fire executives, as the Turnbull government responds to shocking revelations of banking behaviour before the Hayne commission. Under growing external and internal criticism for opposing a royal commission for almost two years, the government also relented further on Thursday and said if Commissioner Kenneth Hayne needed more time beyond his 12-month deadline in February next year, he would receive it. Treasurer Scott Morrison and Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer will announce on Friday new criminal penalties of up to 10 years' jail and maximum fines of $945,000 for individuals breaching the Corporations Act, and fines for corporations of $9.45 million or 10 per cent of...
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Former Macquarie exec guilty of money laundering, tax evasion   Sydney Morning Herald 19 April 2018 12:01am Kate McClymont     Former finance professor and Macquarie Bank executive Dr Tony Castagna is behind bars after a Supreme Court jury found him guilty of tax evasion, money laundering and dealing with the proceeds of crime. Castagna, 70, is facing a maximum jail term of 25 years after the jury found that over a nine-year period up until 2008 he deliberately and dishonestly concealed from the Australian Tax Office millions of dollars in fees and bonuses he received while working as a consultant to Macquarie Bank. Also found guilty was Castagna’s cousin Robert Agius, a former accountant in the tax haven of Vanuatu, who conspired with Castagna to conceal the money. Agius, who grew up in the same household as Castagna, is already serving a non-parole period of six years and eight months'...
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FRAN KELLY: Well you’ve been protecting them from the royal commission saying we need to protect the financial stability of the banks. PRIME MINISTER: Well, no, Fran what I have done, or what we have done in this budget, what Scott’s done in the budget is set out reforms to the banking sector in terms of making Anna Bligh’s executives of those banks accountable. Making sure that they’re registered. If they do the wrong thing, they can’t work in the industry, establishing a one stop shop, a financial complaint authority that will deal promptly and efficiently with customers and consumers and small businesses claims against the banks. What we’ve done, if you look at what we’ve put in that bank reform package in the budget and you ask yourself- let’s say you had a Royal Commission, let’s say you spent half a billion dollars and went on for three years and...
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  • Duped
    Duped says #
    Pathetic Turdball, he never did comment on past affected borrowers burnt by bank fraud. We all know why, in on the fraud to start
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Macquarie faces investor revolt over MIC share price collapse The Australian 12:00am April 19, 2018 Andrew White   Macquarie Group’s lucrative fee-generating infrastructure manager is facing calls for a shareholder revolt and the cutting of ties to the mother ship, with long-term holder Moab Partners accusing management of “mat­erial misrepresentations” ahead of a collapse in the share price. Shares of Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation sank 40 per cent on February 22 after the company used a quarterly results briefing to sharply downgrade its cash-flow guidance, cut its dividend and said it would internally fund growth projects. But Moab, which owns under 1 per cent of the New York Stock Exchange-listed MIC, claimed in a letter on Tuesday that executives made “material misrepresentations” before the announce-ment that led to an overpayment to Macquarie Infrastructure Management (USA), a unit of the Australian investment bank. The alleged misstatements had damaged the credibility of the external...
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Banking royal commission: here comes the shake-out The Australian 12:00am April 19, 2018 James Kirby   Here comes the shake-out. With the reputation of the financial advice sector now officially hitting rock bottom at the bank inquiry, there are going to be huge changes. The headline-making changes will be banks moving as fast as they can to distance themselves from the executives who led this era. One way to do that quickly would be for banks to sell off their “wealth” divisions. It is no surprise then we find out that Commonwealth Bank is planning to sell its Colonial First State operations just hours before an executive at that same subsidiary, Linda Elkins, agrees under questioning at the royal commission that CBA is a “gold medallist” in fees for no service. It turns out that, in common with AMP, CBA failed to provide annual reviews to financial advice customers but charged...
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Warning sounded over federal budget's growing reliance on individual income tax Australian Financial Review Apr 18 2018 8:00 PM Tom McIlroy   New analysis has warned the federal budget is becoming increasingly reliant on revenue from individual income taxes, with government failing to effectively respond to the changing make-up of Australia's labour market and its relationship with the tax system. A report by Perth-based workplace expert and risk adviser Conrad Liveris has found the contribution income tax makes to the budget has grown from 39.7 per cent a decade ago to 47.2 per cent this financial year. Growing in dollar terms from $126.7 billion to $209.6 billion in the period, the change represents a 65.4 per cent increase. Company and resource rent taxes – the second largest revenue source for government – remained relatively stable in the period, growing from a $76.4 billion contribution to the budget in 2008-09 to $80.4...
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Australia risks wasting seat on UN human rights council Australian Financial Review Apr 17 2018 11:00 PM Lisa Murray   Australia should be less passive on human rights abuses by countries in the region, more transparent about its defence exports to Saudi Arabia and drop controversial encryption legislation that would leave people vulnerable to hackers. These are the key messages Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth will deliver to senior government officials in a series of meetings this week. Australia, which took up its seat on the powerful United Nations human rights council in January, has failed to lead on important regional issues such as President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly war on drugs in the Philippines or the "ethnic cleansing" of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, according to Mr Roth. While Australia ultimately tends to vote the right way, he said "it is not yet playing a leadership role on any current...
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Banking royal commission: AMP under attack Australian Financial Review Apr 16 2018 7:40 PM James Frost   AMP copped the full force of the Hayne royal commission's probe into the provision of financial advice with the company exposed for a policy of charging customers for services it never intended to provide and then making a series of false statements to regulators about the practice. The financial services giant was also skewered for its submissions to the banking royal commission where it admitted to "possible breaches" of the law in contrast with an AMP executive's apology for what appeared to actual breaches in a supplementary witness statement. The developments occurred on the first day of the second round of the Hayne royal commission's public hearings into the provision of financial advice, with the big four banks and AMP lambasted for misconduct and multiple incidents of receiving or paying commissions made illegal by...
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Banks agree with Ian McPhee, call for more transparency Australian Financial Review Apr 17 2018 12:15 AM James Eyers   The banks have agreed to improve transparency by publishing performance indicators and commentary on how they are progressing with industry reforms designed to build trust and confidence in the sector. With the banking royal commission under way again in Melbourne, the independent governance expert appointed by the Australian Banking Association to oversee an industry plan to lift standards – initially designed to fend off the royal commission – called on bank chief executives to lead delivery of the ongoing improvement program. Ian McPhee, the former commonwealth auditor-general, said in a report to be released on Tuesday that "I see particular benefit in ongoing attention being given by the industry to providing the public with measures of success in building trust and confidence at the individual bank level". It is two years...
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