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The COSL Board - due for review by stakeholders, the public? You decide...

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Comment: BFCSA members can see a potential conflict of interest in the COSL board.

Those experienced in going through COSL for external dispute resolution agree.

Is there a reluctance by COSL staff to deal effectively with "disputes" involving breaches of actual law by lenders?

Frankly COSL needs more "teeth" ie the capacity to take disciplinary action against lenders if they are to successfully manage disputes involving lenders and fraud. Lenders can and do use unfair tactics, especially with vulnerable borrowers inexperienced in the dispute resolution process. 

It would be fairer to everybody if all home mortgage disputes under the NCCP (Consumer Law and Codes) were overseen by the one EDR: FOS

In reality Fraud is crime and EDRs only handle disputes.

This COSL issue does affect a lot of consumers, as COSL and FOS are the only ASIC approved EDR services in Australia.


http://www.cosl.com.au/board-of-directors

The COSL Board

Under COSL’s Constitution, the Board must comprise an equal number of consumer and industry Directors, and an independent Chair. The COSL Board is responsible for overseeing the operations of the Credit Ombudsman Service, for ensuring independent decision-making of the Credit Ombudsman and staff of COSL and for preserving the independence of the scheme and of the COSL dispute resolution process.

 

Mark Scanlon

Independent Chair - since March 11

Mr Scanlon has an extensive background in financial services, with over 20 years in senior management positions, including a significant amount of time in mutual organisations.

Mr Scanlon held executive roles at the Australian Unity Friendly Society from 1993 to 1998, whereupon he joined Bass & Equitable Building Society as Chief Executive Officer for two years. In 2000, Mr Scanlon became Chief Executive Officer of the Tasmanian Trustees Limited, and, following the 2001 merger with Perpetual Trustees Tasmania Limited to form Tasmanian Perpetual Trustees Limited (TPTL), he was appointed Managing Director from December 2001 to November 2009. He concurrently held the position of Managing Director of Tasmanian Banking Services, a joint venture between TPTL and Bendigo Bank. During 2009, he was the joint CEO of MyState Limited, the listed company formed to enable the merger of TPTL and MyState Financial Credit Union.

In addition to his career in financial services, Mr Scanlon is a director of the Motor Accidents Insurance Board. He was previously a director of the Tasmanian Heart Foundation, Australian Unity General Insurance, Australian Friendly Society, Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Australian Unity Funds Management.

Mr Scanlon holds a Bachelor of Business and a Master of Business Administration and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and CPA Australia.

 

Catherine Uhr

Consumer Director - since December 03

Catherine Uhr is a Senior Solicitor in Legal Aid Queensland’s Civil Justice (Consumer Protection) unit. For the last seven years she has specialised in disputes about credit and debt.

Catherine was one of the inaugural winners of the Australian Plaintiff Lawyers' Association Civil Justice Award in 2001 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the delivery of civil justice in Queensland and has extensive experience and networks as a Consumer Advocate. She has been a member of the Queensland Law Society’s Banking and Finance Sub-committee for the past 5 years.

 

Katherine Lane

Consumer Director - since December 03

Katherine Lane has been Principal Solicitor at Consumer Credit Legal Centre (NSW) Inc for the past 4 years. She has been a practising solicitor for over 10 years and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and a Master of Laws (Commercial Law).

Katherine has over 18 years financial services experience and has been representing and advising consumers in relation to credit and debt matters for over 6 years. She has been involved in consumer advocacy in relation to financial services for over 6 years. Katherine also received a Highly Commended Award from the Minister of Fair Trading at the Consumer Protection Awards in 2005.

 

Jon Denovan

Industry Director - since December 04

Jon Denovan is a partner of Gadens Lawyers, one of Australias largest law firms. Jon is a director of the MFAA, Australias peak mortgage and finance industry body. In recognition of his contribution to the mortgage industry, Jon was made the first honorary member of the MFAA.

Jon has established documents and procedures for many banks, other leading lenders, mortgage mangers and brokers. His focus is on clear documentation which is customer-friendly yet risk averse.

Jon is a director of Gadens National Mortgage Services, Australia’s largest independent mortgage documentation and recovery service.

 

Victoria Edema

Industry Director - since August 05

Vicky Edema holds an Arts/Law Degree, together with a Diploma in Mortgage Lending from the Securities Institute of Australia. Vicky has over 25 years experience working within the non-bank sector of the mortgage industry.

Vicky is the Managing Director of Austral Mortgage Corporation, a well-established mortgage manager in the industry. She is also the past NSW State and National President of the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia and has been admitted by its National Council as an Honorary Life Member of the MFAA for her contribution to the industry.

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  • doyla66
    doyla66 Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    Apart from the board composition, another potential threat to the level playing field concept is that we know the regulators and others would prefer to dump all the blame on the brokers, regardless of the bank/lender role, either overtly or covertly educating and co-ercing the some of the brokers. There is eye witness evidence that brokers were "blackballed" by aggregators for not complying with instructions to fudge figures and get the loans on the books anyway they could.
    Using COSL as an EDR with a Gadens' representative on the board increases ease with which the case against the lender could become a case against the broker or a law case.
    I'm not saying that happens, but I would like to see the evidence from a goodly cross-section of previous cases to determine whether there are any patterns emerging in the final case manager assessment.
    Finally, all EDRs, Banks and Lenders, must consider the possibility that the borrower could be elderly, fragile, stressed or unwell in deciding to use or allow the "tactics" approach. EDR is not a game of Rugby. For borrowers there is so much more at stake than the possession of a leather ball or a pay bonus. We're fighting for our right to live in peace and safety in our own homes, legally and legitimately, without terror.
    The take away for Banks/Lenders: we have the evidence and we are using it. Give up and set free the old, the vulnerable and all those legally entitled to their homes, TODAY. You'll be saving yourselves a lot of money, staff hours, stress and irritation if you do set them all free now. I know you know that. JUST DO IT.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    Of course FOS is 'obligated' to refer systemic issues(incl.fraud) to ASIC, but elects to look the other way conveniently (for banks).

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    FOS are unlikely to "see" systemic fraud.
    1. They don't have "fraud" - courts have fraud.
    2. They deal predominantly at the level of individual cases and details.
    There's a possibility that they might "see" systemic "maladministration in lending" - in spades - if they're looking for it or measuring that parameter.

    And even if FOS do refer anything like "systemic fraud" to the ASIC information harvesters nothing much is going to happen 99% of the time. ASIC is more like a monumental computer - data collectors. They get more animated over failure to pay licences and fees. There's a much better chance of a borrower being busted by ASIC for running late with their company registration fee during the FOS experience. And ASIC may as well be collecting butterflies for all the use they are to the prevention and management of genuine large scale corporate crime through committed proactive consumer protection. I'm getting the picture that it's not their job, no matter what "Money Smart" say. ASIC and ACCC probably still have the "overlap" issue that Evan Williams wrote about years ago. Big time rationalisation of regulators needed to drive effective regulatory control on the ground. We could drive a fleet of trucks through the widening gaps in the actual regulatory system, despite the appearance of the paperwork. So Australia has paper regulators trying to blanket the country's issues and paper tigers at the Banks, all at the ivory tower level, managed by a govt cabinet that produces financial reports sounding like they're on happy pills. Meanwhile we live on the coalface of reality.
    No wonder.

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