Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Commonwealth Bank now using legal threats and the courts to intimidate whistleblowers

Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev is now using legal threats and the courts in an attempt to shut-up whistleblowers regarding the massive fraud and theft at the bank. Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop’s younger brother Douglas Bishop is the lawyer representing Commonwealth Bank executive Brendan French in defamation proceedings against whistleblower Michael Fraser. This raises many questions by itself.

I have seen some dumb moves and this one by the Commonwealth Bank is right up there with the dumbest as it will continue to put the spotlight on the bank’s corrupt practices. It will also potentially expose the government given Mr Bishop’s involvement and the government’s refusal to have a Royal Commission into the CBA.


Investment fund advisors at the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) have been ripping millions of dollars off customers by fraudulently manipulating their super funds. The advisors do this to increase their bonuses which can be $100,000’s. In doing so the advisors have lost 1000’s of customers a lot of their super funds.

This came to light in the media last year. For example the ABC’s Four Corners program had the story Banking Bad which even named at least one corrupt bank employee, Don Nguyen. Mr Nguyen has never been charged and under the leadership of Ian Narev. The CBA has deliberately concealed the evidence from the police. (Click here to watch the program or read the transcript).

The Federal Senate had an inquiry last year and recommended a Royal Commission into the Commonwealth Bank because the bank refused to answer many questions asked of it by the senators. (Click here to read more)

Two previous articles are worth re-reading in relation to corruption at the CBA’s which covers its subsidiary Bankwest (Click here to read the articleand I also mentioned CBA corruption to a degree in a post on Westpac. (Click here to read) So the CBA has plenty of form on the board for corruption and they just continue day in day out like it is standard practice.

Michael Fraser – whistleblower & advocate for whistleblowers

Michael Fraser runs the website The Arbitrator and has been mentioned on this site before in relation to his battle with the Commonwealth Bank on behalf of unhappy customers. Previously I mentioned the dodgy warning letter sent to Mr Fraser from CBA Executive John Geurts. (Click here to read the letter)

Mr Geurts has been up to his handiwork again and sent another letter but now the grub has gone even further and implied that Mr Fraser could have broken the law by not going to the police with his evidence of corruption at the CBA.

The lying and deceiving John Geurts

The lying and deceiving John Geurts

It is worth noting Mr Geurts background which includes 19 years as a Federal Police officer (AFP) from 1981 to 2000. When he left the AFP he went straight to the Commonwealth Bank as Head of Security with a focus on fraud and corruption control. I wonder if Mr Geurts rings his mates at the AFP to make sure they do not investigate corruption at the CBA? It might explain why the AFP have done bugger all. (Click here to read his LinkedIn profile)

Given the massive fraud and corruption that everyone knows is happening at the Commonwealth Bank it is fair to say that John Geurts is not doing his job and he is negligent and derelict in his duties not only for the CBA but for the shareholders and customers as well. The reality is that Mr Geurts has been given the green light from the CEO Ian Narev and the Directors to cover-up the fraud and corruption at the CBA.

The latest threatening letter from John Geurts to Mr Fraser is below:

John Geurts letter Jan 2015 page oneJohn Geurts letter Jan 2015 page two

(Click here to read the 2 letters from Mr Fraser to Mr Geurts which preceded Mr Geurts above letter) (The above letter is freely available on Mr Fraser’s Facebook page and his Twitter account and given he did not edit the address out I have not either)

John Geurts only has to do a Google search or watch the Four Corners Banking Bad episode and he would have more than enough evidence of corruption at the CBA to keep the police going for years. So for Mr Geurts to play stupid and say he has not been provided any evidence is a disgrace.

But the big attempt at intimidation by Mr Geurts is to suggest to Mr Fraser that he may have breached section 316 of the NSW Crimes Act 1990 which is “Concealing serious indictable offence”. (Click here to read moreIt basically means if you have evidence of a crime and you do not go to the police then you have committed a crime by concealing it.

Mr Geurts is suggesting to Mr Fraser that if he has evidence of fraud at the CBA he needs to go to the police otherwise he might end up in jail. Mr Geurts is trying to intimidate Mr Fraser to shut up.

The sad part is that John Geurts is clearing in breach of section 316 of the NSW Crimes Act 1990 and should be in jail along with the CEO and Directors of the CBA. For starters there is former CBA advisor Don Nguyen (as mentioned on Banking Bad) who ripped off customers and Mr Geurts is covering it up. Mr Geurts is a former Australian Federal Police officer and is clearly well aware that he is committing crimes by concealing the fraud and corruption at the CBA. Mr Geurts letter is basically an admission of guilt but he is too stupid to realise it.

Mr Geurts might also want to explain why he had private investigators stalking Mr Fraser in 2013 as reported in the SMH.

“An undercover surveillance operation ordered by the Commonwealth Bank has embroiled the institution in a spying scandal, with senior MPs monitored and photographed by private detectives investigating one of its critics.” (Click here to read more)

Choice Shonky Award

CBA even managed to pick up an Shonky Award from consumer advocacy website Choice last year. (Click here to read more) Below is a YouTube video they did which is worth a watch. I wonder if CBA CEO Ian Narev will sue Choice for defamation given the below video?


Julie Bishop – Personal interest – Conflict of interest

Late last year the Commonwealth Bank executive Brendan French instituted defamation proceedings against Michael Fraser. In October last year the Federal Government rejected a bipartisan call for a Royal Commission into the Commonwealth Bank by a Senate inquiry. (Click here to read more) At the same time as the government was deciding whether or not to have a Royal Commission Julie Bishop’s brother Douglas had his snout in the trough getting paid by the CBA to help harass and intimidate whistleblower Michael Fraser.

Douglas Bishop is a partner at the Australian law firm Clayton Utz where Julie Bishop also previously worked as managing partner for their Perth office. Mr Bishop would be on at least $1million as a partner and maybe a lot more given he does work for the CBA.

Douglas Bishop

Douglas Bishop

I am not alleging corruption by Julie Bishop but I am not ruling it out either. She clearly has some very serious questions to answer and as a lawyer she would know that because there is clearly at the very least perceived bias which is a term lawyers are extremely familiar with.

Some of the questions Julie Bishop needs to answer are:

1. What involvement did Ms Bishop have in the government rejecting the bipartisan call by the Senate inquiry for a Royal Commission into the Commonwealth Bank?

2. Did Ms Bishop notify the Prime Minister of the conflict of interest given her brother Douglas was and is on the CBA pay roll? If not, why not? Did Ms Bishop notify other Ministers and MPs? If not, why not?

3. Given the obvious personal interest and conflict of interest did Ms Bishop stand aside from any debate and/or decision-making in relation to the possible CBA corruption Royal Commission? If not, why not?

4. Did Julie Bishop have any discussions with her brother Douglas in relation to the Royal Commission? Did he lobby her?

What makes Julie Bishop’s position even worse is that the government’s decision not to have a Royal Commission into corruption at the CBA is clearly a dodgy decision. The CBA lobbied the government hard not to have the Royal Commission and it worked.

The Commonwealth Bank have become cocky because they have managed to close down the recommended royal commission and minimize the payouts to the customers they have fraudulently ripped off. But this time they have bitten off more than they can chew and the online community will bite back hard.

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28 replies »

  1. And the point that the CB’s lawyer is the brother of the Foreign minister is? Are you suggesting some sort of conspiracy or guilt by blood?

    • I think I make my points in the post. For example it is what is called perceived bias. Julie Bishop could and should have stood aside from any decision making regarding the Royal Commission into the CBA and Ms Bishop as a lawyer would know that.

    • A clear and obvious conflict of interest at minimum. A very interesting situation as Bishop could be PM within weeks, especially if the LNP lost in Queensland.

  2. I too have had bad business with CBA back in 1998. I went to jail for non payment of fines by the set date. At the time I was receiving a Auststudy payment from centerlink and this was being paid into my CBA account. Whilst in jail I gave authority of my account to my mother, so she could put it into my buy up account in jail and help my parents with rent etc. When my mother went to draw out my benefit there was nothing in there, upon further investigation she saw that centerlink deposited the money into my account then CBA took the whole amount which was around $350 for the fortnight. After seeing that CBA had taken the money out she asked to see the Manager of CBA in Wynnum Qld. The manager came out and directed her to his office and sat down asking what he could help her with. She stated to him that I was in jail and that I had given her authority over my account and when she went to draw out the money there was no money available and then said that she noticed that CBA took the money out. So he pulled up my account and then turned to my mother and stated that I was late on making a payment to my personal loan and credit card. My mother then stated to him that because it is a government payment they can only take out 10% of the total benefit not the whole amount he then in turn replied to my mother that we the CBA can do whatever we want with your son’s money. When I got out of jail I stopped business with CBA and never used them again.

  3. Hi Shane

    Many thanks for exposing John Geurts for the shonk he is.

    When he came to the CBA I was National Manager Investigations and Fraud Control. I was warned about him by a friend in the AFP. I don’€™t believe he knew how to arrest anyone, let alone do any real investigation. His speciality was the use of computers.

    He would shut himself in his office and prove most difficult to consult. Eventually I was retrenched, ostensibly because my position was abolished which was rubbish. I took on the Bank with the help of the CBA Union and won a payout as a settlement of my claim without the matter reaching Court. I believe I was retrenched because I was a thorn in their side having been formally trained in the Metropolitan Police, London and a detective from Scotland Yard.

    I stood up to officers in the Bank far senior to myself and would not shovel investigations under the carpet.

    Since arriving in Australia in 1974, most of my career was spent in fraud. When I arrived at the CBA in 1997 I was the only person to have ever been trained in spite of having 135 staff under my command – a dreadful state of affairs.

    I would say that in my career spanning over 35 years in investigations, Mr Geurts was the worst Manager I ever had.

    So just get in to him because I know he is a lying, deceiving person

    Many thanks for listening

    Alastair Browne

  4. Yes Shane….welcome back mate…..have been missing the juicy stories during the silly season.
    It seems the CBA are often in trouble as a guy I know who was a big merino sheep farmer in NSW went to see lawyers for over 10 years in Sydney to sue CBA via a class action which was worth millions in the 90’s. I guess his efforts were eventually in vain and I was told he passed away about 2 months ago. This was going on back in CBA CEO Murray’s days. I sure wish he had had the power of social media like KCA back then!

    The Four Corners programme was good, but as you say……efforts to get the Senate to commence a Royal Commission may have been stifled……maybe by those mentioned in your article…..I may ask the person in question when I see them in early Feb!

  5. We need a Royal Commission into the collusion between the Political, Banking, Judicial System, AFP and ASIC. Not sure if this could be possible? How do you tackle investigating this fraud, criminal activity and racketeering when all of these government (corporations) seem to be directly engaged in the racketeering without resorting to a public revolt due to silence or inaction by the establishment?

    • Brett you have nailed it except you had not included APRA. since the retirement of John Laker the whole shebang of APRA has been altered so that it has the same diluted regulatory authority as ASIC.
      Any Proceedings from an ASIC perspective has to pass through the hands of Attorney General George Brandis QC, also that any disciplinary action (post 1st July 2016)can only be authorised via the Attorney General in person.

      The 3 main persons that will fight against the prospect of a Royal Commission are the PM the Att Gen and the ex Belgian Finance minister.
      The chairman of the CBA is a very spry and well connected person, not at all afraid to call on the PM and others to do his bidding.
      I allege this Bank has all the ingredients of a frightened body of silent executive director persons who know how incompatible this Bank has become in relation to its breaches of its Australian Banking Licence.
      Were John Laker back in place as head of the Prudential Regulator (APRA) this Bank would suffer the wrath due upon the CBA integrity.
      The dates to hand of the serious Financial Advisory Division contretemps have been alive since the time of the current and all previous CEO’s going back to David Murray himself.
      Furthermore having read the entire history of this Bank this has shown just how nefarious a financial institution can become, yet now seems to want to continue into the futures as a notorious controversial financial institution but with greater protection available from any and all Regulatory Authority bodies in our Nation.

  6. “The sad part is that John Geurts is clearing in breach of section 316 of the NSW Crimes Act 1990 and should be in jail along with the CEO and Directors of the CBA. For starters there is former CBA advisor Don Nguyen (as mentioned on Banking Bad) who ripped off customers and Mr Geurts is covering it up. Mr Geurts is a former Australian Federal Police officer and is clearly well aware that he is committing crimes by conceal the fraud and corruption at the CBA. Mr Geurts letter is basically an admission of guilt but he is too stupid to realise it.”

    What does it say for the 26 executives of ANZ NAB and Westpac who refuse to make a formal complaint to the Queensland Police about the 8 major fraudulent acts against their banks even though they admit in court documents that they were defrauded. A senior Queensland Fraud Squad Detective told me that the Police are sitting on enough evidence ( gathered when they arrested and jailed the crim for kidnap and extortion ) to put the criminal away for another 10 years but their hands are tied because none of the 3 banks will make a written complaint

  7. Welcome back Shane and hope you enjoyed the break.

    I have been used in a couple of aspects of corruption and fraud in politics, judiciary, banks, insurance, accountancy, unions, media, etc; which is continually expanding and reinforcing their individual and interwoven webs.
    How many charges would need to be laid upon the many individuals involved, who will judge them with honesty and find them guilty, and as a prison term should be the only option for punishment, how many prisons would we have to expand or build, using the funds from stripping their assets.
    The Catch 22 warning bell is loudly ringing.

  8. Excellent Post Shane,

    I must admit that I have spoken to Michael Fraser once or twice and found him to be a very articulate young man, I am not surprised at the actions of the CBA and its management in the slightest..!!

    Neither am I surprised by the actions of the Bishops, it would appear that even the concept of maintaining the perception of appearances, is even past their ability to comprehend at this point…. !!

    I would have liked to have believed that once upon a time, the Political Elite could have managed to be embarrassed enough, to say NO Way to even the slightest chance of people even thinking that anything might be wrong… !!

    But I guess they just don’t care anymore and they might soon be sorry that they have taken the Marie Antoinette road..!!

  9. The CBA is a National Disgrace not unlike our So called Government and the whole Judiciary System , I Have offered to pay out a MasterCard debt 18,000 , I wrote them a letter requesting information of the set-up of my card and paperwork ect to this date I have had no reply at all ,instead they Sold my debt to some dodgy lawyer Liar firm where they too despite being provided with a copy of that letter have ignored it and demanded immediate payment of the Money , I Impolitely told them what they could do with there demands . What a disgrace these clowns are CBA the criminals Bank

  10. It would appear from these findings by terrier Shane that cover-ups may be as commonplace in the present government as they were with the last corrupt mob. It would be plausible to think along with the inconsistency of the sitting cabinet the murky undertones of this bank debacle this government will be a one term wonder but who do we vote for now?, I think I will gladly pay my fine and abstain from our corrupt elections.Allan from Myalup WA (ex conservative voter)

  11. This still makes me remember the comment by Greg Medcraft formerly of ASIC. Not the exact words but very close: Australia is a paradise for white-collar crime!
    FWIW, I was taken to the cleaners by BankWest/CBA and that government protected, colluded take-over – they got everything I worked 23 years for and more. Bloody pond scum, all of them.
    White collar criminal paradise is still rolling on at a rollicking pace. With any government (Labor or Liberal), a conflict of interest is not recognised as a conflict of interest so long as they and their scummy mates are creaming in the dollars. Jules Bishop will have some sort of lame excuse that mainstream media will just simply regurgitate.
    Good article Shane and welcome back.
    Keep up pouring the acid onto the real criminals.

  12. Yep, liars and bullies is my experience
    robbers and thieves
    I’m sueing them for forgery
    The laywers they hire are confounding parisitic filth
    ‘to the extent that’ and other quotes from the above letters were used on me too.
    smug bastards need deposing urgently

  13. With regards to Lawyers, all Lawyers are Officers of the Court in accordance with Section 5 of the Acts Amendment Repeals Court and Legal Practices Act. This is in contravention or in conflict with the Statute of Monopolies. This is the same Act that all politicians claim protection under and use and use when claiming Parliamentary Privilege.

  14. Where to from here? Lunatics are playing with the P.M. job over in Labor, this Liberal Bunch don’t appear to be much better then those who lied, cheated, and destroyed the country. The Greens are a NO GO Area of destruction, and that leaves only the independents which means the whole place is in a really BIG MESS.

  15. There is an answer, and it is NOT, “She’ll be right, mate”……fight to change the system of voting, the system of endless pollies wages, the system of obscene wages for bankers and bank profits, the system of buying shares, everyone with a bank book is a shareholder, they are the people who put their money in banks, because at one time the banks were honourable.
    Time to get to a point and show who owns who, if you allow the banks to rule YOU, don’t complain, ever.

  16. Im just sick of the corruption in this country, goodbye Julie Bishop, lets please have Morrison for PM before the stupids vote in that useless Shorten.

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