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ASIC The bankers' mate: whisper warnings to CBA and admit to failing to warn Consumers...Classic!

Posted by on in Australian Securities & Investment Commission
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Dear members

 I am not an overly smart man but I'm not stupid either.ASIC's first submission to the Senate Hearing even I can see as an act of desperation and an exercise in damage control.

Firstly ASIC states in their introduction a lot of commissioners, senior executives and senior staff are no longer at ASIC, I am assuming this is their way of saying they can't be referred to or questioned but surely a little thing called a subpoena can be called upon.

In this first installment submission  ( There's more to come before the hearing ) ASIC mainly deal with the whistleblowers and Don Nguyen. In this eighteen page submission not once does ASIC mention the name Commonwealth Bank and their involvement in it. Once at the beginning they call it Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited and then hence referred to as CFPL.

No doubt Nguyen was the sacrificial lamb.  52 Advisers were found to have appalling record of advice BUT why was DN singled out and why was the service calculator missing from ASIC findings?  Hello?  Whistle blowers came forward and ASIC expresses dismay as to why the whistleblowers went to the Media.  Hello again?  No-one trusts ASIC, that's why!  CBA advisers must have been quietly panicking that they were simply doing what they were taught by the banks to do.  Nguyen (according to ASIC) believed he was doing the right thing.  So they simply banned him.  Ho hum.

On page 6 section C no 14 ASIC refer to "we have significant concerns" about record keeping and compliance. Then why I ask you, does ASIC not enforce the law through its own EDR's FOS and COSL?    When we ask for our bank records and files the EDR's don't enforce the request.  How can they enforce it when ASIC admit a breach report was lodged with them but they have no record of receiving it?

In section D no 51 ASIC have solid evidence on a financial adviser on concealment of material facts and forgery, ten to fifteen years hard time? NO,NO he got a permanent ban on trading, what guise will this low life surface in next, maybe in the wife's name this time?  

A crime is a crime and if your faced with sharing a cell with big bubba it might deter you, There has to be hard sentences for fraud and not fob it off routine as white collar crime.    Some of the few convicted advisers got as little as a two year trading ban.  Shame on ASIC's limp lettuce approach.

ASIC seem quiet happy with the way the Commonwealth Bank is compensating victims and has told them to advise people if they are unhappy with the compensation result that ASIC say to take it to FOS for resolution.   I nearly choked when I read that one!  More fob offs for consumers.

ASIC refers to advisors bad practice etc but won't  state the driving factor which is the targets and sales numbers they have to achieve. These targets come from the very top and these people must be held accountable, this is fraud on a mass scale and money is the glue that holds it together. Thanks Neil T,

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  • doyla66
    doyla66 Saturday, 03 August 2013


    Just an extremely pathetic attempt to try and say they were trying to do everything they could. Stop the crap and admit your system is in tatters and trying to get the Commonwealth Bank off the hook with the least amount of fuss, compensation and controversy. If this particular crime wasn't forced out into the open ASIC would still be pleading nothing wrong. The fact is it should never have taken that long to sort out and Neil is right, what ever happened to white collar crime and jail sentences. Has the hierarchy at ASIC suggested reporting this fraud to police and putting the perpetrators through the court system. I don't reckon because that would implicate ASIC's negligence and possible payoffs.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Saturday, 03 August 2013

    ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell:-- 13-201MR ASIC submission to Senate inquiry Friday 2 August 2013

    ASIC 'obfuscator' Kell; "dealing with CFPL could have been quicker/more transparent; we stand by outcomes achieved; People lost money due to unacceptable conduct by some planners at CFPL. We understand the stress experienced by the investors and their families affected by this behaviour. That is why we took action....Mr Kell said.

    More classic Kell: "The submission details that by early 2008 ASIC had identified widespread problems at CFPL and had required CFPL to implement a major compliance program to address these issues. ASIC later in 2008 received a complaint from anonymous whistleblowers within CFPL raising similar concerns about a specific adviser."

    Background:- On 20 June 2013 the Senate referred an inquiry into the performance of ASIC to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry and report. Read the full terms of reference. Submissions to the Senate Committee are to be received by 21 October 2013.

    Senate inquiry into the performance of ASIC: Initial submission by ASIC$file/ASIC-Initial-submission-to-Senate-inquiry-August-2013.pdf

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Sunday, 04 August 2013

    Well said, Neil.
    The present form and culture of ASIC has deteriorated to the point of being intolerable and unsustainable.
    ASIC dislike transparency - that's obvious. The same could be said of other regulators, government bodies and government itself!
    So do the Banks. Both prefer the discreet handling of matters by lawyers without exposure.
    Knowing this, the most powerful weapon of justice is exposure to the risk of public disapproval, shining the light of truth squarely in the eyes of those who prefer to keep crimes and abuse private and wherever possible dragging the wrong doers into a public arena where the country's reaction to crimes by the excessively powerful against ordinary people is ratified by a Court, all on public display, punishments meted out and served.
    If these important steps are not undertaken then the ordinary people quite rightly assume there are different rules for the rich and powerful and the Law does not apply to them with the same deterring power as it does to the rest of us.
    This is the situation now.
    Failure to attend correctly to these important details leads to civil disobedience, more crime, social division, community dis-ease and tears at the fabric of Australian society. And fear does lead to increased violence and other forms of crime.
    To function effectively a multiracial society like Australia needs to know where the boundaries are for acceptable conduct and what rules apply across the board, regardless.
    I believe ASIC and Govt have done a great harm through their short cutting and weakening of the leveling power of the judiciary.
    Inequity in the dealings of Law will lead to a public demand for "blood letting", with token cases, subject to many appeals by well-heeled white collar criminals, at greater cost to the public purse and society.
    Token cases do not serve as an effective deterrent.
    Consistency is essential.
    Without it, as Neil has mentioned wrt Nguyen, it appears as if there is a "luck" factor in the application of Law. Claims of unfair treatment could be justified under these conditions.
    If the judicial processes are too expensive for ASIC and Govt then change that, through more affordable judicial processes! Had Govt and ASIC had some truly useful chats about this cost issue then all our cases would have been dealt with correctly - not just half done with the crimes ignored and dismissed as "not our jurisdiction" by FOS and co.
    This is fundamental inequity at Law and thus the failure of the Law at the critical point of ASIC now makes a mockery of the Law.
    How can ASIC expect Australians to know whether the Law applies to them in practice and how much of what ASIC threaten they should take seriously?
    Must we also be mind readers to deal with ASIC?
    At present it's "do as we say, not do as we do"!
    The most corrupt, manipulative and destructive conduct to impose on genuinely truth seeking citizens wishing to do the right thing out of conscience, not just fear.
    ASIC has been around Banks, criminals and lawyers too long and its culture has become cynical and rich with Machiavellian justifications. This must stop now before further injustices occur.
    If all breaches of Law had been dealt with promptly, equitably and consistently by ASIC as a natural response then everyone would know where they stood and the deterrent factor would have accumulated into crime reduction.
    I wonder if ASIC were thinking to create more work for themselves to ensure their long term viability?

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