CBA invokes the old “rogue trader” trick


From Adele Ferguson at the SMH today:

Former Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ralph Norris’ attempt to dismiss the bank’s financial planning scandal as nothing more than a few “rogue people” is public relations trick 101.

…For instance it doesn’t explain why those so-called rogue planners, including Don Nguyen, were rewarded and promoted. Nor does it explain the contents of a letter from ASIC in February 2008… “We are concerned that your data suggests your compliance framework is not adequately detecting serious misconduct…Only seven of the 38 representatives were reported to ASIC … given the seriousness of the conduct we have concerns about CBA’s ability to discharge their obligation to report significant breaches.”

…Eight months after the letter was sent, bank whistleblower Jeff Morris warned the corporate regulator about what was going on, including cover-up. It took the regulator another 16 months to act.

The delay by the regulator to act on the information allegedly led to cover-up attempts, which included the falsification of documents, files disappearing and deceptive explanations to clients. This all came out in the Senate inquiry.

Rather than blame it on a few rogue planners, it should be blamed on an aggressive sales culture…

Yes, it should.

Houses and Holes
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  1. ….and no one has been fired …. absolutely f***ing amazing !! and no fine either by the looks of it.

    If an independent financial planner had been charged with this they would likely be spending time in prison by now.

    Isn’t “fraud” a criminal offence ? Forgery ?

    The overarching vibe seems to be that because CBA is so big they escape the sanctions that would be so easy to dole out to a lesser firm.

    This institution receives enormous benefits from the tax payer yet there seems to be no actual punishment.

    Dare I ask, what gives?

    • What gives, is the big 4 donate huge sums of money to LNP and Labor. They’re untouchable while ever we have either of these imbeciles running the country.

      Australia needs a new party to cleanse what we have become.

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        Not only donation, both LNP and ALP have to borrow money from the Big 4 to fund their election campaigns. Being tough on banks will hinder getting a loan.

      • @Ronin8317…No Ronin, don’t tell me that……It can’t get any more disgusting than I’d already thought….It can’t.

        We need a revolution.

      • Denis413MEMBER

        What makes you think a 3rd party would be any different? They would be bound by the same donation/funding “dilemmas” our two great parties face.

        Direct democracy / “actual” systems in place to keep them honest via referendum appears to be the only answer – (refer to Stephen Morris ).

        In the interim, vested interest will reign supreme.

        As others have mentioned, donations and funding is the only language these parties understand.

        Maybe the hope of Australia lies with social media reducing the barriers to entry to campaign…

      • @Dennis 413….Read your post and was about to say……”Maybe the hope of Australia lies with social media reducing the barriers to entry to campaign…”…..

        Absolutely. It’s fcking time it started. MOST Australians have had enough.

        Message to big business, LNP, Labor, Greens…Stop the parasites killing the host or we’re going to turn on all of you. You’ve been warned; anger is rapidly rising in the community against you all.

      • Denis413MEMBER


        re: social media – it’s probably the only way the system can change… This is why censorship is so important. If censorship gains traction, the impact of social media and therefore, the ability to induce change may be reduced drastically.

        The cynic in me says censorship is only a matter of time… then we will have gone full circle and be again, fighting for the right to free speech 🙂

        I did a little research a month ago re: direct democracy. There are a few parties with their primary political objective to implement direct democracy (which looked interesting/promising). However, these ideas are only as strong as the parties “leaders” to ensure implementation of direct democracy. At the end of the day, are these leaders any different from the megalomaniac’s that are omnipresent in ALP/LNP? Or do they qualify as benevolent, if their cause is to “free” a nation of vested interests??

        Also worth mentioning are parties (in NZ as well) popping up promoting the use of internet technology to help with the functionality of direct democracy. Although I think the Swiss direct democracy model would be the best we could hope for.

        It would be interesting to hear what Stephen Morris has to say regarding this.

      • @Denis413..Thanks….I agree…A small window that we all should have exploited years ago.

        I’d like to read some of Steven Morris…Do you have a link?

      • @Denis413…Thanks Denis…I did a MB search and didn’t find anything…I’ll check the links out….

      • Why do you think everyone’s scared of Palmer and PUP?

        Why is there deliberate and wholesale undermining? Curiously from this forum as well.

        Because he is a threat. Now a credible threat. Now actually seeming to act in the interests of consumers and not the established plutocracy.

      • “…both LNP and ALP have to borrow money from the Big 4 to fund their election campaigns.”

        “No Ronin, don’t tell me that…”

        It’s true —

        An ALP funding horror

        “If an election is held in the next few months, Australian banks will play a big role in the outcome. And unless there is a dramatic change in the fortunes of the parties, the banks will still be key players if (as is likely) the next election is two years away.

        Australia has rarely seen such a banking/election event in its history and it certainly did not occur in recent elections. The looming role of the banks could force the ALP into a pre-election leadership change and in extreme situations force it to modify its carbon tax.

        To understand the pivotal role of Australian banks in the funding of political parties requires a deep knowledge of how the system works.

        For the most part, in the vicinity of three quarters of a major party’s funding in most elections comes from the public purse. The ‘public purse’ amounts are allocated to parties after the election in accordance with the proportion of the votes that are achieved.

        But there is no forward allocation of money. The distribution of ‘public purse’ money is strictly governed by the proportion of the votes actually achieved.

        ALP organisers are not looking forward to meeting with their bankers as the election nears. They are deeply apprehensive that as a result of current opinion polls, their bankers will slash the amount of election funding available to the ALP and lock it into a low vote.

        Conversely, Liberal and National Party organisers believe that as a result of their opinion polling they will receive a huge increase in support from their bankers to fund unprecedented amounts of advertising and promotion.

        If, theoretically, an election was to be held in a few months’ time, ALP organisers would go to their bankers and negotiate to borrow the money required to fund the campaign expecting to pay it back when they receive their ‘public purse’ money after the election.”

        Robert Gottliebsen, 21/7/2011

        The big banks rule this country.

        And foreigners rule “our” big banks —

      • @opinion8red. It’s beyond disgusting. I’d love to see a future government put a heap of them in jail.

      • your too much of a romantic at heart mig – your poet/pollie material, not bankster matirial


    • No doubt the entirety of ASIC has been co-opted by the banks, probably because they have staffed that all worked for each other at one time, and others at ASIC hoping to score the gold ring and get a lucrative job at the banks.
      Combine this with ASIC using “experts” from the fin services industries to advise them who most likely have links back to the big four to start with.

      Time to get real.
      ASIC should be staffed by law enforcement with a special in financial malfeasance. Their mandate should be to hunt and prosecute. If you worked with the big four at any time you dont work for ASIC. Given that this govt has abolished large numbers of auditors from the ATO there should be plenty of staff with appropriate skills and no tainted interests to hire in this capacity.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        ASIC should be staffed by law enforcement with a special in financial malfeasance.

        Not sure AM, sounds kinda like staffing the Narcotics unit with ex-mafioso…

  2. migtronixMEMBER

    Unfortunately the bank relied on advice from its own financial planners when working out how much money should be put aside for compensation payments.” “We realise now that the sum they suggested is nowhere near enough.”Mr Narev said that due to the poor advice it received from its financial planners, the bank was not only a victim of the Commonwealth Bank financial planning scandal but “the first victim”.

    • How original – I’m a bigger victim than you…!

      When an elephant sits, move out of the way or be squashed – such is their arrogance.

  3. I’ve come to realise that nothing significant can change in Australia while either Labor or LNP are in power.

    • Even if we were to rid ourselves of those fleas, there is still a deeply wrong culture that needs a good dose of salts.

      Something along the lines of the much flatter pyramid of Swiss direct democracy that Stephen Morris plugs from time to time……?

    • He posts here regularly enough, maybe next time he does you could ask him about it – he has put links here about it’s growing movement in Oz.

      Basically study the Swiss system & you’ll be close. Implementing it & reducing the parasites would be the difficult bit.

      • “mplementing it & reducing the parasites would be the difficult bit.”….

        My radar is telling me appetite for change is here…All it would take is a charismatic person to give it traction….

        Imagine if someone like Russel Brand said give me one term to sort this festered mess out..We’ll make the following changes via referendum……It’ll put half the parliament and CEO’s in jail, It’ll retrospectively cancel gold passes and pensions, It’ll stop any future donations to parties, It’ll get rid of the states, It’ll stop population growth, It’ll nationalise the resources….We’ll all be well off, with a viable future.

        Let’s get it started.

      • A few rather large inertial barriers come to mind – Divided, Apathetic, Kept Ignorant, Propagandised, indoctrinated naivete, Directionless, lack of critical thinking – perhaps not all through lack of education, but the lack of time, so all they see is the shallow snow jobs. Scared of anything new so they stick to what they know – even if it’s a shit sandwich.

        Momentums as well – Myopic Greed! The we’ve got it so good here……… You must’ve been to parties where all you can hear is everyone patting themselves on the back for their ‘investing’ prowess, & the mining bogans that are going to retire by 35 PITA’s – a lot of loud mouths who won’t be interested in getting on board…………….

        The alternatives need to be sold right & not botched or it may take many generations to get another chance, & you can be sure all the well heeled megaphones will be turned to burst eardrum levels & pull all stunts to drown it out!

        Unfortunately I don’t think any change will come without a crisis & a lot of navel gazing. Then is when a Russel Brand & the younger generations will have a chance of choosing another direction – but we need the ready policy infrastructure & building momentum now – ready for that moment.