8th Apr 2016
When will big banks pay?
Author: Kaye Fallick

Calls for a Royal Commission into the behaviour of our biggest banks have been reactivated in the wake of ASIC’s decision to sue Westpac for rigging bank rates.

ASIC claims that Westpac was guilty of unconscionable conduct and market manipulation of the bank bill swap reference rate (BBSW) between 6 April 2010 and 6 June 2012 on 16 separate occasions.

Westpac is the second of the ‘Big Four’ banks to be charged by ASIC for this same offence, with proceedings against ANZ launched in March.

In the wake of previously reported financial misconduct by the Commonwealth Bank in its insurance division, CommInsure, which refused to pay many insurance claims, and the scandal in CBA’s financial planning division, as well as many previous ASIC enforceable undertakings against AMP, Macquarie Bank, ANZ and Westpac, ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft has issued statements underlining the importance of culture in banking organisations. As recently as March, at the annual ASIC forum, he reinforced that the need for a strong, positive culture was a strategic priory for his organisation.

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also noted concerns about bank culture and behaviour at a Westpac 199th Birthday Bash last Tuesday, stating:

“Banks don’t just operate under a banking licence, they operate under a social licence and that is underwritten by public confidence and trust…” He then went on to ask: “Have our bankers done enough in return for this support? Have they lived up to the standards we expect, not just the laws we enact?”

On Friday the Labor Party announced a Royal Commission into financial services should it be elected.

Meanwhile National Party politicians including Warren Entsch and John Williams have also stated a Royal Commission is necessary.

Read more at www.asic.gov.au

Opinion: Bring it on now

There’s not much to like about our banks at the moment, is there? Rate rigging, avoidance of insurance payouts, fraudulent financial advice practices. It’s all going to hell in a hand basket. And with a regulator which insists that the answer is to help banks correct their ‘culture’, it makes me want to weep. Pardon the language, but stuff the culture – why can’t our major financial institutions obey our laws and suffer the consequences?

But the problem that lurks beneath this banking bad behaviour is not the over-abundance of overpaid guys in expensive suits using colourful language (“I know it’s completely wrong, but f**k it, I might as well, is the alleged statement by Colin Roden, the Westpac employee managing the BBSW), manipulating rates, furthering the banks’ already massive profits and feathering their own nests. This is criminal behaviour which can and should be dealt with.

The real problem is the millions of innocent victims, including you and me. Put simply, the recurring criminal activities of our major banks are having a massive negative impact upon the retirement income expectations for the majority of Australians.

This matters more than most commentators have noticed.

Each and every Australian with superannuation invested with one of the aforementioned banks should seriously review how much bang they are getting for their buck, as most customers of retail funds are paying higher fees, with the likelihood of lower returns, often for related insurance policies, which may not be honoured in times of need.

Let’s be clear that we are not talking about a few dollars here or there. Over the years Australian investors have had millions of dollars ripped out of their retirement savings by unscrupulous practices and advisors – think Storm Financial, Westpoint and more recently the CBA’s financial planning division. The fees paid to manage our superannuation have been ranked the third highest in the world by the OECD. When high fees are extrapolated into eventual retirement savings, the difference can amount to tens of thousands of dollars – the difference between a comfortable retirement or decades of penury.

So what can or should be done about the behaviour of our big banks?

An awful lot, is the short answer. 

Federal Parliament is currently being recalled to consider legislation to crack down on alleged corrupt practices in the building and construction sector. It is also being asked to delay legislation requiring higher pay for truck drivers, designed to reduce road deaths.

These measures pertain to specific sectors of the economy and some might even say that these policies are ideologically driven by a conservative government.

But despite repeated calls for a Royal Commission into our financial sector, the superannuation portion of which represents $2 Trillion, the current government remains steadfast in its refusal to shine a light on an ongoing series of serious financial crimes carried out within this industry.

Worse still, bank employees who reveal malpractice have been sacked, but those who are under investigation by the regulator seem to escape censure, with their employers stating that they are ‘standing by their staffers’. Ironically, the major bad egg in the Commonwealth Financial Services scandal is receiving payouts from CommInsure. Yes, seriously. Don Nguyen’s claim appears to have passed muster, while other real victims are left begging for crumbs.

So the simple solution is to call a Royal Commission, with the powers to subpoena any witnesses, immediately.  Without one, as Fairfax investigative journalist Adele Ferguson has noted, all recommendations will end up in a dusty draw. We don’t need more weasel words around the importance of culture. We need action to punish those who break our financial regulations. And recommendations which finally address the structure of remuneration and incentives which encourages people like Westpac manager Colin Roden to say “F**k it, I might as well” at the expense of many other peoples’ life-long savings.

What do you think? Are the banks truly behaving so badly a Royal Commission is needed to investigate ways of forcing them back into line? Or are these mere misdemeanours best handled in other ways? Would you like to see the guilty parties behind bars?





    COMMENTS

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    fedup
    11th Apr 2016
    9:51am
    Haven't been with a bank for years Credit Union is the way to go, never had one complaint about mine for over 40 years. They have always been rip off merchants.
    buby
    11th Apr 2016
    11:35am
    thats what i hear FEDup, but can you explain why we would be better off with a credit Union i am tempted to move to a credit union, but i'm not sure how much better off i'd be??
    Retired Knowall
    11th Apr 2016
    4:27pm
    Had an investment loan with a local credit union about 20 years ago.
    I was part way through an IT diploma and we were given an assignment that would calculate the balance on a loan with daily reducible interest. I set about developing the program based on my loan but try as I might, could not get the same balance figure . In desperation I called the credit union and after much verbal sparing I was transferred to their Credit Manager. I explained my problem and told him the details of the algorithm I had developed and was using. He told me that my program sounded OK and asked me to call back the next day to give him time to check my account. When I called back he told me I my algorithm was right and that there was a glitch in their system some months earlier and the balance I had calculated was correct, over $1130.00 in my favour. A credit for the amount was issued that day. I asked him why this error was not identified and I was informed the balance is not red flagged unless it's against the company.
    So the long and short of it is, Keep a Very Close Eye on Your Finances. Credit Unions are no better or worse than Banks.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    6:35pm
    Awhile ago there was a program going around that refunded twice the price of it if it couldn't catch your bank out.
    jackie
    11th Apr 2016
    9:58am
    Yes a Royal Commission into banks is necessary and bring bank regulation. Deregulation by Keating was a sheer pig stye trade off.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    2:17pm
    ....and what good will a Royal Commission do? Nothing. Just another expense our country can ill afford.

    From what I have seen people need to take responsibility for their own actions not blame the banks when things go wrong.

    The banks have been very good to me over many decades. All incorrect transactions have been fixed quickly.

    If you pay late then you know they charge a fee so either pay on time or pay the fee it is as simple as that. Don't blame the bank because you were tardy.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    2:34pm
    Bonny: I have wondered about your posts on this site for some time. Seems like what a LNP troll would trot out.

    This issue goes far beyond bank misbehaviour and there needs to be a Federal ICAC to investigate the the relationship between the big banks and Liberal Party ELECTION FUNDING. Having said that I would like to understand if Labor also has its fingers in the same pie, but given the previous Labor government introduced legislation into the parliament to restrict the behaviour of banks and this government threw this in the bin when it came to office I would have to think that the political relationship seems clear cut. WE NEED AN INVESTIGATION INTO HOW MUCH THE BANKS PUT INTO LIBERAL PARTY ELECTION COFFERS AND WHAT IS GIVEN IN RETURN. It ain't friendship!

    Anybody who listened to the Steve Munchenberg, the banker association spokesperson, trying to divert a Royal Commission would have laughed. A bit like Dracula saying he did not like blood.

    Whilst I own some bank shares I have never agreed with crooked behaviour supported by political corruption and want it to end. Only with appropriate LEGISLATION will this happen. Self regulation never works in the long term and once the show is over it's always back to cannibalising customers. The last 20 years would make this obvious....and will happen again unless the current government which is addicted to the interests of big business is dragged kicking and screaming to bring in PROPER legislation. It will do anything to avoid doing just that including the Turnbull smooth tongued parrot. WE NEED AN ELECTION!
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    2:44pm
    Mick that all has little to do with banks.

    I'm no troll for anyone and not in favour of any political donations full stop. However our democracy needs money to fund their election campaigns. I have no time for election campaigns either as it's nothing but rubbish to get votes.

    Everywhere in society people do favours for one another be it rich or poor. It would be poor old society where everyone left someone in trouble because by helping them it was a crime. Business is no different. In fact our society relies on each one of us helping one another.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    3:32pm
    No Bonny. Politics is about rich (LNP) vs poor (Labor). This has nothing to do with people doing favours for each other and everything to do with social engineering at the highest levels.
    I often say 'follow the money trail'. Easy to understand and it tells the story.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    4:08pm
    Good luck following the money trail today.
    particolor
    11th Apr 2016
    4:15pm
    We'll start at Panama and work our way to the Caymans !! :-)
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    8:50pm
    Mosseko. Good one particolor. Bonny (Frank) clearly not been watching TV lately. The big end of town is more corrupt than a dozen bad unions but you rarely ever catch then as they are better at hiding their crooked behaviour.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    8:51pm
    And let's not forget the British Virgin Islands. Around half a million shelf companies with a population of less than 30,000.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    9:31pm
    Yes I occasionally watch the idiot box or I should say do a quick scan of the news sites.

    My guess is you might need a whistle blower with a vested interest in the US election to help you out here.

    It is actually very easy to hide money but still have control over it. No tax haven necessary.
    In Outer Orbit
    12th Apr 2016
    9:09pm
    Is it just me Bonny - are you trying to condone criminal activity by the banks? That is the problem under discussion. Yes we all need to be realistic and responsible. That doesn't mean that anyone, least of all a bank, is entitled to rip off the unwary and vulnerable.

    What kind of world do we want? Winners and losers? To hell the weak and vulnerable? Yesterday someone on the YLC site was suggesting that just because poor people were exploited and worked until they dropped in feudal times we should expect no better today.

    Australia has never been feudal throughout its entire history, so why choose that as a bench mark now?

    You were recently saying that pollies should be paid whatever they like and if people don't like the rip off they should just try to be a politician and stop complaining.

    Think about it - on that principle the people on top of every pile would be able to rip off the rest with a clear conscience - after all, instead of complaining every poor sod could just be a CEO right?

    We're social animals at the end of day, and have every right to require socially responsible behaviour from EVERYONE else in society, including our leaders, our biggest businesses, and our banks. There is enough wealth on the planet for all of us to live in comfort, but IF we can stop the greedy bastards at the top screwing everybody else.

    You sound like you're doing OK, and that's great and good on you, no problem. But in that position what can you do to help people who for so many reasons beyond their control have found themselves less fortunate? Don't just tell people it's their own fault or to get over themselves. We're all human, all potentially vulnerable throughout our lives, and we need to stick together and help each other, rejecting exploitation and criminality wherever it arises.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2016
    5:50pm
    Would the People with Something To Hide please start running now :-) :-)
    We are going to have a Royal Commission into Banks !! :-)
    There !! :-) That'll fix em Mick !! :-) :-)
    Cruzisuzi
    11th Apr 2016
    10:11am
    If the likes of Colin Roden and all the other corporate big boys can get away with this outrageous management of customers money, what is the point of having this government? There must be some regulation with financial compensation paid to the victims of their f!!ck it attitude. And they are still getting paid ?? They should have to pay some financial retribution, hit them where it hurts.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    2:37pm
    A good position. The crooks should not be permitted to hide behind company laws to avoid being destituted for corrupt behaviour. But then I believe the rich now take their money out of the country and stash it in tax havens to avoid being liable for anything. Alan Bond was the for-runner in this type of scam and there have been many who have followed.
    Tom Tank
    11th Apr 2016
    10:16am
    It really shows which side the LNP are on when they defend the banks who have consistently shown their contempt for their customers. It is quite obvious that the existing "controls" are simply not working, despite LNP ministers declaring that they are more than adequate.
    The glaring inconsistency in the Government's attitude to trade union activities and banking and financial institutions activities is obvious to all who have their eyes open.
    Yes some trade unions have behaved beyond acceptable limits but so have the banks and quite possibly they, the banks, have done more damage to our economy than the unions have.
    To be honest the bank executive's cries of acting in the best interests of their shareholders should be treated with caution as it is more likely they are protecting their own bonuses which are scandalous in their generosity.
    Paul Keating has a lot to answer for as privatising the CBA was a disaster as it opened the flood gates for banks to act they way they have done. While the CBA was in public ownership it effectively applied a brake to the excesses of the rest of the banks but once the CBA was privatised it was open slather. A very common occurrence with all privatisation.
    buby
    11th Apr 2016
    11:40am
    What amazes me too you know it shows how much money they are making.
    As i walk down my local street There is a Westpc, and up the Road there is a Melbourne bank.
    NOw Melbourne back is owned by Westpc, So they are makingheaps, how about passing off something to your investors??
    Now and UP the road 15 mins, at the Plaza, we have another Westpc bank, who have reopened another Melbourne bank across the way from them. I bet their investors don't know that Melbourne Bank is also owned by the Westpc>???
    so whose making the money!!!! NOt us
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    2:45pm
    It was (rightly) said on the (ABC) Insiders last night that Shorten is defending the trade unions and Turnbull is defending the big end of town. Class warfare in action. what was not said is that the big end of town is by far the bigger crook and it was estimated that around one trillion dollars was laundered through tax havens. So how much have standover trade unions cost us all? Not even in the same class.

    For the record:

    1. Carbon Tax repealed for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry and specifically the coal industry. Now taxpayers have to put in $8 billion a year to make up the difference.
    2. Mining Tax repealed for benefit of rich miners.
    3. Banking legislation left by Labor to protect consumers torn up by Abbott and his cronies.
    4. Attempts to turn average Australians into American style working paupers by attempting to strip out all extras which did nothing other than bring earning up to par with the rest of us - so that business could become wealthy.

    The list goes on and WHO this government is representing is clear. Not us as we are only good for voting and paying taxes. Nothing else.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    2:55pm
    Good thing carbon tax repealed as it was going to be the next big play things for the derivative traders. You only have look at what happens to commodities like coffee to see who really makes the big bucks out of them.

    Mining tax was a joke and befitted the miners not the country.

    It would have been interesting if the bank protection would have really worked.

    Wages in Australia today are too high to the rest of the world and they either have to fall or remain stagnant for a long while. That's why we don't make anything any more.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    3:40pm
    What a load of right wing BS Bonny. The Carbon Tax was repealed for one reason and one reason only: the coal industry was losing money and could see its business model imploding. Australians were given tax cuts to fully compensate them for changes in living costs. The result now sees Australians paying more taxes (another $8 billion a year) to make up for the loss of revenue after the repeal and we now see most other developed nations trying to bring in the so called "bad bad Carbon Tax". Why? Because it was never bad, was working wonderfully and was reducing emissions. No other reason Bonny!
    Wages in Australia are too high? Yeah right. The next post for your LNP colleagues? Australians need to not join the race to the bottom trying to copy a US style economy where the top 0.1% own 90% of everything and most of the rest live in abject poverty and earn $10 an hour with no other conditions and frequently with no permanent job. Yes Bonny....this is what your colleagues in the current government want. Driven by their wealthy election funding owners.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    9:46pm
    Carbon tax was a disaster and a good excuse for big price increases. Funny how electricity prices went up after it got the flick.

    Yes wages in Australia are too high for Australia to be competitive with the rest of the world. OK our sweat shops weren't perfect but they did provide employment for our people. Do gooders had them shut down but never thought of the consequences.

    We now have such a nanny state that our kids just don't have any fun any more. My kids used to get expelled because they climbed trees. It's just too hard to ride bikes now so they stay home and entertain themselves with their electronic devices.
    Patriot
    11th Apr 2016
    10:26am
    The only reason for Government to exist is to Hide/Shield the "Dictatorial Attitude/Influence/Control" of the banks and for politician to execute their instructions.

    A Royal Commission into banks is an Absolute MUST!
    Pass the Ductape
    11th Apr 2016
    10:41am
    A Royal Commission will achieve nothing!
    Just like politicians, the banks aren't in the game for love - just money and power - and like the politicians of this country, the banks are nothing but an organised bunch of crooks and thieves. Both work hand in glove! It's just that they've managed to conceive laws - courtesy of our politicians and our political system - to convince everyone else that they're legally entitled to be, crooks and thieves!
    buby
    11th Apr 2016
    11:41am
    Yes HERE here Ductape, i do believe your right.:(
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    2:48pm
    A Royal Commission will show criminal behaviour. ASIC (the Turnbull and Morrison favourite) is a useless nag which rarely does its job but yet costs us all heaps. The few few prosecutions ever launched as the proof. The fact that ASIC never contacts crooks and threatens them with prosecution is another. Useless.

    We need a Royal Commission but it appears that only Liberal Party governments are allowed to run these.....before every election campaign begins. I wonder why????
    particolor
    11th Apr 2016
    4:04pm
    Gypsies Tramps and Thieves
    I hear it from the people of the town they call them ...:-) :-)
    PS... :-) :-)
    Drewbie
    11th Apr 2016
    10:43am
    I would encourage those who regularly write very relevant opinion pieces for Y.L.C. & everyone who subscribes to Y.L.C. to go to the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia's website and seriously read the mountain of verifiable info they have available regarding the unconscionable/criminal conduct of Australia's big 4 and other commercial big banks since deregulation was enacted.

    A lot of what CEC write about may seem outlandishly far-fetched, but when you look at it side by side with what commercial banking has done to Australians since past Dumb Treasurer Paul Keating's deregulation of that Industry; CEC's many expose's there-in make a lot of, if not, perfect sense.

    But Citizens Electoral Council don't just end it there. They do have solutions which are radical at 1st look; but read/dig deeper & their alternatives would take Australia back to banking re-regulation that would long-term dramatically overhaul the banking sector, punish most adequaltely those responsible for such criminal behaviour, safe-guard the mum/dad investors & provide a decent return on their hard-earned savings, super & other investments that would ultimately benefit Australia for multiple generations.

    Quite frankly; Former Treasure & Prime Minister Paul Keating should/must be held criminally accountable for the humungous fiasco that has ensued since banking deregulation in what was once called the "LUCKY COUNTRY"!
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    2:52pm
    I never agreed with some of Keating's beliefs but then I also did not agree with the attacks on working Australians from either the Howard government or its perverse child the Abbott government. And now we have the grandchild: Turnbull, the parrot spewing out the same big business vomit which came from his predecessor.

    11th Apr 2016
    10:45am
    Banks operate by a different list of laws or rule book. They are exempt from prosecution because of agreements with the federal government which benefit both sides financially and lessen both of their work loads and responsibility to the users of financial institutions and taxpayers. They have consorted for the financial gain and the ease of operation to attain that gain.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    2:53pm
    Yeah Eddie. So we dismiss the criminals because those entrusted to run the nation are in bed with the crims.
    jamesmn
    11th Apr 2016
    10:56am
    banks need a royal commission asap its overdue turnball does not want one because of the liberal party's mates they don't want to rock the boat as usual liberals mates.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    2:47pm
    No it is simpler than that. It will achieve very little if anything.

    Sorry Mr Banker you should not have lent that that young couple money to buy a house knowing that one day he might break his leg and not be able to afford his repayments.

    That is just how silly this Royal Commission idea is.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    2:55pm
    It is as simple as that Bonny (Frank?). We need a Royal Commission into the crooked big end of town, whose misconduct and criminal behaviour are many times worse than the unions who are routinely demonised by this big business government.
    Keith64
    11th Apr 2016
    11:11am
    I doubt that very much would be achieved by holding a royal commission into the banks. More would be achieved by imposing personal liability on bank officers who engage in fraudulent or criminal activities on behalf of their employers. Such a rule would only be effective in some instances but might cause bank officers to have more regard to the legal duties imposed on banks in their dealings with clients and other banks.
    In passing, Paul Keating appears to be copping a lot of flak for privatising the CBA. That gave the CBA a licence to operate like other private banks but did not de-regulate the private banks from any existing regulations.
    Kaye Fallick
    11th Apr 2016
    11:21am
    Interesting point re personal liability Keith - not sure this has been fully explored yet?
    Tom Tank
    11th Apr 2016
    11:46am
    Privatising the CBA meant that because they had been controlled by Government they acted as a brake on the other banks. Since privatisation that brake was released they acted together in a way that was not possible previously.
    Look at Medibank since it was privatised, it has lowered it's services to customers but raised prices and it's CEO's salary.
    Competition is good provided it is restrained and possibly the best way to do that is by having a publicly owned company competing against the privately owned ones.
    The publicly owned would have to be competitive to survive but would not be given to excesses this restraining the private companies.
    buby
    11th Apr 2016
    11:48am
    Yes Tom Tank, this is What we need but do you think anybody would think this a good idea.
    NO because its all about the money. NOT care!!!!
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    2:59pm
    The only thing about "personal liability" is that you would get people denying that they knew anything and claiming that they were just following orders. Probably true for the most part. Maybe the result would be the fire racing up the chain of command and getting the person who made the call: the CEO!
    I seem to recall that Murdoch got off Scott free with the phone tapping scandal in Great Britain and others took the fall. My guess is that Murdoch may well have been the culprit and that the people stung would have received a very nice little payout when they get/got out of prison and will never again have to work. I guess it isn't that easy.
    Janus
    11th Apr 2016
    11:17am
    I wonder why the Liberal Party does NOT want any investigations into the banks, but were happy to push one into unions? In both cases there are overseeing bodies, that can react to criminal activity or other misbehaviour. The Libs have a few questions to answer on this, the first being one about donations, just to clear the air.

    BTW, I don't support any particular party. They have all lost the plot. Governments are not supposed to be businesses, they are supposed to provide services.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    3:02pm
    It's called ELECTION FUNDING and payback arrangements. Where there's smoke there's fire and you can bank on the fact that the state Liberal corruption issues in the recent past go all the way up to the federal organisation, and probably worse as there is no federal ICAC to catch the bastards out.....so they work in secrecy.
    HarrysOpinion
    11th Apr 2016
    11:31am
    "This is criminal behavior which can and should be dealt with". YES! It's about time the Board of Directors of all banks that are involved in ripping off the investors and customers should be facing a Royal Commission, potential hefty fines and jail time for allowing unconscionable conduct of dishonest practices that rip off customers. I mean jail time! It's the only way these greedy people in banks will get the message loud and clear.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    3:03pm
    Yes.
    buby
    11th Apr 2016
    11:36am
    What concerns me too is why are they talking the aussie dollar down. When really it should be going UP!!
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    2:21pm
    Banks do not like low interest rates by the very nature of what they do. They want interest rates to go up as they make more money with higher interest rates.

    That said so do the rest of us.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    3:08pm
    Answer:

    1. governments have sold out the nation, permitted manufacturing to go broke, close down and put Australians on the work scrapheap (the dole!).

    2. Now we import most goods and many services. We have to pay for these somehow.

    3. So we flog off our land and businesses to foreigners and hope for a really WEAK Aussie dollar so that we can start export businesses. The problem is we have governments who do not support startups whilst talking the BS. Turnbull is currently at it: no plan, just talk!

    Banks may want higher interest rates to help their business model but big business wants lower rates to make us more competitive.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    7:21pm
    More like the government spent too much money in a knee jerk reaction and then had to put up interest rates as they were then afraid of inflation. All it did was skyrocket our dollar and kill our manufacturing industry and make our farm export uncompetitive.

    Hardly normal did OK out of selling tellies.

    Now we fog off our businesses to foreigners who have made money out of making things out of our resources.

    Well done everyone.
    particolor
    11th Apr 2016
    7:34pm
    The last Fridge just rolled off the Assembly Line :-( :-( :-(
    Goodbye Orange ! :-(
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    8:31pm
    BS Bonny. Well said particolor. Next nail in our coffin!
    Happy Jack
    11th Apr 2016
    11:37am
    Bloody amazing, that one - the LIEberal government is all for going after the unions with their royal commission but baulk at sorting out the sordid activities of the banks and financial institutions. Just another instance of this conservative mob looking after their mates at the top of town. Talk about double standards- take the stupid suggestion from tumbles turntable made on states being responsible for funding government schools, saying they are in a better position to determine needs and policies and now coming out dictating were funds for state rail and road infrastructure should be spent. Well, blind Freddy can see through that one easily enough. They want to feed the money into and around their marginal electorates, don't they. It's simply pork barrelling, that's what it is and that's after tumbles had stated any funding should be based on the advice of the Federal Infrastructure Department. Yep, he is behaving no differently to the dunce he tipped out- the mad abbott.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    3:11pm
    Welcome to the Liberal Party and their governments. Never changes.
    For the record the LNP is little more than puppets put there by the big end of town to do its bidding. That is lower taxes (= lower company taxes!). Turnbull currently trying to bring this about. The second half is attacking working Australians and trying to turn them into American style (working) slaves. Ongoing!
    particolor
    11th Apr 2016
    8:44pm
    True :-( :-( :-( Tears !
    I'm off to price the Chinese Fridges :-( :-(
    The door fell off my last one :-( :-(
    Tinker
    11th Apr 2016
    12:06pm
    It is interesting to see how quickly people rush off to want a Royal Commission into the banking system, including credit unions and others without knowing what it is they expect it to achieve. In money terms the profit a bank makes is large but so is the capital they need to hold by regulation. Their return on capital, which includes all of the money invested by mums and dads in superannuation, is no more than most other businesses. They return to investors much more than other businesses. Interest rates are dictated by the Reserve Bank and the cost of overseas capital, not the Banks themselves. So regulate them and weaken their ability to stay strong - then are you going to stop all takeovers and other competition from foreign banks?
    Idontforget
    11th Apr 2016
    12:11pm
    I would have thought that interest rates are only suggested by the Reserve Bank because in recent times we have seen Banks increase their interest rates when there has been no movement in the rate set by the Reserve Bank
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    3:12pm
    I would have thought exposing dishonesty to the core might be the start to putting stringent controls into legislation.
    ex PS
    12th Apr 2016
    10:43am
    That's the problem Tinker, the banks always return a good profit to investors. They are doing this by ripping off the people who are taking out loans and parking savings, in other words the every day client.
    I think most people have an expectation that the banks operate ethically and in the best interests of all of their clients without regard to how much or how little they have deposited or invested with that bank.
    A royal commision will expose he extent of unethical or even criminal activity within this corrupt organisation and put paid to this fanciful notion of letting organisations self regulate.
    Self regulation is tantemount to putting a child molester in charge of a kindergarden, the temptation for some will be irresistable.
    Surely if you tighten up on the corporate behavior of a bank, it will discourage rather than encourage foreign takeovers, as the bank taking over would have to operate under the same conditions within this country.
    After all the last royal commision cleaned up the building industry.
    KSS
    11th Apr 2016
    12:45pm
    "ASIC claims that Westpac was guilty of unconscionable conduct and market manipulation of the bank bill swap reference rate (BBSW) between 6 April 2010 and 6 June 2012 on 16 separate occasions."

    How come no-one here has yet pointed out that this happened on Labor's watch, yet are so quick to blame the Liberals? Just asking.
    Tom Tank
    11th Apr 2016
    1:18pm
    The finger [pointing at the Liberals is because they are happy to hold a Royal Commission into unions, no argument about that, but bitterly resist a Royal Commission into Banks.
    There is a strong case for action to be taken about the banking industry but the issues must be clearly identified. Having a politician, who relies on banks to be major contributors to party funds, is NOT the person to identify the issues.
    Scrivener
    11th Apr 2016
    1:41pm
    Top hats v hard hats.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    3:14pm
    Here we go again with the normal blame game KSS.
    Perhaps begin with WHY the Abbott government came into office and immediately shredded legislation waiting to be passed FROM THE LABOR GOVERNMENT which offered protections for Australians.
    I am not even sure if the deceit had been picked up at the time you are alluding to, but then you are one of the posters who often is involved in finger pointing rather than discussing the issues.
    Not a Bludger
    11th Apr 2016
    12:56pm
    What a STANDOUT waste of $millions of my/our taxes this would be.

    Our big banks are top of world class by any measure and pay both taxes and dividends and employ 100's of 1000's of people.

    They also publicly fix problems when they find them.

    Give the banks' management the respect that they deserve.
    Scrivener
    11th Apr 2016
    1:40pm
    And which planet in the Plaedian system are you from?
    Waiting to retire at 70
    11th Apr 2016
    1:57pm
    Retired bank manager perhaps?

    Oh, and as for the 'banks' management" and the "respect that they deserve". Sure ... kiss my a**e!
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    2:19pm
    I agree the big banks have been very good to me over many decades.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    3:20pm
    Called the Liberal Party planet methinks!
    So the tobacco industries should have been permitted to keep killing hundreds of thousands of Australians because they paid taxes and dividends to investors? And James Hardie should have been allowed to continue mining and selling asbestos for the same reason?
    Your argument is total bullshit Bludger! Criminals dressed in suits are not 'good guys' and bankers who engage in intentional criminal activity are not to be honoured....or let off.
    We have all done well over decades but this is NOT because of the banks, which are nothing more than middlemen at the best of times. But fear not banks may well disappear in the next 20 years as other forms of money businesses crop up. Can't be soon to rid us all of the stench of fractional banking and the problems it brings.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    3:31pm
    Mick you obviously haven't used an overseas money exchanger if you think banks are bad. Give me banks any day over payday lenders or the small money lenders of this world.

    No idea what tobacco or asbestos has to do with banks either. Smoking has always been to me a dirty habit that I despise.

    Did you know that the Heart Foundation pays to have their ticks on products which people then think are good for them?
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    8:35pm
    Actually Bonny I NEVER use a bank. Better to open an account in a foreign country if you go there regularly and transfer funds using a forex company. No problems! Ever. Cost is less than 1%.
    If you have to use a bank then get a Citibank debit card and you can withdraw cash at their worldwide ATMs at ZERO cost: no conversion or service fees. The only catch is you get the bank rate on the day you withdraw in a foreign currency whereas an account lets you fund the account when it is most beneficial and the AUD is high....if you are patient and pick it right.
    I see you have little understanding about financial matters.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    8:49pm
    Does Citibank have their transaction and conversion fees built in to their rates? Lots of them do.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    8:55pm
    Your lack of understanding floors me Bonny. THERE ARE NO FEES OF ANY SORT. That is the strength of the product.
    Hard to believe how Citibank makes money but that is the product. I used this one really well last year in Europe...where it is almost impossible to open an account. Worked for us.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    10:56pm
    I'll stick to using the cheapest option credit cards. Best of all I get points as a bonus.
    vinnies
    11th Apr 2016
    1:01pm
    In England they used people power to stop the banks introducing bank charges such as we have here. They petioned the government to stop the banks imposing their insidious charges. Perhaps we shoul do the same here on a national basis. I believe we have to get about 1000,000 signatures to force the government to act.
    KSS
    11th Apr 2016
    1:19pm
    Vinnies, that refers to the USA Government if you want to White House to act. You would also need 150 searchable signatures for it to be uploaded to the publically available 'we the people' website'. Alas the same does not apply in Australia. There are no such requirements for numbers or a mandatory response. See here:

    http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Petitions/House_of_Representatives_Petitions

    and here for the Senate:
    http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Petitions/~/link.aspx?_id=6EA3F092B640468F8CB6AD3F23F2EACA&_z=z
    Scrivener
    11th Apr 2016
    1:37pm
    You say, "Do you think that penalties should be harsher for banks that break the law?"
    Well I guess the man or woman on the street opinion would suggest that if I owed money to a bank or have stolen money from a bank they would invoke the FULL force of the law. So why should my approach to the law be any different to theirs? I think the government should foreclose ASAP.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    3:21pm
    Good point.
    ex PS
    12th Apr 2016
    6:51pm
    Very good point, theft is theft, I totally disagree with those people who think white collar crime is not as bad as others. It hurts people just as much to be ripped off by man in as suit as by a man in shorts and a tee shirt.
    The main difference is, a man in a suit generally manages to steal more in less time.
    DaveL
    11th Apr 2016
    1:52pm
    Read the Financial Review for a editorial bias opinion on the banks. Talk about the big business club. Give Adele Ferguson her due thou.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    8:37pm
    The mainstream media is controlled by the rich and their big business interests. Don't ever be surprised when you get propaganda. Currently we are seeing the government being given the normal pre-election promotion. And if that is not enough then follow the suburban Murdoch rags promoting Liberal Party candidates. Sickening. And our regulators ignore it. So owns the game?
    Ozetwo
    11th Apr 2016
    2:23pm
    No conservative government will ever touch the big banks, the non tax-paying multinationals, the corrupt pricing practices of the petrol companies, multi media moguls who support them or major white collar criminals. It just won't happen.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    3:24pm
    And that is the sad truth. COnservative governments are the political representatives of big business and are little more than trained puppets pushing the agenda of the wealthy. The way forward would be for courts to have the power to prosecute politicians who intentionally act corruptly. Currently they are protected through legislation.
    vinnies
    11th Apr 2016
    2:27pm
    we could nationalize them again. Now wouldn't that through the cat among the pigeons
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    2:50pm
    It would then be a lot cheaper to borrow money from overseas from the competitive markets. Better returns on your money form these deregulated markets too.

    I know where I would borrow and invest.
    Anonymous
    11th Apr 2016
    3:01pm
    vinnies

    Yes, an excellent comment! Look what has happened to the Health Insurance premiums, ever since MediBank Private was PRIVATISED.... increased premiums that were way above CPI for less services. We will also see a lot, lot more refusals to pay out on policies, as a standard method of making more profits (as occurs in the USA), given that there are no 'real' controls on corporations...eeerrrhh foreign corps mainly.

    IF, we had both ONE federal and ONE state/territory BANK that was govt..... we would have realistic controls over these MAMMOTH and POWERFUL megacorps. Without that we have nothing.

    Maybe, this will be a Royal Commission recommendation.
    ex PS
    12th Apr 2016
    6:35pm
    Good idea Bonny, that is if you want to risk losing everything, as many did in the GFC.

    11th Apr 2016
    2:55pm
    Call me a cynic but within a few months, the Corporate (foreign) Media will have turned our opinions around - just as they did with taxing Mining Corporations on their SUPER PROFITS only.

    The Australian public were bombarded with Mining (foreign) Corp. money and CORPORATE (foreign) MEDIA to lie and create FEAR by of the consequences of the SUPER PROFITS tax..... when there weren't any. Obviously, if they didn't make Super Profits, no tax would be paid.

    The POWERFUL BANKING LOBBY (43%-49% which is owned by the SAME FOREIGN institutions) will pour propaganda into out Corporate (foreign) Media TELLING US:

    "That a Royal Commission would DAMAGE Australian Banks image overseas"

    It is, of course, a complete LIE..... Investment Bankers lending our Banks billions, have no problems with Australia ensuring the Banks are PRISTINE and CLEAN! I think it is a DUH! moment, yes!

    However, it doesn't matter, EVERYONE will be force fed for months, until the election that a Royal Commission into Malcolm Turnbull's background INDUSTRY, is not good for Australia.... and this PROPAGANDA will do its job, unfortunately.

    Fact is this election will be a BLITZ of how bad the opposition was when in govt. which certainly doesn't explain the following:

    **Previous Labor Govt's achievements:

    -provided short, medium & long term strategies to combat teh GFC,

    -managed the budget,

    -provided costed, audited policies,

    -provided for Govt services and benefits,

    -commenced the BEST NBN for ALL Australians (at one third the cost),

    -gave us a brilliant (internationally acclaimed) pollution reduction scheme,

    -gave us a thriving economy, and

    -all of this with one of the LOWEST govt debt in the world (during the GFC)

    -internationally acclaimed the BEST economy in the World (over China, USA, EU, Russia, UK)

    -attained a triple AAA credit rating for the first time ever

    -Australian currency was included in the international currency mix, first time ever.





    **This current GOVT (Liberal) - I can find absolutely NOTHING done by the current govt. which advanced Australia one bit....

    -their NBN is a joke and its installation in shambles,

    -our Hospitals and Education can't be funded,

    -they can't manage a budget,

    -they invested FURTHER in a US military corporate PONZI SCHEME when we still haven't received our last order which was paid for 10 years ago,

    -submarine builds are going to foreigners,

    -they won't take a little more from the wealthy to fund Australians that have contributed to Australia all their lives or those of our own, that are disadvantaged in our society, and

    -after PROMISING a surplus, they have doubled the govt debt.


    HOWEVER, we will be BLITZED into submission by the next election and IF this grossly incompetent and malfeasant govt gets control of both houses, Australia will then be OWNED and CONTROLLED by huge FOREIGN megacorps. Our wealth, democracy, and public hospitals, educations, benefits, services - OUR WAY OF LIFE.... will disappear!

    Just look at the USA...... besides the poverty, slums, violent crimes, drugs, joke public education and health, 20% unemployed, third world conditions, deserted whole cities..... as per a report on the 2/12/15.... there were 1052 MASS SHOOTINGS across America in 1066 days, nearly ONE a DAY... with the result that there were 1300 deaths and 3800 injuries.

    Do you really want this for AUSTRALIA.... our PM is a Goldman Sachs boy (a powerful, corrupt USA banker megacorp).... say no more!
    Anonymous
    11th Apr 2016
    3:11pm
    Oh! just in case you don't think our Media is CONTROLLED by FOREIGN and other self interests.... remember that MURDOCH controls huge chunks of our MEDIA and he is aligned totally with USA megacorps.

    That the ABC will be controlled by Michelle Guthrie..... Murdoch's Apprentice and Manager of his media outlets, then with a very, very elite USA 'wealth' fund, then with Google.... all USA megacorps!

    That CHANNEL 9's chairperson is no other than our prior Treasurer (who raised more taxes and spent more money - mainly on PRIVATE institutions - than any other govt in Aust. history)... PETER COSTELLO.

    The PRIVATELY OWNED corporate MEDIA sits on its own disciplinary board and therefore controls whatever is said in THEIR MEDIA with impunity!

    It is a MEDIA that is tightly controlled by CORPORATE (foreign) VESTED INTERESTS.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    3:29pm
    The problem ordinary Australians face Mussitate is that the big end of town runs propaganda campaigns and the feeble minded believe them and do as they are ordered: vote for a coalition government.
    We need people to understand WHO a conservative government really is: BIG BUSINESS! And big business does nothing for citizens. Only ever taxes average workers and calls for tax cuts for the rich.
    BundyGil
    11th Apr 2016
    3:36pm
    Put 'em all up against a wall and use the 50 cal. machine gun.
    Jk, but its what you feel like doing when you read the financial devastation the banks, under the wink and a nod connivance of senior bank management, have wrought on so many Australians.
    roy
    12th Apr 2016
    9:42am
    Stop the Chinese buying anything in Australia they will take over if we are stupid enough to let them.
    retroy
    11th Apr 2016
    3:43pm
    I have said for many years that banks and insurance companies are little more than legalised thieves.
    Look how they are ripping off super annuitants who want to keep their money in a cash account by giving them a lower interest rate than a 20 year old who walks in off the street.
    In a bid to get new customers they also increase the rate for 4 months and the loyal bank customer who has been with them for 40 years gets two to the valley.
    Yes, have a royal commission. and expose all their other rotten rorts.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    4:06pm
    You can't just leave your money in an account for 20 years and expect the bank to give your the best interest. You need to manage your accounts like any other investments.

    Today reward type saver accounts pay more than pensioner accounts or term deposits. Tomorrow it might be different.
    Anonymous
    11th Apr 2016
    4:40pm
    Bonny
    So to get people to open an account with their bank they give you good interest rates that expire in six months (if your lucky) and then drop it to next to nothing... is okay!
    It is then YOUR responsibility to rearrange your affairs every few months, close old and open new accounts... good one... not.

    BANKS & INSURANCE corporations ARE money printing industries... they are BIG MONEY and they, with little effort or any real entrepreneurial skills, make BILLIONS in profits every SIX MONTHS.
    The taxes they pay are RECOUPED by their SHAREHOLDERS, so effectively, very little from banking and insurance mega profits stays in govt coffers.

    It is the workers income tax and the individual peoples contribution to GST that contributes the BULK to govt. coffers.

    WE can afford to LEGISLATE HEAVILY to control these wealth creating corporations who do little to promote our economy.. just extract from it or cause problems in it by malfeasant and inappropriate practices.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    7:28pm
    Why not close and open accounts to get better interest rates? That's what I do.

    I also treat every renewal for insurance etc as an invitation and get quotes from others. If the current supplier doesn't match I switch.

    Loyalty today is more like a lazy tax on the consumer.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    8:41pm
    I pretty well agree with you retroy. Ordinary depositors are often cannibalised.
    If you think the worst has been seen then I hope that predictions of a world wide meltdown never eventuates. If it does then be aware that 'bail-in' arrangements are already in place in ALL western economies. what will happen? Banks will effectively steal ordinary depositor money and you will have no right to refuse this. It was called a 'Haircut' in Cyprus and it is the model we will use if needed.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    8:50pm
    I hope you haven't got any money in the banks Mick.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    8:58pm
    All of us have. That does not mean I like them. I don't.
    I predict that the banks in their current form will disappear within the next 20 years. Cryptocurrencies are already being developed. I understand that the US government is already well advanced with this one. Coming!
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    10:39pm
    Must admit I own some bitcoin. Got paid in bitcoin for a job I did.

    Banks wont disappear they will just reinvent themselves.

    Let's hope that it becomes easier and cheaper to trade internationally in 20 years time. It is ridiculous the charge they are creaming off especially travellers.
    particolor
    11th Apr 2016
    4:02pm
    Prince Malcolm said No Royal Commission into Banks ?? :-) :-) And Rightly so !! :-(
    I don't let anyone in My house when I fear them ! :-)
    Peking
    11th Apr 2016
    4:48pm
    Not much point in isolating one Bank, or one Government or one opinion supporting how wonderful Banks have been. The problem is long-term, deep-rooted and systemic.
    As referred to here the Banks have been as corrupt as money ensures. Their recent exposure of corruption on interest rate manipulation (BBSW) was highly predictable as it has happened everywhere it can (see LIBOR in London etc).
    The Bonnys of this world may think we are talking about simple deposits and loans but financial impacts of Bank manipulation are much more than that. Every single person is affected by their actions, as the Banks own the "wealth creation" spruikers, financial advisers, credit unions and lobbyist, and therefore the prices we pay, and any investments we make.
    Have watched for years as Government has edged towards action, but it won't happen outside of a forced independent Royal Commission, and I doubt even that would be unsoiled.
    The Bankers Association will not do it so it will have to be a "Munchenburg-by-proxy" if at all.
    Anonymous
    11th Apr 2016
    7:00pm
    Peking
    Found that interesting and appreciated your comment.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    8:44pm
    Agree Peking. This is not exactly new news and has been ignored for all too long. "It's time"! If no Royal Commission then introduce stringent restrictions. Well that ain't a going to happen from the Liberal Party cronies as long as banks make election funding donations to them.
    Tinker
    11th Apr 2016
    4:55pm
    Reading all of the comments I think that theMr Shorten and his supporters should start their own bank, charge lower interest rates, pay higher interest on savings, reduce or not charge any fees and all the sceptics and left wingers can buy shares and see their money go down the drain, or is this all going to be paid for by taxation.
    particolor
    11th Apr 2016
    5:01pm
    After further reading I think Banks should pay NO Interest and Charge Customers for Minding their Money ! :-) Register as a Charity and avoid Paying GST or Tax ! :-)
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    6:24pm
    I agree.

    Banks unfortunately are not a charity.

    Then again tax charities and you would have more than enough to make this possible.
    Anonymous
    11th Apr 2016
    6:41pm
    Tinker, great comment, why do the masses think Keating, labor, made the cba a private enterprise? simple the cost of running that bank was dragging the government finances down, yet since privatizing it is one of the best run banks, not just in Australia, but in the world and was shown as an example with the other australian banks as why none were bankrupted during the world recession in the 2007/08, when many overseas bank went under, see America, England, Iceland etc.
    Yes, China's need for iron ore helped, but anybody stating that the rudd's labor government giving $ 700.00 to $ 900.00, helped, even to those already 6 feet under, is delusive, one could not get to the pokey's for weeks, mine is still in the share market, I bet you, the moaners are the one's who have not paid their credit cards on time or are behind in their repayments and are hoping a royal commission might wave your repayments and loans.
    fully agree with Tinker, let us open another labor run bank under shorten, better known as bill the knive, and see how much debt it can achieve during his rein as was shown under rudd/gillard/rudd governments
    Anonymous
    11th Apr 2016
    7:21pm
    I agree Tinker, NATIONALISE and have the governments (Federal & States) commence their own banks.

    We wouldn't need a Royal Commission because the POWER would be returned immediately to the Govts and many people would prefer to bank with their own govt than PRIVATE (foreign) concerns who are corrupt.

    The banks would pull their heads in start offering better deals and cut their MULTI BILLION PROFITS.


    heemskerk99
    No, John HOWARD was the one that sold the last bit of control over the Commonwealth Bank, so that it was unable to be controlled by Australia with STATE Liberal govts leading the way for the state sell offs of their banks.

    We virtually gave PRIVATE institutions the right to PRINT MONEY... the industry is THAT LUCRATIVE!!! and hence POWERFUL.

    The control of the Australian big four Banks is now pretty much in the hands of the SAME four (4) FOREIGN institutions (3x USA & 1X UK) between 43%-49% ownership. Owning that much of ALL four of our Big Banks, means that they virtually control our big four banks.

    This is evidenced by the current exposure to corrupt and inappropriate practices.... which resemble that of USA banks and insurance corporations.

    NOW, let's shoot down in FLAMES Corporate foreign controlled MEDIA propaganda shall we.... here are some of the ACHIEVEMENTS of the PREVIOUS GOVT.... ALL I ask in return is for you to name the ACHIEVEMENTS of this CURRENT govt....yes!

    PREVIOUS LABOR GOVT'S ACHIEVEMENTS

    -provided short, medium & long term strategies to combat teh GFC,

    -managed the budget,

    -provided costed, audited policies,

    -provided for Govt services and benefits,

    -commenced the BEST NBN for ALL Australians (at one third the cost),

    -gave us a brilliant (internationally acclaimed) pollution reduction scheme,

    -gave us a thriving economy, and

    -all of this with one of the LOWEST govt debt in the world (during the GFC)

    -internationally acclaimed the BEST economy in the World (over China, USA, EU, Russia, UK)

    -attained a triple AAA credit rating for the first time ever

    -Australian currency was included in the international currency mix, first time ever.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    8:46pm
    Good idea Tinker. Let's call it 'the Commonwealth Bank'. Yes, that was the bank which was flogged off to investors despite being the best in the country!
    buby
    13th Apr 2016
    6:16pm
    by golly tinker ya know i'm sure"scratching head", thats what they used to do in the olden days when i was a spring chicken, and everybody was happy with the pollis.......I wonder what went wrong. Back to scratching head. I think i got fleas lol.... NO NO just joking
    synergex
    11th Apr 2016
    5:23pm
    Establish a Federal ICAC. Australia simply needs legislation that covers corruption and illegal behaviours by ANYONE even the untouchables in the banking and finance industries. One law for all. Good luck in getting a coalition to pursue the banks the same vigour they pursue unions.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    8:47pm
    Yes. And let's include federal politics in that one to stop the over corruption which will likely be unearthed.
    BundyGil
    11th Apr 2016
    5:41pm
    If other people indulged in the fraudulent activities the banks are involved in, they'd be in jail. Centrelink chasing pensioners for a few measly dollars while the banks are free to rip everyone off to the tune of milllions. Time to get tough on the banks. A royal commission us the place to start. Won't happen with an LNP govt. though
    particolor
    11th Apr 2016
    6:07pm
    Why don't the Banks just put their arms up and surrender ? Save a lot of Taxpayers Money :-)
    Anonymous
    11th Apr 2016
    7:22pm
    GundyGil

    Excellent point.
    MICK
    11th Apr 2016
    8:48pm
    They certainly would Bundgirl.
    SKRAPI
    11th Apr 2016
    9:08pm
    yES i THINK DEFINITELY THERE SHOULD BE A ROYAL COMMISSION & BANKS SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR MISDEEDS OR LET'S CALL A SPADE A SPADE THEIR RUTHLESS DISHONESTY. CORRUPTION U MIGHT SAY . i SAW PEOPLE ON TV. WHO HAD LOST hUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS , ALL THEIR LIFE'S SAVINGS WHICH THEY WORKED HARD FOR NO DOUBT & U CAN'T START AGAIN WHEN U R ELDERLY . i HAVEN'T HEARD THAT THE BANKS HAVE REPAID THESE PEOPLE . THEY SHOULD GET INTEREST TOO.
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    9:26pm
    I saw a lot of people on TV too who were nothing but gamblers. They knew the risks but they were after the big pay day. When it didn't happen they took no responsibility for their actions and blamed the banks.

    I personally had one of these people tell me how well they were going to do out of one of these investments. They were very surprised when I said it was too risky for me. They lost nearly everything trying for a big pay day. Today they cannot even look at me let alone speak to me.

    Sorry folks I'm not buying these stories.
    HarrysOpinion
    11th Apr 2016
    11:11pm
    Nobody is buying your garbage Bonny, especially the bank investors and customers who have suffered financially due the unconscionable conduct of bankers. A Royal Commission is a must!
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    1:18am
    well said HS.
    roy
    12th Apr 2016
    9:40am
    Devalue the Aussie dollar ASAP.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    6:16pm
    yes mick, let us become a third world country, even better a fourth
    SKRAPI
    11th Apr 2016
    9:22pm
    tRUE A ROYAL COMMISSION PROB. WOULDN'T get anything done & i bet the panama exposure won't get us much results either , We Rtold it's notunlawful what they R dloing so looks like that's about all we will get . There should be a law brought in whereby all have to pay the same tax as a working man , now that would be fair . Faint hope though
    Bonny
    11th Apr 2016
    9:37pm
    Companies pay tax after all deductions where as workers pay tax before deductions.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    1:17am
    That is correct Bonny which means they pay less tax.

    Did you also know that the tax paid by corporations are then claimed back by their shareholders (Dividend Imputation Credits), either in CASH or as a reduction to their income tax bill.

    Hence, the govt. coffers may collect income tax from corporations BUT then they have to pay it back out again to Shareholders... the NET effect is NIL into the govt coffers.

    ALL those billions of dollars in profit and nothing stays in the coffers.... it is NOT right is it.

    97.7% individuals who earn less than $180,000, pay 76.1% of ALL income tax.

    ONLY individuals, whether they earn an income or not pay 100% of the GST into govt. coffers.... BUSINESSES do NOT pay GST.

    Don't you think it TIME that Corporations who earn billions, pay an additional tax that is NOT taken back by shareholders AND that businesses contribute something towards GST!

    The TAX burden on individuals is heavy, as they pay the BULK of the taxes that actually stay in the govt coffers. It is the individuals that build our roads, hospitals, schools and supply doctors and nurses and other workers, and provide for our old age and look after our own who may be in a spot of trouble or disadvantaged! It is time these others, earning billions, took some of the weight.
    HarrysOpinion
    12th Apr 2016
    6:28am
    Mussitate, you are quite correct. Unfortunately, Bonny is a blind and misguided troll for the banks.
    roy
    12th Apr 2016
    9:39am
    Devalue the dollar ASAP.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    1:03pm
    Why should banks pay tax on their profits twice? Banks and other businesses pass on ranked dividends to shareholders to avoid double taxation. The shareholders then pay tax on those dividends so the tax is paid.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    6:22pm
    yes mick, make australia a third or fourth world country, where is your pride for this country?
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    7:10pm
    Bonny

    They don't pay tax TWICE ever!!!!

    They pay their tax BUT the shareholders claim it back, so very little goes in the govt coffers.

    REPEAT...... the shareholders do NOT pay tax on their dividend THEY CLAIM A REBATE of the Corporate Tax.... so it is the opposite to what you have claimed????

    When investors earn INTEREST they pay taxes on that INCOME, so why should you NOT pay taxes and even worse, CLAIM BACK the taxes RIGHTLY paid by the banks and other corporations, on your DIVIDEND INCOME!

    We need that income in the govt coffers, NOT in the hands of the BIG BOY ELITE who own bag loads of shares.

    IT IS TIME THAT THE WEALTHY ELITE PAID THEIR FAIR SHARE.... the load on ordinary Australians is getting very heavy, especially when this govt. is hell bent on TAKING AWAY expenditure on PUBLIC education and health and to assist OUR own when they get older or are in need or are disadvantaged. WHILST MAINTAINING expenditure of OUR money on PRIVATE schools and hospitals... in relation to our schools budget ..... a whopping 60%.
    pfbnug
    12th Apr 2016
    2:40am
    Forget the politics - the issue is simple, as is the answer."Do the crime,do the time!" Also garnishee assets to pay out the victims. Goes for bankers and politicians both.
    student
    13th Apr 2016
    6:03pm
    great idea nug, but it wont happen.
    Johnny
    12th Apr 2016
    10:23am
    Have been with the same credit union since its inception in the 1970's for teachers. Wonderful service and I bank free. I was mortified when it changed its name to a mutual bank a few years ago. I was dead against this but they have not developed a bank culture.
    Happy Jack
    12th Apr 2016
    10:26am
    Perhaps Ben Chifley was right! Now there was a great Prime Minister. Innovative and consultative, to boot.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    6:18pm
    I know you was old, but that old?
    Johnny
    12th Apr 2016
    10:27am
    Furthermore I get sick of bank bashing. If you don't like your bank move to a credit union or building society. Too many people remain with a bank when they are so dissatified. I can't understand this.
    Patriot
    12th Apr 2016
    10:30am
    Whilst "Superficially" this is not obvious, the Credit Unions are just the "Slaves' to the Banking System!
    The CUs CANNOT operate without the Backing of the Banks!
    student
    13th Apr 2016
    6:09pm
    Johnny, banks and building societies are the same thing really. I may be wrong but I think if you don't get paid cash for a wage/salary then you have to have a bank account.
    ex PS
    12th Apr 2016
    11:02am
    As a customer I like to feel I have a right to fair, ethical and transparent treatment. This should be a given whether I am dealing with a bank, government department or retail business.
    Governments like to press for self regulation, not for any ultristic ideals, but simply because it saves them money and absolves them from the responsability of having to chastise or punish future campaign supporters.
    It seems that the banking industry is not just pushing the envelope, but may be actually breaking the law with some of their business practices.
    As this effects hundreds of thousands of everyday working people and retirees it is encoumbant upon the government of the day to put aside petty political dross and investigate the practices of the banks. It's just bad luck for the presiding government that this came to a head under their reign, but for them to do nothing is an insult to the people who they proport represent.
    For many, inaction by this government may be the last straw, and will put an end to their particular inept reign.
    fearlessfly
    12th Apr 2016
    5:25pm
    I will refrain from ranting on here, just a simple YES, go after the corrupt scurrilous bastards RIGHT NOW, and go after them HARD !!!
    particolor
    12th Apr 2016
    6:57pm
    YES,
    Macca
    12th Apr 2016
    5:53pm
    I got sick of charges from banks and fees paid.Then I realised that if I bought shares in them I could get some of my money back as a dividend .Now that is my philosophy with Telstra and all the others.Macca
    Happy Jack
    12th Apr 2016
    9:56pm
    Old enough, GermsJerk69 to run circles around you, pal!
    Good to see the punctuation is on the improve- God blimey, you've even used a capital letter a comer and a question mark.
    The grammar has let you down though- it should read "I knew you were old, not "I know you were old".
    Regardless though, do keep up the good work and with further improvement you may make it into a Gonski funded class and so improve your literacy. After all, this was the aspiration of Julia Gillard when setting the agenda for education in this country for the next 50 years, that being to give a leg up to the poor unfortunates, such as yourself who either through, lacking in intellectual nous, or not having the means to enrol in an exclusive private school were being left behind.
    Anonymous
    13th Apr 2016
    5:50pm
    only one stooge left?
    buby
    13th Apr 2016
    6:12pm
    WHO CARES about the grammar, sheez just learn how to count ya money
    or they'll do ya head in :P
    Claudius
    15th Apr 2016
    9:36am
    Please don't ridicule others for their efforts. I see that you have left out a comma ( notice I use the correct spelling of the word nor your use of comer ) when you wrote ...." used a capital letter, a comma and a ".....
    Regards Queenie.
    MD
    13th Apr 2016
    9:26am
    Well you may ask - "What can or should be done about our banks ?" And yes, just as you've indicated, "a lot" indeed. In 'tossing a bone to the dogs' I confess to limited subjective knowledge of due procedure however I'm sure this will be rectified if necessary.

    How best to address this thorny issue is another matter entirely. If to this end (?) a Royal Commission is the preferred means then maybe we need to petition the Government to put this matter to a plebiscite, thereby excluding any undue influence, coercion, loyalties,commitments or 'funny handshakes' that elected members or their 'mates' can bring to bear. So far so good ? Yeh right !
    So the next step; (let's assume the outcome of the plebiscite) requires the appointment of an impartial person to head a Commission, if either directly or indirectly the Government determines, then aren't we back to where it all started ? Cost ? Who gives a damn, as long as it's not me. Who is it that stands to make squillions from a Commission - the penny pinching paupers that have entrusted their life savings to these despicable institutions, I think not, instead the weary/dreary circus act (proceedings) will be duly attended by Briefs, Silks, wigs, gowns and clowns, all mates of ours of course, there to protect our interests. To be sure, a scapegoat or two will be singled out for excommunication, a few more will receive a slap on the wrist and maybe, just maybe, a man or two might confess and present themselves for a public stoning. Who are we kidding ?

    Whether Labour, Lib or 'also rans' is irrelevant as far too many have their snouts in the same trough as the collective establishment suits, CEO's, Chairmen, business leaders, professionals and the like. It comes down to them or us and if anyone thinks the findings of a Commission will favour 'us' then Utopia exists and we are living the dream.

    History tells us a lot about the past and although individual knowledge has limitations the one recurring problem to beset man is GREED, of which the ultimate outcome oftimes results in wars. The Institutions in question are operated by people little different from the rest of us. That their position requires trust, ethics, honesty, accountability and stewardship has been found wanting. It seems we've learnt little from our past.
    So who do we appoint to determine the degree of malfeasance, name the perpetrators and deliver recommendations to rectify the wrongdoings. Heaven help us if it's mums and dads from the penny pinching proletariat (or so the previous posts would indicate) no, it's a foregone conclusion that no less than an establishment exemplar will suit.

    Criminals and/or their organizations when determined guilty can have property seized, accounts frozen, forego bequests. Now who was it said - "a crime is a crime is a crime." Corporate crime is another matter altogether. Go figure !
    student
    13th Apr 2016
    6:02pm
    Big Banks will play fair when big business pays their fair share of tax. Also, remember those who make the laws often have the most to gain from the laws. I'm surprised Mr. Turnbull doesn't know how to shut down tax fraud!
    Claudius
    13th Apr 2016
    6:08pm
    Quite apart from the recent notorious various episodes of of Banking contempt for their social obligation that the custody of a Banking license demands, there are any number of individual accounts out there in the community involving foreclosure and eviction, often involving engineered default, that fly completely under the radar of public scrutiny. I suggest advisedly that each subscriber to this blog might visit the Banking and Consumer Affairs (BFCSA) website where they might obtain a detailed insight into this insidious situation.
    The in - house hardship regime that is held out by Westpac as compassionate and noble in its design to assist those of its borrowers who suffer hard times is nothing more than a sham designed more to engender a warm fuzzy inner glow in those that ad inter it than to assist the circumstances of their customers. Such solutions extend to short term loan moratoriums, after which the ultimatum to sell the security property, or the Bank will is delivered. Other solutions are to compound the interest until the LVR of the security property, determined by periodic valuations at the customer's cost, reaches 95 percent at which time the customers is forced to sell, leaving them in a far worse position.
    In the context of the Global Financial Crisis, wherein the public purse undertook to provide a deposit guarantee to the Banking industry, it responded with what can only be described as pernicious moral hazard, in not demonstrating commensurate compassionate consideration for their customers.
    Claudius
    13th Apr 2016
    7:53pm
    Yes MD, in regard to your comment of the not unreasonable expectation of trust, integrity, accountability etc, regrettably the sales oriented nature of contemporary Banking culture, renders those most honourable of human traits as fundamentally impossible in delivering the Banking product with any element of social justice. The incentivised remuneration system is so entrenched in the delivery of the product that it will inevitably compromise the moral rectitude of the most honourable of humans. There is no description for it other than unmitigated, institutionalised greed.
    buby
    14th Apr 2016
    7:53am
    THANKS Claudius, can you translate into normal English for me please as i don't have my dictionary handy.
    So that i can comprehend what you said, as i'm interested in know how shifty the banks have become.
    OH and would your last name be "Maximus"......lol
    There is no description for it other than unmitigated, institutionalised greed.<<<<<<<<<<< I understood that part.... thanks
    particolor
    14th Apr 2016
    8:57pm
    I read it slowly so as to Imbibe the fullness of it ! :-)
    Keep it in balance
    16th Apr 2016
    2:54pm
    Bank bashing is in our genes and no better time to bring it out in the run up to an election. Notwithstanding, every night when I go to sleep I sleep very soundly in the knowledge that my money, that is deposits and funds invested in shares is safe. We have one of the safest banking systems in the world regulated by four federal government agencies. It is also highly competitive. Granted there are times when some staff get out of hand but in most cases the banks eventually come good from their misdemeanours. Banks are not an extension of the public service nor are there to look after persons who take foolish risks. The last thing we need is a loss of confidence in the banking system that if we feel they cannot keep our money safe. We are then n dangerous territory.
    worker
    16th Apr 2016
    3:04pm
    Banks should be like all Australian citizens that are required to abide by laws.
    When found guilty of breeching said laws they need to face the consequences in full and this be made public.
    particolor
    16th Apr 2016
    5:25pm
    And that goes Double for the Gov't ! :-(
    geomac
    16th Apr 2016
    5:07pm
    A major bank will help foot the bill for a glitzy pre-election political fundraiser to be fronted by Treasurer Scott Morrison and his deputy Kelly O'Dwyer at the same time as they are resisting calls for a royal commission into the scandal-plagued banking sector.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/fundraiser-for-assistant-treasurer-kelly-odwyer-to-be-sponsored-by-nab-amid-banking-firestorm-20160415-go7c4y.html#ixzz45yFuldUY
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook
    particolor
    16th Apr 2016
    5:31pm
    Recline on the Back Lawn with a Cigar if you wish after your Top Shelf Port !! :-) :-)
    Happy Jack
    17th Apr 2016
    11:15am
    Hey, "Germsjerk69"! no guessing who the stooge is- it's you Germsjerk69. They are using you and your offside Hanky Franky and you appear to be unaware of what's going on the real world. We are living in a two tiered society where the underclass are facing an increasingly widening chasm between their income's and standard of living compared to the so called upper class who in addition to all the tax breaks concessions and other lurks refuse to pay their taxes. They stand condemned and so do you two for being silly enough to be their fall guys. Bring on a royal commission into the Banks and financial institutions- this country needs it desperately and the revelations of tens of thousands of Australians losing their life savings and insurance claims being denied demands it. I say, Germsjerk69 and your offside Hanky Panky, "bring it on, bring it on"
    particolor
    17th Apr 2016
    1:18pm
    Its Real Bad when the Bank Manager and staff are the Bank Robbers ! :-)
    Dougie
    2nd Sep 2016
    11:18am
    As an unfortunate victim of the Storm Financial disaster bring it on!!
    The banks should be shown up for their total lack of principles during the debacle of 2008.
    Dougie


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