Category Archives: Royal Commission News

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.




Chaos in Parliament – Labor Try & Strike with a Banking Royal Commission

The good news is that Labor has proven in the first week of the 45th parliament, that addressing banking misconduct remains a high priority following on prominent calls for a Banking Royal Commission during the 2016 election.

The Malcolm Turnbull led coalition remains opposed to a Royal Commission.

On THursday September 1, Labor was within striking distance when it brought a motion calling for a banking royal commission, which had earlier that day cleared the Senate to refer to the lower house for consideration.

The Bankwest class action would welcome a Royal Commission, and believes it is necessary to access documents relating to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s acquisition of Bankwest in late 2008 and subsequent use of constructive defaults to foreclose on 1958 performing loans.

Once documents are obtained, specialists can forensically examine the entire matter and hold senior executives responsible for the conduct to account.








Bill Shorten Ramps Up Calls for Banks Royal Commission

Labor Leader Bill Shorten will continue to pursue a royal commission into the banking sector in the new parliament.

29 AUG 2016 – 11:30 AM  UPDATED YESTERDAY 11:30 AM

Bill Shorten has mocked the prime minister’s rejection of a royal commission into the behaviour of the nation’s major banks, saying all Australians want is to make sure they are not being ripped off.

The opposition leader told a meeting of his shadow ministry on Monday – ahead of the opening of the 45th parliament on Tuesday – Labor would continue to pursue a royal commission.

“The witness protection program, which this government’s affording the big end of town, is breathtaking in its arrogance,” Mr Shorten told his colleagues in Canberra.

Banwest Class Action Supports Mr.Shortens call for a banks Royal Comission