In the latest book that I wrote, Banking Beyond Men (you have to read it before you make the assumption it is a sexist novel!) a follow on from The Heart of Hope, it reveals the Bad Apples (bankers) that have continued to thrive in the financial industry undetected, unstoppable and protected by a systemic procedure. One that began centuries ago and has been passed on through to the next generation with slight amendments. I guess this was to suit the governing laws and regulators at the time?
After years of advocacy work and successful resolve, I had finally had enough and with nothing to lose, I continued to be a voice for the voiceless. Families that had been silenced by a system of abuse, now destitute and bankrupted with no resources and no identity. The only thing these people had left was their name and reputation, meaning that a man was made to feel unworthy and unmanly as he failed to provide and protect his family and dependents. In the matters I have and still am involved in, the customer was not to blame, yet the system failed them as it protected the banker’s action that camouflaged by the carefully crafted documents. (The Procedures) A human being in a position of power that had his own relevant motives (for himself) who was provided the resources he required to manipulate the situation and take advantage of the temptations as they presented themselves.
This banker had the upper hand and the control over another human’s future and ultimately their lives. The Codes that are created by our regulatory bodies which are only guidelines and not compulsory because the Bank will always endeavor to do the right thing. How can a Bank (employer) endeavor to maintain and govern that all their employees are abiding by these guidelines?
Are they actually allowing a culture of Abusers to commit crimes without punishment? Are the systemic procedures a ‘Get out of jail Card – pass Go (sign up the unsuspecting customer) and collect you $200 dollars as in Monopoly money?
The difference is that these Bad Apples along with their associates stood to collect a lot more than the board game. Some Bankers, accountants, brokers, Receivers/Liquidators and customers (third party transactions) have made a fabulous living from an internal system that has and is still covered up!
It’s the ability to destroy (murder) an innocent person and get a bonus at the end…No blood on the hands of the orchard owner who harvests the crop of Bad Apples. Now that may sound drastic but when you read the stories you will see how these Bad Apples (bankers) was to abuse their positions, gain the trust of unsuspecting customers and then use the internal system to control their entire financial future.
Is it greed, whether it’s for power or money it is still a benefit to this human that on the emotions of another! Sadly they usually work in pairs or an entire group!
The reason for the term Bad Apples was due to a gentleman that held a senior management position (Senior Legal Counsel to be truthful!). Hours of articulating the actions of the bankers involved in this particular matter, questioning the documents used in the constructed ‘ to Fail’ Facility and seeking explanations. The Senior Management and his entourage, consisting of another suited up male and a woman who did not have an option, proceeded to act as though they were concerned and had to complete their own internal investigations. Upon ending the talk fest, he turned to me and stated that he considered there to be only ‘1% of Bad Apples’ in the entire staff of 50+ thousand. WOW! Mind you this is in 2016 and by now there had been countless …
With all that I had experienced, I suggested it to be more like 25% of Bad Apples in the infested orchard. (Even at 1% that was too much given the current loan book and these were the detected ones…the ones that got caught!) Perhaps he meant at a Senior level?
So I continued to uncover the rotten apples that managed to move onto other orchards such as NAB-CBA-Bankwest-ANZ-BOQ-Macquarie and oddly enough I haven’t had negative dealings with Westpac!! The inquiry is still ongoing so who knows what’s to come.
We trust a banker and we trust our justice system to act with best intentions at all times, we have regulatory bodies that will protect us from these human beings that may conduct themselves in an unruly manner without recourse. But who protects you from the system? From the Regulator?
Once you have lost in a court room no one will listen to you and it is deemed as final, judgment has been passed down by a person that has no clue about who you are, (your story) they will rely , and holy on the documents you signed and agreed to! The ones you agreed to and they don’t care about the reasoning behind it. Judgement is made, you made (signed) you bed, slept in it and dis-ease you woke up with is your responsibility. Now you do not have the funds to appeal so you are devastated because you truly have no idea ‘how’ it came to this!
You also need to hope that all the evidence was put forward because it cannot be introduced otherwise. Sometimes you are actually not aware of the documents within your file until it all goes bad. The other issue is that you signed this document that had allowed the Banker to do as he pleased and given that you have no access to your files there is no way of you knowing what he has written up.
Now not all Bankers are Bad Apples and some are only rotten until they move into the position they have been striving for. A Bad Apple I know of is now the head of Credit for another Bank after leaving a trail of destruction and heartache.
Some of these have been resolved and decisions made by the regulatory bodies have been overturned…some a little too late. Sadly there are people and the ones I have known of had been men who took their lives due to the shame and feeling of failure and yet they did nothing wrong. Their voices were no longer heard by others, their pleas were ignored as they were now treated worse than a criminal and yet the criminal remained behind a desk with a comfortable lifestyle.
Do we blame the leader of the pack…the CEO or the entire Board that is strategically placed to give the perception of honor and integrity? The ones that in an ordinary business would be responsible for their staff’s behavior and for this there is a Public Liability Insurance. With Banking there is no such thing! There no protective measures for the unsuspecting customer that is usually befriended by these strangers. The stranger that is awarded your trust at first glance, after one meeting they are already provided all that they need to make you dependant on the relationship, on them.
We now hear that APRA taking matters into their own hands and seeking to impose tougher procedures, is this a little too late?
Regulations have been imposed on all Banks, after all, they need to meet certain criteria in order to uphold their specific license. So how did we get to this position now?
NOW: The Power of NOW – Emotional awareness and the cocktail of poisonous circumstance used to commit financial abuse. This is part of Diva L.I.F.E as series of educational and resource filled programs to eliminate abuse.
The Heart of Hope
The Regulatory had the ability to foresee the issues we all could and would ultimately face years ago. No one bothered to stop the irresponsible lending previously and then when interest rates were at all-time low, no one bothered to notice that by 2015 Banks were lending at 100% of the sale price. Did anyone stop to think of the ramifications and the Risk to the entire economy? Now we are spending so many millions on investigation the many submissions to Parliament as the true victims remain penniless. The taste of injustice still within the walls of their souls as they hold onto a false Hope stated by various class actions and claims to seek compensation. Then you hear of the Ugly Truth, the Bank was well within their Rights, BUT we will continue with the inquiry and now APRA, ASIC, FOS and more will have more power… With the amount, it is costing all of us (we are all customers and taxpayers) there would be enough money to compensate victims. Instead, every person claiming to do something to seek the truth continues to rub salt into the wounds of many.
You observe the attempts to change procedure and policy in order to avoid a Royal Commission and it is almost like having permanent heartburn, the reflux leaves that awful taste in your mouth.
How many more situations need to be uncovered where Bad Apples have infested a perfectly Good Orchard? We’ve now had the rot in the
- ATO, the ones that have placed in a position of extreme power and temptation,
- ASIC has allowed many to manipulate the system as employers continue to destroy families using the insolvency procedure – Shadow Directorship to defraud creditors -the ability to make ATO evasion compulsory (the unsecured creditor that is replenished by other taxpayers) who allows the same Director to continue manipulating the system.
‘It is not against the law either! No wonder everyone is doing it… A family once said to me that it didn’t pay to do the right thing…I found it hard to console them after discovering that the very Employer that used their entitlements and didn’t pay taxes had reopened and had actually gotten away with the same previously. None of their complaints were addressed by ASIC or ATO for that matter!’
- FOS (Financial Ombudsman Service) never completed an investigation against a Bank and made a determination without reviewing mandatory documentation.
- Receivers/Liquidators, there are Bad Apples in every industry but in this one, it is whom you know and what you do not know about the industry. ‘There is no such thing as a ‘friendly’ liquidator – beware.
There is so much to this matter and now I can only ask myself as many others have; ARPA is appointing ‘whom’ to be on this panel to investigate…another ex-banker…another internal or (close) third party consultant? People, that have no first-hand experience but are Professional? It is one thing having a piece of paper to reassure you that you had the opportunity to go to University and it’s another when you have lived through the unfairness of Bad Apples and survived.
Our Politicians and Professional need to really understand the lives of those that have had no opportunity to get Justice due to the unjust actions of those in Power. When do we comprehend that we are dealing with Human’s that chose to commit fraud and manipulate the system in order to enhance their
‘Abuse is Abuse no matter who actions it…It is a Choice made by an individual to take away the choices of another.’
In the book ‘Banking Beyond Men, I show the many issues that no CEO, Board Member (I contacted them too!) or Regulatory Body has responded to satisfactorily. As we listen to the well-scripted responses to the pre-prepared questions of various inquiries, the one pattern of behavior is that each Bank’s representative is that they have no need for concern. They signed a Salary package that ensured their homes and livelihoods could never be destroyed, they would never sign a facility to fail.