Who lied and who knew? The real criminals of the Banking Royal Commission are the politicians

The Royal Commission has uncovered many crimes by the banks and other financial institutions in just a couple of weeks but the key to getting long-lasting change is getting at the core problem and that is the politicians who are continually lying about what they knew and when. How can everyone else in country know for the past 10 years or more that the banks have major problems with corruption but the politicians didn’t?

Some recent media focus has been on the fact that the Royal Commission should have been held earlier and that is right, but the media need to go beyond the failings of the Liberal Party and have a good look at the Labor Party as well. The problems of widespread criminal conduct and fraud in the banking industry is not new and includes the time when Labor leader Bill Shorten was Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation from 14.9.10 to 1.7.13.

It must be remembered that the infamous Storm Financial collapse happened in January 2009 “with the loss of almost $3 billion in investor funds, leaving many among its 3000 former investors destitute. (Click here to read more)

And in March this year it was reported that the 2 directors responsible for leaving 3000 people “destitute” are facing pathetic fines after ASIC refused to file criminal charges against them.

Emmanuel and Julie Cassimatis, the husband and wife founders of collapsed company Storm Financial — which left more than 3,000 clients destitute — are facing fines of $70,000 each under a Federal Court ruling. (Click here to read more)

The main point in raising the Storm Financial collapse is that is shows that the Labor Party and Liberal Party have failed for at least 10 years to address the scandalous corruption issues in the banking and finance industry when they clearly were aware of the problem as we all were. And ASIC have achieved nothing as well.

Former ASIC staff have started to blow the whistle:

ASIC has a culture of subservience and acquiescence when it comes to the big banks, says a former lawyer for the corporate watchdog.

James Wheeldon worked for ASIC as a junior lawyer for just under a year between 2004 and 2005, and said many of the same senior people were still in charge and nothing had changed.

“If I wanted to get a job with a bank, I’d go work for a bank instead of doing the banks’ work through ASIC,” he said.

“Having lobbyists from the banks working in the regulatory policy branch, advising ASIC on amending the law to benefit the banks — as far as current senior people at ASIC are concerned, that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with it,” he said. (Click here to read more)

And another:

A former senior investigator at Australian Securities and Investments Commission has accused the regulator of lacking the “balls” to prosecute white-collar crime and criticised successive governments for poor appointments in the people chosen to run the organisation.

Barrister Niall Coburn, who spent a total of 13 years at ASIC in two stints between 1992 and 2012 and led high-profile criminal investigations, told Fairfax Media he had repeatedly warned his bosses they needed to take a harder line but was ignored.

“The basic thing is they haven’t got the balls. My bosses never had the balls to bring proceedings and if you were outspoken you were basically shut down and isolated,” he said. (Click here to read more)

Both the stories from the former ASIC employees are similar and point to the same thing and that is management at ASIC has been deliberately derelict in their duty in enforcing the law when it comes to the banks and their subsidiaries.

The SMH has reported:

“AMP lying to the regulator, CBA awarded the “gold medalist” for charging fees for no service, NAB caught false witnessing documents, client impersonation, inappropriate advice, Orwellian protection policies and a witness carted out on a stretcher after collapsing.”

“Criminal prosecution is now on the agenda.”

“In 2014 the then head of ASIC, Greg Medcraft, said Australia was a paradise for white-collar crime. He was right. What he didn’t say was ASIC was partly responsible for the cesspit of misconduct.” (Click here to read more)

What the SMH article misses is probably the biggest scandal uncovered by the Royal Commission so far and that is that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), who are the corporate cop for the banking and financial sector, have done virtually nothing for the last 10 years regarding criminal offences in relation to financial planners.

ASIC and their failure with policing financial planners

ASIC said it relied on negotiation with financial planning licensees to secure any penalty.

Despite mounting evidence of an industry rife with misconduct, ASIC has only pursued one criminal proceeding in the past 10 years, and has not issued any civil penalty orders against licensees since 2013.

Certainly evidence tabled in the hearing does not point to ASIC being hasty launch prosecutions.

  • ASIC has never prosecuted anyone for failing to report a breach within the current 10-day limit, given high evidentiary standards needed and to give licensees more time to investigate the breaches
  • ASIC has not instigated one civil penalty order in the past five years
  • ASIC has only succeeded in getting two licence suspensions and two licence cancellations since 2013
  • ASIC has launched one criminal case in the past 10 years
  • ASIC has launched six civil penalty cases against licensees since 2013, when new legislation came into force allowing this course of action
  • Since 2008 ASIC has issued 229 bans against financial planners, 46 per cent have been permanent. (Click here to read more)

It is well-known dozens if not hundreds of financial planners have committed fraud with customer’s accounts yet ASIC has instituted only one criminal case in 10 years, so it is no wonder the fraud in the industry is rife.

Fraud is a criminal offence so where have the police been?

How many hundreds or thousands of people have complained to ASIC over the last 10 years? If ASIC were never going to do anything did they advise the complainants to go to the police? If ASIC didn’t then they were involved in concealing criminal offences.

And I’m sure some people would have gone to the police. What did the police do? Refer them back to ASIC?

Failings of the media

A lot of the media have been quick to blame the politicians and ASIC which is fair enough, but they clearly need to look in the mirror as well. Like well paid lobbyists many so-called journalists actually lobbied against the Royal Commission when it was so blatantly obvious one was needed. On the other hand, there have been a few journalists who hooked in and drove the issue.

My past article including documents up to the CEO and no action

The biggest crime of all will be if the Royal Commission isn’t extended. There are thousands of people with stories to tell. One of the best from this website is a 2014 article where I emailed Westpac’s then CEO Gail Kelly with documented proof of fraud which were internal Westpac emails, so they couldn’t be argued against.

Westpac 

I published a story in May 2014 titled: “Westpac CEO Gail Kelly knowingly conceals fraud at the bank court documents and emails show“.

Westpac CEO Gail Kelly and Chairman Lindsay Maxsted are up to the neck in concealing fraud by staff at Westpac. I have the documents to prove it including internal bank emails and an email sent to me on Mrs Kelly’s behalf which is in effect an admission. Both Gail Kelly and Lindsay Maxsted should be in jail for concealing a serious indictable offence.

The Westpac fraud is very similar in a lot of regards to the story this week on massive bank fraud by employees at the Commonwealth Bank which was on the ABC’s Four Corners program this week called Banking Bad. (Click here to read more)

Moving forward

So, while we can and should sit back and reflect on why Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Treasurer Scott Morrison and Minister for Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer didn’t act earlier and why there were so many failings on their watch we also need to be asking the same things about Bill Shorten and the Labor Party. Failure to do that means we could end up with the same problems in the future.

The way the government has protected the banks and other financial institutions is the same way the government has protected many corrupt lawyers and judges. The complaints fall into a hole and the complainants are worn down until they go away. But times are changing fast and disgruntled consumers can smell blood with the banks and won’t be backing off. Judgment day is finally coming.

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35 Comments on “Who lied and who knew? The real criminals of the Banking Royal Commission are the politicians”

  1. George Graf April 28, 2018 at 11:44 pm #

    Great article and as always right on the money.

  2. Vasant Wagh April 29, 2018 at 1:35 am #

    Successive governments have failed in stopping or even looking closely at the corruption as a whole in our country. Banking Royal Commission needs to be given as much extension as they feel is necessary to root out the corruption.

    Our politicians,especially those in the successive governments, can not and should not be left without scrutiny in this whole unacceptable corruption in the banking industry.

    The Banking Royal Commission should also take into account how the former Premier of NSW the Hon Mike Baird got a reported two million job with NAB after quitting politics abruptly and also how the former Commonwealth Ombudsman Mr Colin Neave got a job in ANZ after leaving his job prematurely by cutting short his term by months.
    Both these appointments deserve full scale and in depth investigations no matter how perfectly legal they were is my view.

    Both NAB and ANZ probably had a fair idea about what may come out if the Royal Commission gets serious in asking the right questions is my view.

  3. Trust Me I'm a Politician April 29, 2018 at 1:49 am #

    If lying, cheating, misleading, & fraud are the criteria, there should be a Royal Commission into politics in Australia.

    • bibifromozbibi April 29, 2018 at 8:12 am #

      Yet another “swamp” that needs draining….. where is Australia’s “Trump”…??

      • JohnG April 29, 2018 at 8:45 am #

        here here ,100%

      • logbags May 3, 2018 at 4:50 pm #

        Australian politics is nepotistic and rewards failure. Remember when Andrew Peacock lost the leadership to Howard. He was made ambassador to America. Then Beazley also lost the leadership of his party and was made ambassador to America. Now of course it is Joe Hockey who has that cushy job. Then of course you have that flabby, milk sop Alexander Downer who is High Commissioner to the UK.

        Today I saw yet another news story about a crackdown on welfare cheats, yet the biggest spongers on the taxpayer tit are these career politicians who spend their whole adult life in politics. Even if given the boot they get some cushy gig in the banking or private sector. So are we stupid enough to think they are really going to police or prosecute the banks?

      • freddirh May 3, 2018 at 5:28 pm #

        What about jobs for the boys with Beasley in WA given the job as Governor when he has despised Royalty and wanted to leave the Commonwealth! Leopards change their spots when cushy paying jobs are offered!!!

    • Bill Edwards April 29, 2018 at 10:35 am #

      Definitely Turnbull tried to resist and finally was dragged kicking and screaming to call the Royal Commission.
      And clearly we all know why.

      • kenthompson1 May 3, 2018 at 6:11 pm #

        Australian Governments of either political persuasion shamelessly reward their members for poor performance. They bank on the fact that most of the electorate are ill-informed, welded to a particular political party no matter what, & have short memories.

  4. Rinaldo April 29, 2018 at 7:03 am #

    In 1937 after the Great Depression a Royal Commission was established in Australia by the Commonwealth government to examine what went wrong.
    .
    It is amazing that 10 years after the Great Financial Crisis or Great Recession in 2007/08 we still have not had a serious “root and branch” examination of what went wrong this time.
    .
    The bankers and the Treasurer Scott “banker’s buddy”Morrison insist that the reason we should not have another Royal Commission is that there is nothing we need to know. All we need, they claim, are a few more ‘financial sector cops’ on the beat looking for a “few bad apples” and all will be fine.
    .
    However, one need only take a quick look at the 1937 Royal Commission report into the Australian banking and monetary system to realise what the bankers and their “support crew” of pet politicians in and out parliament are really worried about.
    .
    They know that a new Royal Commission may revisit the fundamental question considered by the commissioners back in 1937:
    .
    “What is the proper role of private banks in the Australian monetary system?”

  5. David Patterson April 29, 2018 at 8:09 am #

    Seems it’s like other recent royal commissions
    Only once the whole country knows something
    do they get held in the first place
    still good though I think ..cleansing and revitalising

  6. ducatijim April 29, 2018 at 8:50 am #

    The banksters have always been corrupt that’s why they were regulated in the first palce The question is why on earth did Paul Keeting deregulate the banks in the early 80’s, was he corrupt, what did he gain from deregulation? That is THE question I’d like the royal commission to answer……

  7. Julie April 29, 2018 at 9:18 am #

    Great article, spot on. Agree with with contributor “Trust Me I’m a Politician”.

  8. grahammcneil April 29, 2018 at 9:32 am #

    A system rotten to the core

  9. Sam April 29, 2018 at 10:13 am #

    Of course they knew, the wealthy protecting the wealthy, what do you expect when the prime minister is worth more than $60 million and it should all be given to the poor if he really cares!

  10. Jonde April 29, 2018 at 10:46 am #

    Our current society is based on money and the related greed by corrupt, wealthy individuals, politicians, judges, lawyers, managerial bank staff et al.
    The poorest of poor countries are the same and nothing will put an end to the corruption in those countries so why would anyone believe that a “Royal Commission in Australia will create great changes in the current situation.
    No-one on the judgement panel, the wealthy attendees or wealthy individuals are going to sentence each other to any form of punishment.
    The current Golden Age of nepotism which has become cronyism should be tested in a Royal Commission, and what would be the result, “What, dob in my mates, not bl**dy likely, sport ..!”

  11. Bill Grassick April 29, 2018 at 11:54 am #

    Mates looking after Mates! The great Australian motto for doing anything you want, and returning the same treatment. Even more important where money is involved!

  12. Concerend Aussie April 29, 2018 at 12:27 pm #

    Don’t just talk. Get revenge people. Act.

    1) Go back to cash. Each transaction the banking crime syndicate gets 1-3% in credit card fees. I guess the same for BPay. Give that amount to the (small preferably) traders you buy from instead.

    2) Keep minimal account balances. Nov 2014 G20 meeting, world leaders agreed to enact bail-in legislation. If (when) trouble arises your balances might be stolen. Don’t give it to them.

    3) Avoid fraudulently created fiat currencies and hold physical gold and silver with surplus funds. (See the 6 videos at hiddensecretsofmoney for a primer.)

    4) By withdrawing all in cash (one transaction) you reduce bank fees (theft). Remember the good ole days when they enticed you to do free online transactions? Now they slug you hard for those too.

    Enough is enough of this global banking mafia. Choke off their money supply from you.

    • logbags April 29, 2018 at 2:12 pm #

      Your money is probably safer in a jam jar under the bed.

      • Allan April 30, 2018 at 12:46 am #

        Putting it under the bed in a *jam jar* is but (m)one(y) way of *conserving* it.

  13. freddirh April 29, 2018 at 2:27 pm #

    It will be interesting to know if the Banks management in various areas are still going to get paid their huge year end bonuses which based on some of these fraudulent activities under their control should be scrubbed!

  14. Archer April 30, 2018 at 9:26 am #

    You forget the $600 million ASIC contributed to the bottom line last year. That’s all the government cares about.

  15. Thomas Isaac April 30, 2018 at 11:54 am #

    I purchased my mortgage from the Commonwealth Bank and had to have insurance with their insurance company too, as they said I had to have insurance with them. Part of my insurance was flood insurance. Unfortunately my home suffered a bad flood and when I put in a claim with Comminsure they sent their people out who said there were signs of previous flooding from years before I purchased my mortgage and said I could not claim the insurance and cancelled my insurance policy. What they did to me was blatant fraud.

  16. Vinny April 30, 2018 at 4:37 pm #

    Perhaps they should also look into the financial institutions such as MLC that lost me a hundred grand through bad advi.se

  17. Whyn Carnie April 30, 2018 at 7:07 pm #

    The respondents to the Royal Commission are guilty of malfeasance, misfeasance and misprision, all well known terms to the legal fraternity. A large number of our erstwhile political “elite” are also ex members of that fraternity. One would also think ASIC and our police would also be familiar with the terms.

    All should now be afraid that the Commission will do its duty and recommend where charges should be laid or where further investigations are warranted.

  18. Louie2U May 1, 2018 at 1:40 pm #

    At the moment this is really a Clayton’s Royal Commission as the terms are not broad enough to capture anything past the limited list our current ‘Sachs Man’ Turnbull set up deliberately to protect his bigger banking buddies.

    I agree with many earlier comments too, but the most outstanding is the suggestion to have an RC into the politicians/politics of Australia! Outstanding comment.

    With regards to the different political parties; This article demonstrates the shortfalls.

    In my case, it was 2006-8 and an insolvent Bankwest being still permitted to actively trade by KRudd/Carpenter Labor party. Where else in the world can an insolvent bank continue to trade with parliamentary support? Try Western Australia. Where else could the takeover bank, CBA, be supported by both state and federal politicians to strip everything from people/small business on a list of who they want to get rid off? Australia of course!

    • WilliamB May 9, 2018 at 2:03 am #

      Louie2U, yes you are correct, as are most all of the comments submitted.
      There is a paper trail known to myself that leads to the recently departed former incumbent of the Federal Attorney-General’s Office.

  19. Paul May 1, 2018 at 4:23 pm #

    This level of actual fraud and looting, enabled (through omission) by the Regulator should lead one to wonder about the underlying solvency of our Banking system.

  20. SDunne May 2, 2018 at 9:40 am #

    We should not forget that Matt Comyn,the new CEO of Commonwealth Bank was the Managing Director of ComSec at the time of the Storm financial debacle.The model would not have been able to work without the assistance of a lending bank in most cases this was Com bank.The model was as follows;
    ASIC v Storm, FCA, 2 August 2011
    (a) to make leveraged investments in index share funds by investing:
    (i) money available to the Investors from their existing resources, including in many cases money borrowed by way of a loan secured on the Investor’s home; and
    (ii) money borrowed pursuant to a margin loan secured against units acquired in index share funds;
    (b) to retain some investment funds in a cash account known as a ‘cash dam’ for servicing the cost of the loans and, if required, living expenses; and
    (c) to receive from Storm ongoing monitoring and management of their investments and loans.
    While there was some Com bank apology (see below)at the time of the blow up in 2011,the Banks spin doctors on Comyn appointment in 2018 spun the facts so that was depicted as the person responsible for the “clean up”of Storm financial ,however the true facts were that Comyn was one of the MAIN proponents of the scheme.Perhaps the Royal Commission needs to delve further into his appointment and his past record if there is any hope for this bank to clean up its act.

    2011 Bank Apology

    ‘The Bank acknowledges that the position in which some Storm Financial clients find themselves, while not caused directly by the Bank, involves the Bank to some degree. … Said CEO Ralph Norris: “In some cases we have identified shortcomings in how we lent money to our customers involved with Storm Financial … We are not proud of our involvement in some of these issues and we are working toward a fair and equitable outcome for our affected customers.”’
    ASIC
    Lastly on the topic of ASIC incompetence no media outlet to my knowledge has reported that on 13 April 2018 ASIC accepted an EU from Commonwealth Bank for the Fee for No service scandals whilst the Royal Commission is ongoing!The terms are a slap on the wrist with a wet lettuce leaf.There are already criminal penalties and fines for this sort of behaviour but Com Bank gets an EU which requires amongst other things “management attestations”as to remediation.

  21. lawyersorgraverobbersDiarmuid Hannigan May 3, 2018 at 7:09 am #

    In Australia we have a long history of plunder. Our laws are not founded on respect for our families or our communities. It began with Terra Nullius and a genocide and continues as the cannibals devour their own people. The failure of our regulators (By the way we hear a lot about ASIC but where is Consumer Affairs and the ACCC, Most likely we will find them hiding under the bed and drinking from the kings chamber pot.
    The underlying problem sits in the keep of the castle and that is the Judiciary, it dictates our culture and when our legal profession fails to respect community and family it infects the culture of all of our society. This disease that exists within the financial sector is not isolated, the insurance industry, the building and construction industry, the aged care industry are all examples of where the corruption of decent human values in favour of corporate profit and greed are all pervasive within Australia. Both the Liberal and Labor parties are lead by lawyers and there are more than 52 of them who have infected our federal parliament, on a proportional basis there should only be half a lawyer sitting in the Federal Parliament.
    The more submissions that the Financial Services Royal Commission receives the better for our nation and let us all hope that we see a change in the culture without a bloody revolution.

    • grumpyoldman22 May 3, 2018 at 8:06 am #

      Infected by infestation. Lawyers ought to be proscribed from becoming MPs on the grounds of vested interest. The more convoluted the laws they draft the more work they create for their mates. Read income for work.

      • lawyersorgraverobbersDiarmuid Hannigan May 3, 2018 at 9:01 am #

        They should at the very least renounce their membership to the Bar. Something to do with the separation of powers and how a Westminster democracy is supposed to function..

    • Keninoz May 3, 2018 at 8:17 am #

      Well said

  22. freddirh May 3, 2018 at 11:53 am #

    Now I note from the ABC News this morning that CBA has lot a poultice of customers record!!! What next!!

  23. WilliamB May 9, 2018 at 1:39 am #

    If I can offer the reading of each link attached to this comment, many answers will be found relating to the structured and installed incapacity of ASIC and its legislated duties, more specifically that ASIC had failed to enforce the Australian Corporations Law Act 2001.
    The sudden and swift retirement of ASIC Commissioner Greg Medcraft was meant to signal that no singular person is presently available to be called to account for the embedded disconformities and failures of performance by its Commissioner.

    https://www.brokernews.com.au/news/breaking-news/inquiry-takes-aim-at-asic-cba-189184.aspx

    However, I allege that the best person available and is far more attuned to “overall answer for ASIC’s negligent legislative regimen” is the current Assistant Commissioner Mr. Peter Kell.
    This opinion is enforced by the findings of the Special Senate Economics Committee in its final report.

    http://law.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1765232/Gilligan-et-al,-Understanding-Penalties-Regimes-for-Corporate-Wrongdoing-in-Australia-CLTA-Conference,-1-3-February-2015.pdf

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