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BFCSA investigates fraud involving lenders, spruikers and financial planners worldwide.  Full Doc, Low Doc, No Doc loans, Lines of Credit and Buffer loans appear to be normal profit making financial products, however, these loans are set to implode within seven years.  For the past two decades, Ms Brailey, President of BFCSA (Inc), has been a tireless campaigner, championing the cause of older and low income people around the Globe who have fallen victim to banking and finance scams.  She has found that people of all ages are being targeted by Bankers offering faulty lending products. BFCSA warn that anyone who has signed up for one of these financial products, is in grave danger of losing their home.

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BFCSA: Graeme Samuel ‘bewildered’ by finance companies’ poor behaviour

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Graeme Samuel ‘bewildered’ by finance companies’ poor behaviour

The Australian 12:00am September 22, 2018

Michael Roddan

 

Former competition tsar Graeme Samuel has hit out at the “completely unacceptable” behaviour of some of Australia’s biggest ­financial institutions through the man­ipulation of supposedly independent reports concocted by major consulting firms and fed to financial regulators.

While crimes and misdemeanours committed by the big four banks gave cause to establish the banking and financial services royal commission, the behaviour of the big four accounting firms — KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and PwC — and a host of second-tier auditing, contracting and consulting firms is squarely in the sights of financial watchdogs.

Kenneth Hayne’s royal commission this week revealed further sorry examples of how companies pressure consultancies to fudge information in reports destined for regulators, this time with the revelation that EY buckled to the demands of insurance giant Allianz and reproduced a draft report four times because the insurance group thought the report was being too hard on it.

Just three months ago, amid shocking examples of misconduct being aired at the royal commission, Allianz killed a scathing ­Deloitte report into the insurer’s compliance and control failures.

The insurer did this even though it was aware that AMP had been seen to have breached criminal laws after the royal commission heard it forced law firm Clayton Utz to make more than two dozen changes to what was an “independent” report into its fees-for-no-service scandal.

The Weekend Australian can reveal that the Australian Securities & Investments Commission is poised to take action against AMP over the scandal, which has led to the early exit of chairman Catherine Brenner, chief executive Craig Meller and chief legal eagle Brian Salter, along with several board ­directors.

While overseas jurisdictions such as Britain have taken great steps to investigate the failures of consulting firms, Australia has languished in policing misconduct by an industry that represents a key plank of the financial system.

The mounting evidence of management interference in ­“independent” reports uncovered by the royal commission throws doubt on the reliability of the ­endless stream of such reviews mandated by ASIC and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

The revelations come as APRA prepares to be inundated with ­independent reviews, after the regulator forced the country’s largest financial institutions to ­investigate whether they suffered from the same issues as Commonwealth Bank, which was the subject of a scathing APRA-led review of its governance, culture and accountability.

“It just bewilders me that people who commission independent reports and people who provide independent reports think they can cross the line in trying to influence the reports,” Mr Samuel, the former top dog at the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, told The Weekend Australian. “It’s just not on. It’s completely unacceptable.

“If an organisation is asked to provide an independent report, the commissioning corporation should have no interests whatsoever in seeking to influence the opinions, the nuances or the balance of the report. There is no question in my mind that they should not seek to do it.

“Let’s face it. We’re already ­seeing examples in the royal ­commission, and these are only two or three cameos that we’re seeing. Commissioner Hayne has got a lot more information than in the cameo trials than what we’re ­seeing right now, and you might ­expect there are many other ­examples.”

EY professional practice partner Kathy Parsons said that if the group could not act independently it would withdraw from an engagement.

“As a matter of course, prior to issuing an independent report, we do confirm the factual accuracy of the draft report, which we believe is not only common practice, it is vital to the integrity of the process,” Ms Parsons said, noting that responses were not “necessarily” included in a final report.

A spokesman for Deloitte said the group took its role seriously. “We can, and have, withdrawn from engagements where the client’s behaviour may have prevented us from being able to deliver in an independent manner,” Deloitte said.

While a parliamentary committee is investigating the auditing firms over the $1.7 billion they have won in government contracts in recent years, which has already led to the ACCC being recommended to tackle potential cartel conduct between the firms, the examination is yet to move into the auditors’ behaviour in the business and financial sectors.

The credibility of the work done by the consultancies was a key part of the economy, according to Labor MP Julian Hill, who is steering the parliamentary ­inquiry. “Given the revelations at the public accounts and auditing ­inquiry which is looking at government work, (opposition assistant Treasury spokesman) Andrew Leigh and I have written to the ACCC raising questions as to whether the competition regulator should look at the structure of the consulting and audit market in Australia,” Mr Hill said.

“The financial statement auditing function and absolutely credible, independent work for regulators is critical to Australia’s capital markets and economy,” he told The Weekend Australian. “Public confidence in how these behemoths manage their internal conflicts is important.”

Former ASIC boss Greg Medcraft has lashed the substandard auditing of the firms, which he ­labelled the “gatekeepers” of the financial markets, arguing that poor auditing would result in the next Enron-style collapse.

 

 

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