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BFCSA: ASIC tells Parliament today it does not understand Conflict of Interest

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Anyone listening to the Senate Inquiry into ASIC Performance today, would be forgiven for thinking: "we are listening to the same worn out excuses for non performance which consumers have had to suffer from ASIC hierarchy for more than a decade."

Tanzer was the most pitiful, followed by Kell, and Medcraft was the icing on the cake.  After two years of Investigating LM investments, they have not been able to "conclude their inquires."  It's still ongoing and so was the endless twaddle coming from each member placed before the Senators.

Kell left every answer to Kirk, and even he was challenged, stumbling on answers and then ending monologues with "I will take that on notice."

As allegations of $10 million of wholesale products being sold to ordinary Mums and Dads, ASIC delivered a few more excuses, whilst Mr Medcraft kept muttering his dream words: "trust and confidence."  In your dreams Mr Chairman of ASIC.  Consumers cannot trust you and have no confidence in your leadership and nor does any officer look even remotely like a consumer protector.

Senators were primed and ready to give ASIC a barrage of questions.......................some heated moments on occasions as frustration with ASIC antics resembled the same frustrations we see from consumers who dislike ASIC with a passion.  None of the victims of white collar crime in Australia would see ASIC as trustworthy.

Senator Bishop eyeballed Medcraft and told him....Now I am talking to are the one in charge here..........................

Medcraft went off in another famous monologue of all the "respectable, professional, highly skillful, titled people on his gatekeeper panels and committees...............................Perhaps a good look at Brendan Frenches background and on FOS Board ought to have been monitored.  The very Banks the Low Doc Mortgage victims have complained about had seconded some of these people onto the panels to advise Medcraft what to do next should his bubble burst.  Allan Moss is on one of the panels mentioned by Medcraft when his underlings then had to explain how they tried to keep the lid on 95% did not have SOFA's and stank of risky business with certain Macquarie products (thats an interesting read).  Mackers Low Docs are a shocker.  Yet here is the ex head of Macker Misery on Medcrafts Mindless Panels!   Medcraft, amid claims he is the international expert, then tries to justify we should have faith and trust and confidence!

The victims of fraud and forgery must have been choking in their cheap cups of soup.  Tanzer then bleats: "we are looking for better consumer outcomes."  He failed to properly explain why ASIC wasn't "SOFT on the BIG END OF TOWN."  The confidence meter must have dropped to the floor!  

By this the Chair was asking: "at what point re repeat offenders, ........when do you stop talking and start doing some enforcement?"  And on and on it went.  The Senators receiving the same crap that victims have received by phone, email and letters from ASIC during the past 15 years - hence the Inquiry!

ASIC just doesn't get it.   Then ASIC started talking about systemic issues.......................WHAT?  They denied any systemic issues two years ago in the Banking Post GFC Inquiry!  Oh My Gosh,  so now they have recently found a few systemics in the regulatory filing cabinet?  Tanzer is then muffling about a report not made public but which was carried out to "assist millions of Australians."  That was a gem.

Kell meanwhile is trying to convince us that "financial calculators were NOT used as a market tool."  "We make sure there are guidelines to ensure the calcs are not misleading for superannuates........................the ones I have seen."  Not that he has checked them.

The stand out issue is the utter lack of apology from these morons, subtly suggesting the victims were somehow to blame for the regulatory neglect.

Tanzer admitted 20% of the advice by Financial Planners (re shadow shopping surveys 1998 - 2007 - no investigations) yet Tanzer failed to say the surveys showed only 10% were GOOD PLANs - the 90% were merely good, mediocre, down to "downright frightful." (Choice 1996)  The other years similar results were found.  Note the Tanzer soft shoe shuffle?

Under questioning re CBA Comm Financial Planners, the Chair asked: "why did ASIC reject the CFP report?"  Kirk came up with:" we did not have enough cogent evidence.......only allegations."   How many times have victims of white collar criminal activity heard that one?

The Chair then went in to the ring again: Should that report have been made public?  The negotiations with CBA were biased?  - more excuses and the Chair leaned across the table at Medcraft  with "It should always have been made public!!!!!"

Medcraft: :we seek to remedy the errors of the past."   Kirk admits: "there were underlying cutures of bad advice."  Yes we know that and why BFCSA and other groups exist........................."

Senator Williams throws in re Mackers: " Macquarie put many clients into commercial wholesale avoid.......why not take it over to the DPP?"  ASIC hadn't thought of that preferring to negotiate.  Williams questioned why Macquarie decided to audit its own planners and not report to ASIC.  The answers given on these questions were frighteningly stupid.

Chair continues in frustrated tone (we have all experienced the same frustrations dealing with these luminaries of ASIC). Senator Bishop leans forward once again [WTE]:  "Look I have a document and I can see its a FORGERY, what's more there are 12 similar documents and all are FORGERIES and, the consequences for me are loss of assets - say $500,000.  I am asking you WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?  I am saying this is NOT MY SIGNATURE and are you going to investigate?  

Kirk:  "If a breach........the complaint is against an authoritive firm................................................we cannot etc................."

Chair: Why not test the evidence...................whose signature etc.....................Not my signature - would you not refer to the Police?

Answer:  We did that once and Police took no further action.............................(You are permitted to now bang your head against nearest brick wall - or climb up it!)  

Kirk [WTE]: We are unlikely to take the word of the complainant because we would have to then get hand-writing evidence....proving who is responsible beyond reasonable doubt..........................."

Another Senator suggests "across the entire industry."  We know that!!!!  Heaps of fraud and forgery to choose from.

Then comes the classic question re shredding documents.  Those words are not mentioned but asking ASIC what it is doing about electronic storage of documents and data.  And another attack of the "willbees."

Kirk than suggests they have more contact with Industry people than consumers and rarely seek updates re complainant files.    Kell pipes up: "and via FOS and COSL."  None of those questioned, would even know what a consumer looks like.  They get paid close to half million per year each to look after Industry Authoritative Firms:"  The BIG END of Town.  YES we know.  

Then came the Conflict of Interest problem.........................Consumers did not lobby for the finance calculators in 2005 – Industry did.

The conflict of interest is in fact the INTERESTS of consumers vs the interests of lobbying Industry.  The bias of ASIC is appalling.  The next half hour was taken up with why ASIC believes "greed of BIG END towners is good for consumers."

As Tanzer said, he is trying to do what's best for consumers.   Don't bother Greg, just take a good look at all the losses, systemic risks, trends overseas, dark pools................................that are here in Australia because of ASIC's negligence and which:_

You Sir, have systemically and unrepentantly contributed to since we first met in 2001.  The financial loss and ruin to 100's of thousands of people is in the billions.  ASIC policies were never ever about what is best for consumers.

Chair has them sussed: "Do you think you have done a good job, are you satisfied........................?"   Medcraft uttered a quiet ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

ASIC can never again take the role of Consumer Protector.  The losses to humanity in this country are too big a price to pay.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 10 April 2014


    Simple, strip ASIC of consumer Protector now. Mind boggling to think they all reckon they are doing a great job in this area when all the while the big end will be patting them on their backs for their attempted cover ups again.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 10 April 2014

    For the effort to sit and cringe at the performances of CBA and ASIC reps isn't easy, the most conclusive evidence as to where ASIC place their bias is when the amount of compensation for some was raised in the amount of $35,000 the rep wanted to come up with a figure if ALL victims were paid this amount, the chair jumped on him inter-alia that it wasn't his brief to save the banks money, that little slip of the tongue by ASIC is their real charter, protect the banks at all cost, the Lawyer representing some victims was sickening is his praise of ASIC, why would he do anything else, a percentage of $35,000 for all concerned is fruit on the sideboard, in closing do not believe that this committee will achieve anything significant, but a lot of window dressing, these inquiries are a PR exercise.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 10 April 2014

    theJames Wheeldons statements to the Senate have rocked ASIC to its core. Greg Medcraft opened and went straight to defending themselves and refuting Jame's claims. Greg Tanzer's protest about the names of now senior ASIC personnel being exposed under parliamentary privelige back fired when Senator Bishop tore into Tanzer and told him to reply in writing a submission in response to James Wheeldon's submission.Tanzer was really rattled and at one stage he kept waffling and Senator Bishop repeated we got it and in the end Medcraft had to intervene to shut Tanzer up.
    Medcraft stated under his leadership they now have all these industry experts who report to ASIC quarterly to keep them informed of the latest trends, he stated he will rotate these people to keep the expertise fresh. I was hoping the Senators might suggest changing ASIC commissioners to keep the top tier of ASIC fresh although with all the cost cutting about to come a cull at ASIC would certainly save money.
    One statement intrigued me, time and time again in response to the Senators questions on why no action when presented with factual evidence of wrong doing ASIC stated funding and staff restrictions BUT everytime ASIC go before the Senators for questioning they have two rows of staff sitting behind them with laptops and files to refer to and then the notes would be passed forward.
    ASIC is in trouble and they know it, Medcraft in response to Senator Williams question about ASIC losing files from CFL stated twice " mea culpa Senator" the Latin for through my fault or I am to blame. So at last they are admitting they could of done better and REPEATEDLY the words in hind sight were used for past failings.
    The two brave ladies who opened proceedings struck a chord with the Senators and ASIC was ordered to look at Ms Swan's case again as well as others in regard to CFP. James Wheeldon's and Jeff Morris's statements have been a bonansa of inside information on the inner workings of ASIC and CPL. The fact that CPL had two weeks to cleanse files before handing them over did not go down well with the Senators, to watch the body language was revealing and the water was consumed in great amounts while ASIC were appearing.
    Dr Peter Bowden summed it up perfectly where he said its up to the Senators to put in the framework now before its to late because the system as it stands now will will reap dire financial consequences for our future.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 10 April 2014

    Friday 8-20 , James Kirby on ABC breakfast business report stated its obvious that ASIC's relationship with the banks is too close and they're not hard enough on them. He stated Greg Medcraft and the Commissioners performed very bad in regard to CFP. I assume the business press will have more to say in mainstream media and look forward to it.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 10 April 2014

    Too slow to act, too long to litigate
    No honest citizen would complain to ASIC if it wasn't legitimate.
    Whistle blowers are precious, they know exactly what's going on, especially if they are part of the organisation.
    Maybe we should change Asic's name "corporate protectors" not regulators.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 10 April 2014

    Watching this Inquiry yesterday I was happy to see the Senators getting frustrated with ASIC's bumbling antics... and these are our top executives?? I loved it when the Chair blasted back.. Its not ASIC's job to save the banks...

    Australia is doomed unless the Senators take action NOW to set things right for the sake of Australia and it's citizens. NOW is perfect timing....... Please don't let us down Senators

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Friday, 11 April 2014

    If not so very serious if would be laughable. Could not believe all I saw and heard re calculators class orders fraud systemic the ASIC register (just to name a few) and were they all squirming. What about the admission re Project Harnett and 50 people working on re-constructing files? Just wish I had been a fly on the wall at the end when they all retired to go through issues too sensitive! Classic line for me was to hear Greg Medcraft say RECORD KEEPING IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ASIC and then hear Joanna Bird admit when asked the direct question that FSA’s are NOT required to keep electronic records! She to me looked more uncomfortable when under the grill than most of them!

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Friday, 11 April 2014

    According to Asic, everyone is lying except them and what's this about talking in camera? us the public deserve to hear everything. What was said in camera that we were not allowed to hear....what do they have to hide?????....

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Friday, 11 April 2014

    Great analysis Denise. I agree with Organza - we'd be laughing in the aisles if this weren't such a tragedy.
    The lack of depth in ASICs comments is what gets to most people. It's like they're parroting buzz words and catch phrases.
    As for having faith ... that's nice, but we're looking for real solutions, not just the public service PR fluff that keeps being recycled.
    It's like a conversation between robots with pre-recorded responses.
    But what we're saying is: "Danger, danger Will Robinson" and "Destroy Exterminate".
    And the boffins at ASIC are trotting out totally inappropriate responses, like they're on another planet, which clearly they have been for a very long time.
    Maybe putting each one of them in a separate room, playing back to them what they said, and asking them to explain what that actually means might assist with them achieving more meaning and better communication with the rest of us Earthlings. But I doubt it. Their internal filtering prevents them getting what the problem really is in the first place: they think in big numbers, broad concepts and can't chunk down to the anguish of the individual consumer who has lost everything.
    This must change - it's so obvious. But it's pretty clear that the same minds that have caused the entrenched culture and it's problems can't possibly solve the problem. Wheel in the external consultants - that's probably next - but if no one is paying attention to the reams of reports then it's unlikely that a perceived invasion of external analysts are going to get any traction in trying to get ASIC to behave the way we, as consumers, and the Senators as fellow consumers and leaders, are demanding now.
    It's enough to make you climb the walls, like listening to someone run fingernails down a blackboard.
    The solution: if we can't sack ASIC or starve ASIC into submission, send their management on holiday and reinvent it while they're away. There's no chance for consumers and authentic consumer protection in Australia if these commissioners are running the show and getting away with their regular snow job reports to politicians. It has to stop and stop now, or we're all going to pay for their lavish lunches and pandering to the big end of town.
    Now, which Senator is going to finally pull the plug on ASIC?

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Friday, 11 April 2014

    "greed of BIG END towners is good for consumers."....what!?
    So we should start preschoolers on a regular videos of Gordon Gecko and Jamie Dimond so they can survive in the dog eat dog world of of Australian finance when they grow up?
    Are these ASIC guys for real?!!

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Friday, 11 April 2014

    Did anyone pick this up during the Inquiry:
    KIRK: "One of the things we (ASIC) did towards the end of last year was to make sure that they made it unambiguously clear to the remaining people with contested claims that not only could they go to FOS to have it resolved but CFP would waive any jurisdictional limits in that process. Some of those problems are under limited jurisdiction or they are disputes about whether there had been a previous agreement and there was already a binding deed of release and such. We got them to clarify for all of those customers that they were willing to waive those things."
    Does this mean that FOS waived the jurisdiction limits?
    How could borrowers get FOS to waive limits on loan compensations and write offs?

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