Monthly Archives: September 2016

Joann Mather from the AFR reports that Labor and the Greens are gearing up to grill bank CEO’s, including Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO Ian Narev next week.

The appearance of bank CEO’s for a three hour session before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, was one of the Turnbull government’s ‘alternative solutions’ to a Banking Royal Commission.  Major questions remain outstanding in relation to Commbank’s treatment of Bankwest commercial loan customers, following two federal government inquiries.

Prior to becoming CEO of the bank, Ian Narev led CBA’s acquisition of the Bankwest, which subsequently terminated 1958 commercial loan customers.  Law firm Hall Partners, have finally established a fully-funded Bankwest Class Action relating to the CBA’s actions.

If history is any guide, little will be achieved in the questioning of Mr Narev, who will be primed with medial lines and also likely to take any ‘difficult’ questions on notice.

Given the number of scandals already aired, it is difficult to envisage how anything constructive will be gained from this limited window of questioning.  We look forward to any government minister who makes genuine attempts to hold Mr Narev to account, rather than play political games to protect the banks from being held to account for serious, systemic misconduct.

Bank Foreclosure Fees in Spotlight

Michael West, former investigative business journalist at Fairfax Media reviews the insolvency practitioners (and associated parties) fees in the recently settled case between Burrup Fertilisers and the ANZ bank.

Many former Bankwest commercial loan customers have experienced first hand the excessive costs charged by receivers with little to (in most cases) no accountability as to how the exorbitant fees were arrived at.  In addition, these former customers experienced an apparent failure of insolvency firms to realise even close to market value of assets realised in foreclosure.  This left former customers with massive shortfalls, with many bankrupted as a result.

Such conduct should form one of the key areas of investigation of a Banking Royal Commission #banksRC, both for Bankwest victims and more broadly into other banks.

Bankwest Class Action was established by law firm Hall Partners to address alleged unconscionable conduct by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) following the acquisition of Bankwest in 2008. The acquisition was led by Ian Narev, who is now the CEO of CommBank.  it is understood from evidence provided to a parliamentary inquiry by CBA Group General Counsel David Cohen in December 2015, that 1958 Bankwest loans were constructively defaulted and forced into insolvency.




The new Matilda has reported further argument for a Banks Royal Commission, including  the wider finance sector:

Mr. McAuley is an adjunct lecturer in public sector finance at the University of Canberra and a fellow at the Centre for Policy Development.

The article cites public polling showing thirds public support for a Banking Royal Commission.

Importantly, it highlights that all measures currently enacted by the government will not look at the systemic issues and hold senior executives to account.

One pillar underlying the call for the #banksRC Royal Commission is the alleged unconscionable treatment of Bankwest commercial loan customers following the acquisition by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 2008.  The acquisition was led by Mr. Ian Narev, who is now the CEO of CommBank, and will appear before the government committee on 4th October 2016 for three hours.

Although the Bankwest Class Action has been established, a Royal Commission has far broader powers to investigate the troubling matter, with necessary power to discover documents and the resources to commit to a thorough inquiry of the matter.  Much evidence has already been obtained and a strong brief can be prepared for the commission.






Another Argument Against Banking Royal Commission Blown?

Mainstream business media in the United Kingdom are now reporting serious, systemic Australian banking misconduct.

The BBC report highlights that the ‘cat is out of the bag’ in relation to misconduct.

It appears that if the Australian Government does not act by implementing a banking Royal Commission, overseas litigators are gearing up to feast upon the malfeasance.

Given the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) have reportedly engaged in much alleged misconduct, CEO Ian Narev faces a major strategic challenge in terms of responsibility to the business in it’s shareholders.

Prior to becoming CEO, Ian Narev was a key figure in the acquisition of Bankwest in 2008 on behalf of the CBA, which resulted in 1958 business loan customers facing insolvency action by the bank.

The conduct of Commbank will be under increasing scrutiny during the Bankwest Class Action.




BankWest Conduct in Spotlight Again

Commonwealth Bank of Australia owned BankWest conduct towards customer is in the spotlight again, as calls for a Banking Royal Commission continue.

The Melbourne Age has reported how parents of a terminally-ill child were treated when seeking hardship assistance from the bank.

This is treatment of customers is consistent with treatment experienced by BankWest Commercial Loan Customers resulting in foreclosure of 1958 loans.

The BankWest class action has been established  and is fully funded, to allow victims to join together and hold the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to account for it’s abhorrent treatment of customers.

It is expected the case will shed more light on the acquisition led by current CEO Mr. Ian Narev, and the subsequent actions that led to thousands of victims bankrupted.


CBA Hit with Fines by ASIC

The ABC have reported that Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s brokerage arm CommSec have been fined by Australian Securities and Investment Commission for contravening the Corporations act for disclosure and procedural breaches.

The extent of misconduct by CBA under CEO Ian Narev continues to be exposed at an alarming rate, and it appears we are still only seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

Further significant misconduct within CBA is expected to be exposed during the Bankwest Class action, relating to 1958 Bankwest commercial loan customers forced into insolvency following the takeover by CBA in 2008.

Despite establishing the class action, a Banking Royal Commission remains necessary, to deliver a broader forensic probe of the actions of the bank, to ensure those responsible are held accountable and legislation is optimise to avoid a repeat of such unconscionable corporate behaviour.




Another Day, More Unconscionable Conduct from the CBA

Australia’s leading investigative journalist into banking misconduct, Adele Ferguson, has reported yet another case, highlighting the human toll  of CBA misconduct.

The initial story broke after efforts of CBA whistleblower Jeff Morris to bring serious, systemic misconduct to the attention of senior CBA management executives failed.

CBA CEO Ian Narev narrowly avoided a Royal Commission at the time the systemic misconduct was exposed by assuring the government that the bank would ‘set things right’.

Unfortunately for many of the victims, these assurances were hollow rhetoric and the CBA have clearly not reviewed claims and restituted victims in good faith and good time.

At the same time, the CBA continue to deny their actions towards Bankwest commercial loan customers following the acquisition of Bankwest in late 2008.

However, through ongoing research of the takeover, a fully funded  Bankwest class action has now been established, that allows victims of CBA misconduct to join a legal action with the view to holding the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to account for it’s actions and seek financial restitution.