thoughtsonthebus

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Tag: Banking Code of Practice

9 years of corruption in the Australian Banking Industry.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF A CORRUPT 2004 BANKING CODE

Information sourced from bankinfoline.com

In 2010, a very detailed and thorough document was submitted to and accepted by the Australian Senate on Banking Reform. It’s known as “The Australian Bankers Problematic Code” paper.

This letter attempts to highlight the most important sections of it, to give a high-level overview of the document, so it can be exposed to the public and not kept hidden under layers of banking misconduct and media blackouts.

The Problematic Code paper follows the 18 year evolution of banks being forced (by threat of government regulation after Senate reports in 1991) to document rules, which governed their behaviour towards customers. This document is known as the “Banking Code of Practise” and the banks have been contractually bound to them since 1996.  In a publication on 1 November 1993, senior bankers, Commonwealth Bank’s David Murray and NAB’s Don Argus, were said to have agreed to be contractually bound by the code if government allowed banks to manage it.

This code is monitored by 3 people, the “Code Compliance Monitoring Committee” (CCMC), and their job is to investigate and make a determination on “Any and All complaints” made by the public against the code subscribing banks behaviour. (cl. 35.7)

In 2003, unsatisfied with the original practices, ANZ’s John McFarlane and St George Bank (now Westpac’s) Gail Kelly, and senior Australian Bankers Association officers redrafted the code introducing loopholes in the previously high-principled process. With the introduction of loopholes 16 banks agreed with the changed practices and became code signatories.

A year later, in 2004, banks agreed it wasn’t enough and sought to benefit themselves even further.

A new layer was secretly added so that the CCMC was no longer at liberty to investigate “Any and All complaints..”. This is because the 16 signatories formed a new group known as “The Code Compliance Monitoring Committee’s Association” (CCMCA) and they wrote their own rules as to what banks had to investigate. They set these new rules out in a document they called “the Constitution”. The Constitutions terms were so restrictive towards the job of the CCMC, that to date the independent Code Compliance Monitoring Committee have only investigated 250 complaints alleging the banks have breached the code.

The “Constitution” was never published, its restrictions were never made public and the CCMCA members never announced as a public group. The directors of the 16 banks and their CEO’s wrote a new set of rules setting out what this supposedly independent body they appointed called the Code Compliance Monitors were allowed to investigate.

Since 2004, the directors of major banks have told their customers and customer’s lawyers, and the public, that if a customer or small business signs a bank’s contract they will be protected as the code is contractually binding. However the Problematic Code paper sets out how a new set of banking ethics have evolved and the paper names banks, the bank directors and other people who sat benignly allowing banks to introduce corrupt practices that cripple customers.

You might ask how could this happen, was it uncaring legislators or sleepy regulators? It’s probably both.

In 2008, the previous Code Compliance Monitors, acting as whistleblowers, exposed the scam prior to resigning. The Compliance Monitors were appointed by and paid for by the signatories banks to investigate any allegation, by any person a bank breached the code. The Constitution, however, meant banks didn’t have to do that. By not requiring banks to investigate complaints, customers were forced to take banks to court if they breached a contract.

And that, as everyone knows, is costly, lengthy and a futile battle.

Examples as to how this can affect individuals, are evident in the Priestly case. Had the bank provided a fair and independent complaints procedure, they probably would not have spent the last six years battling it out with their bank in courtrooms across the state, and ultimately, losing their house and farm in January, this year.

The Priestley complaints

On 26 January 2013, the Priestley’s, having read “The Australian Bankers Problematic Code” paper set out their experiences and concerns in complaints sent to Mr Michael Chaney AO and NAB Directors. The bank breached its contract by failing to investigate the complaints which are serious.

In 2013, a principled banker would investigate the following complaints and respond, if the NAB had nothing to hide. However, to date there has been no official response so, instead, we will follow the NAB investigation as it unfolds, keeping in mind the Compliance Monitors had a contractual duty to name and shame bankers breaching the code.

Following years of failed attempts to have their bank complaints investigated, on 26 January 2013, the Priestley’s referred the following complaints to the NAB Directors, alleging:

 

1       In 2012, National Australia Bank directors intentionally or recklessly allowed its CEO, Mr Cameron Clyne, to breach the bank-customer contract when the NAB failed to investigate all the Priestley complaints, copies of which were sent directly to him.

2        Since 20 February 2004, the NAB changed terms of its contract, which meant Farmer-NAB contracts and small business-NAB contacts were potentially non-contracts and not binding.  

3        The NAB, and other signatory bank officers, instructed their managers and lawyers to keep the “Constitution” and thus changed bank-customer contracts from the courts for a decade as the courts might not hear their cases.

4        The NAB, and other signatory bank officers, and bank representatives, asked customers to sign contracts when they knew or should have known the contractual rights were changed causing customers financial disadvantage.

5        The NAB’s and other signatory bank CEO’s were members of the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee’s Association that created and relied on the constitution to conceal a countless number of contract breaches.

6        According to Mr Andrew Wilkie’s 2012 press release, there have been 2.5 million bank complaints since 2004, yet only 250 investigations, which was when the changed terms in the started to truly strip away bank customers rights.

7        For a decade, Code Compliance Monitors were dishonest and their actions corrupt allowing people to believe they could investigate and make a determination on any allegation a bank breached the code when they had no such powers.

8        Since 2004, NAB and ABA’s conduct was dishonest and their actions corrupt when they published untruthful statements intended the make the Australian public believe code signatory banks would comply with the code and investigate all code breaches and complaints.

9        In 2012, the NAB instructed lawyers to attend court and keep from His Hon. Justice Peter Garling the truth about the Problematic Code and by their silence they allowed the court to still believe the code was contractually binding.

NAB’s internal dispute resolution process

Mr Michael Chaney AO and Directors of NAB told all their customers that the bank has an internal process for handling disputes (Cl. 35.1).

●     It will be free of charge (Cl. 35.1(b));

●     We will adhere with timeframes specified in the contract (Cl. 35.1(c);

●     We will notify the name and contact number of the NAB person investigating your dispute (Cl. 35.2); and

●     Within 21 days of becoming aware of the dispute we will inform you of the outcome (Cl. 35.3).

What Mr Michael Chaney AO and NAB Directors also said. The bank:

●     Has a dispute resolution process available for all complaints unless resolved to your satisfaction (Cl. 35.7);

●     Will provide customers with the above information in writing (Cl. 35.8); 

●     Will provide information to customers in plain language (Cl. 2.1(d)); and

●     Will act fairly and reasonably towards customers in consistent and ethical manner (Cl. 2.2).

Editors note

The last four dot-points relate to all complaints, which signatories to the Code of Banking Practice and NAB contractually agreed to provide customers since 2004. NAB might believe that customers can agitate complaints in the courts and have their say, however only the bank has the benefit of having unlimited funds to fight in the courts.

Nobody could believe customers could lodge 2.5 million complaints since the “Constitution” was introduced and therefore, depending on NAB findings and with new information to hand, individual and small business customers who have lodged complaints since 2004 can ask them to be re-heard. Especially if the banks had been hiding behind these secret documents, and which may have influenced the judgement in the first place.

This time by a truly independent, non-bank appointed /funded committee giving customers who suffered adverse court judgements since 2004, a chance to finally have their day out of court and be heard in full.

A fair go. It’s not much to ask for really.

 
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Illegal Eviction of The Farmers

I’m so sad. But so proud of them. xxx

For every NAB Customer in Australia , please read. For every NAB Director in Australia, be aware.

During yesterday’s eviction of The Priestly’s, Chris Priestly bravely read out this letter to the NAB representative they sent, Mr Peter Mair.

You may have heard of Peter Mair, or you may have not. But a recent article shows he believes pensioners are hoarding $100 notes under their beds in order to rort the pension. Obviously a kind, and generous guy – who also used to be a Reserve Bank Official..

So why is an ex-RBA official, attending the eviction of just 2 normal farmers, 9 hours North-West of Sydney? hmm Interesting indeed. And not a question I actually have an answer to.

( Edit: After some diligent research, turns out there are two creepy bankers called Peter Mair. The one that attended the eviction, is not the same as the one who thinks Pensioners are rorting, but to be honest, the eviction Peter Mair looks even more sinister..)

A video of Chris reading this out will be available as soon as those wonderful citizen journalists and occupy activists return from supporting the Priestly’s. But in the meantime, have a read of it for yourself.

It’s a doozy 😀  I can’t wait to see the video xx

Chris Priestley to NAB Chairman and Directors 1 Feb 2013

Banking Code of Practice Updated.

So, they’ve been busy, while we’ve been busy.

They’re changing the terms, getting on TV and Radio and in the papers to show you how *ethical, and transparent the Banks really are.

Of course. The Banks really are good people right. Or not people. Corporations..

Hell, even the head of the Australian Bankers Association, Mr Münchenberg said in his press release:
“Banks are committed to acting fairly, responsibly and transparently – the revised Code reinforces these industry values.”

“For example, banks are committed to working with customers who may be experiencing financial hardship. There are times when any one of us can suffer a setback that means we can no longer meet our financial obligations, like paying the mortgage or credit card bill. This can happen because our working hours have been reduced or we’ve even lost our job, because of unexpected illness, because a relationship breaks down, or for a host of other reasons. It’s at times like these that banks can help people get through their financial difficulties and back on their feet.”

Yep. That’s why you helped the Priestly’s when their father lay dying in hospital, right?

Yep. That’s why you helped them to sow a new crop after the floods had subsided, right?

Yep. That’s why you responded in writing, and officially investigated every one of the 9 complaints she submitted to the Banks, and then the Ombudsman, and then the CCMC, right?

Oh.. what? You didn’t do any of those things? You didn’t investigate their complaints? Even though, their first complaint was made before ANY of the preceedings against them took place.?

hmm. I find that a bit.. misleading. I find that a bit.. fraudulent.

I wonder what the Priestly’s have got to say about that? Well.. no, they can’t get the internet at the moment, because you evicted them yesterday. I’ve tried to call them a few times today, but the phone kept dropping out. The house is boarded up. The locks have been changed. You’ve even entombed Chris’  thongs in there – you wouldn’t let him go in and get them. Because, you know.. The thongs are yours now. Hope they fit..

Good thing I’ve got copies of the most recent letters they sent the Chairman of the NAB, this week. And hey, get a load of that – they were also personally copied to you, Mr Münchenberg.

Seeing as I can’t get in touch with them to find out what’s going on, perhaps it’s time for you to come forth with an explanation, Mr Münchenberg.

Speak soon??  Once you’ve finished getting your hair and make-up fixed for the Business Show, that is.

Priestley to NAB Chairman Chaney 30 Jan 2013 (1)

Priestley to NAB Chairman Chaney 26 Jan 2013

(Official Press Release from the Australian Banking Association. 

http://www.bankers.asn.au/Media/Media-Releases/Media-Release-2013/Improved-Code-of-Banking-Practice )

Direct contact details for the ABA

f you could also tweet these out, the bottom of the ABA Press Release has these details. You know.. just fyi.

Iain McDonald
P&L Corporate Communications (?)
Phone: 02 9231 5411
Mobile: 0488 390 151 
Twitter: @austbankers

A very sad day.

The battle is over, but the war has just begun.

12 months ago, I knew nothing of the Priestly’s, their farm, their family and their lives.

Yet today, I receive the most heartbreaking text from them.

” it’s over. very sad day. 2 Sheriffs, 2 Security Guards and locksmiths”

but then, the fight in her remains.

“lots of footage of me going off. I nearly decked the wimpy NAB guy. Little creep”

And that’s where the hope lies. In the hearts of those who have followed this story. In the strength of their love for their home. In the fingers of those who type away bringing this message to you.

xxx

Oh, and by the way NAB. We’re breaking up with you. Because you are no different from every other greedy motherf***ing corporation who see’s no further than your bottom line. Well, keep an eye on your bottom, because I promise you – you are about to have your ass kicked.

Forcing Farmers to choose between CSG and Crops

Yesterday, via getup.org, I submitted a letter to the MP of Dubbo, Troy Grant, to ask him to not allow CSG fracking in his area. See, some farmers want CSG – mainly because of the money. They have mortgages too (some at 18% interest rates) and so I wrote the following explaining myself. Following on is his response, and my subsequent response to him.

Silly.. He brought up “Code of Practise” with the wrong woman

Me:

“Please. Some of us can see further down the path, where all of our True-Aussie farmers land are sold off to Chinese Investors who don’t give a shit about the locals. Who don’t give a shit about the long term impact.Who don’t give a shit about where our food comes from.

Please stop the local farmers land from being exploited for gas, the Barwon runs through your land, and the hearts of the people. Please don’t force them to chose gas, as they cannot compete against the massive agribusiness’ that are taking over your local area.

The gas can only be extracted once, and then what? Land that CANNOT be used, water that CANNOT be used. People who have been used. Stand up, and say NO CSG IN MY AREA. Support your local farmers to take on the foreign ownership of land, to stop CSG (which is 80% sent overseas anyway). Help them to return to the land the way nature intended.

It’s in your hands. But will remain in the hands of your children. Are you prepared to do that?”

Him:

Dear Ms Sheppard

Thank you for your email/letter concerning the coal seam gas industry in New South Wales. The NSW Government has recently introduced 27 new measures to further safeguard the health and safety of the community, and to protect our valuable land and water resources.

These include:

  • a new policy to protect aquifers and prevent ground water contamination
  • the banning of dangerous chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process
  • new well drilling regulations
  • toughened penalties for environmental breaches.

The NSW Government has also implemented two new Codes of Practice that require world’s best practice for coal seam gas hydraulic fracturing and well design.

The new Codes of Practice were independently peer-reviewed by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O’Kane, and followed a 12 month moratorium on the granting of new approvals for use of hydraulic fracturing during coal seam gas drilling.

All coal seam gas exploration and production licences are subject to the new Codes of Practice, which are also included as a condition of title. Failure to comply with title conditions can result in enforcement action against the holder, including prosecution and title cancellation.

It should be noted that new techniques such as horizontal well drilling are emerging as an alternative to hydraulic fracturing and are more commonly used in NSW.

The NSW Government has recently increased the number of drilling inspectors in the field to improve the monitoring of gas exploration and production, and has appointed a Land and Water Commissioner to provide guidance to landholders and the community in relation to coal seam gas activities.

The coal seam gas industry has been operating successfully in NSW for more than 10 years without incident; and the development of a domestic industry presents a significant economic opportunity for NSW. Coal seam gas activities with unacceptable impacts will not be approved by the NSW Government. Governed by world-best practice regulations, NSW can benefit from the responsible development of a sustainable domestic gas industry.

Yours sincerely

Troy Grant MP | Member for Dubbo “

Me:

Thank you for your response, it is greatly appreciated.

I do have one further question. Could you please tell me who will be the party responsible for ensuring that companies adhere to the Code of Practise, is it mandatory to be a signatory to it and who will also investigate any complaints made against them by the general public.

The reason I ask, is that the Banking Code of Practise had recently been found to not be worth the paper it’s written on, with only 250 out of 2.5 million complaints being investigated. In actual fact, 2 of your constituents are about to be forcibly removed from their property tomorrow, due to misleading and unconscionable conduct by the NAB in not following the Banking Code of Practise; which is meant to protect people from having to fight the Banks in the Court. I suggest you take a few moments to read the following information linked here, as the media is currently on their way to film the eviction.

https://thoughtsonthebus.wordpress.com/tag/the-farmers/

MP Andrew Wilkie has submitted a Private Members Bill to make changes to this, to ensure the fair treatment of banking customers. This is 10 years after the Code of Practise for Banks was set up. If the CSG Code of Practise has no teeth, and the companies do not follow them, then the environmental impact would be much greater than Banks not following their Code. You can therefore perhaps understand my questioning the CSG Code of Practise legitimacy.

Thank you,

Katie Sheppard

Occupy Sydney Day 365: The Priestley’s versus NAB Bank

This is the first time in 2.5 years that the Priestly’s have stood up in public to speak about their fight against the NAB – they are very brave to do this. My hearts goes out to them

** Update ** Communication received today from The Priestly’s.

“Michael Chaney, NAB Chairman, should not be allowing possession to go ahead when the most recent letters have put them on notice that we know they have engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.

( refer to post : https://thoughtsonthebus.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/the-farmers-vs-the-banks-update/)

This is by having a secret constitution that meant they would never investigate complaints.  By that time, you are in court, and you can’t win because they have set you up to default, so your too broke to have your complaints heard in court.

The Code is meant to be a free service to protect customers. Lawyers and Courts are not free.

Michael Chaney should instruct the NAB lawyers  now to stop all possession until appeal and these allegations are investigated and then he can prove (if he can) that the directors and CEO have not cheated us.”

The Farmers vs the Banks – Update

First of all, this linked article by Professor Evan Jones is amazing, detailed and extremely worthwhile reading.

Secondly -The Farmers have only a few days left until the Sheriff comes and seizes their property, yet still they fight! Amazing family, I’m so very proud to know them.

These attached letters show exactly why they are continuing to fight, and how the Bank’s and their  fraudulent and misleading behaviour towards treating you in a “fair and reasonable manner” is just a load of ..well, crap, to put it bluntly.

Link to – Priestly Letter to Cameron Clyne – NAB CEO – 6th Jan 2013

(The information sent to NAB by the Priestley’s was obtained from the Council of Small Business submission no. 90 (Attachment 1) published by the Parliament in 2011.) The link is here:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=economics_ctte/completed_inquiries/2010-13/banking_comp_2010/submissions.htm

Link to – Priestley to NAB Chairman Chaney 14 Jan 2013
ClementRodNABGRABAFR
Please share around, download the letters and the link, and help me spread the word. ANZ supporting mining is a big deal, but even bigger, is the fact that these banks KNOW if you complain, they don’t have to worry as they control the complaints process.

http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/business/finance-2/business-as-usual-at-the-nab-and-grab/

 

102 is all it takes.

102 signatures.

That’s this morning, although it was probably closer to about 60-65 when the phone call came through.

The Farmers were on the phone.

Asking me what had I done. How did I do it?  

And telling me, that the NAB Solicitors had just been on the phone.

Telling them, that they had been *thinking* about their situation, and had *decided* that evicting them before Christmas was the wrong thing to do. And that they would like to allow them to stay until the 8th JANUARY!!!!

The sound of joy in her voice, is one that I will never forget.

The dancing around the restaurant that I was doing, is one that my work colleagues will never forget.

The feeling in my soul that I, we, had effected real change to real people, is one that will always be there. That change is possible, That people, working together, is a real and viable option. 

I was/am almost in a state of disbelief. I mean, this is the one of Australia’s largest banks – one of the “Big 4”, and yet a small group of dedicated people had forced their hand to be more compassionate.

The only people in the world that can make real changes is everybody.

Each one of us, joining hands with out friends/family/internet citizens, can make real change.

I can’t get them their farm back.

But I will forever know, and hold dear, that visual of just one family being happier on Christmas Day.

One at a time. I’ve made a start.

xxx

 

NAB evicting Farmers on Christmas Eve.

Image

 

Please.. everyone. I don’t often ask for your help, to really come together and to make a direct change.

The Priestley’s (Farmers) are being evicted on Christmas Eve.(if not this Sunday). From the house that their father, who died from the stress of this horrific court case just over a year ago, had lived in his whole life. And due to the NAB refusing to delay a hearing, Chris and Claire were actually in court in Sydney at the time their father passed away. They can never get that back.

And now, the NAB has beat them in the courts, the very place the Code of Banking Practise is meant to stop struggling farmers and small businesses ending up in. The code is meant to make things fairer, but they’ll do their damnedest to get you in court, so they can flex their legal and finance capabilities against you.

Even the most recent Judge stated that the “CEO has a lot to answer for”. He had been given a copy of the leaked “Constitution” document, that categorically states there is an over-arching, joint sitting, round-table group of Bank CEO’s that decide which cases are investigated when a complaint is made to the supposed “Independent” Code Monitoring Committee. Really. This “Association” exists. In Australia.

But with the Priestley’s eviction imminent, they’re no longer being given the opportunity to sit around the Aussie Christmas dinner table, with their close friends and family, and farewell the memories of the past 100 years that their family has worked this land and built this home.

To have lawyers and bankers come to your door, on such a day that heralds “peace on earth, good will to men” is just sickening and despicable.

I want to change this. I want them to have some sort of chance at closure, although there will never been an end to this in their hearts. But to at least offer them a mental closure, a chance to farewell, to say thank you and good bye to their home.

I want to give them Christmas in the house.

But I don’t know what to do? And I need help to get this the exposure it deserves. Perhaps an avaaz petition? I want this to be enormous, using media and peaceful methods. I’m a new activist, and need some help x

Help me harness the true spirit of Christmas. Help me, help others xxx