Ruthless bank receivers Ferrier Hodgson dodge a silver bullet – for now

from ABC

The behaviour of receivers will not be investigated by the banking royal commission, despite a witness accusing them of causing a “massive destruction of value” for farm businesses.

In the opening address of the round four hearings, counsel assisting Rowena Orr announced the commission would not asses the role of receivers in farm foreclosures because it was not in the terms of reference.

“The conduct of receivers does not fall within the terms of reference of this royal commission because receivers do not fall within any of the categories within the definition of a financial services entity,” she said.

“A receiver cannot be considered to be a person or entity that acts or holds itself out as acting as an intermediary between borrowers and lenders.”

Seven carloads of armed enforcers and two carloads of Rabobank’s dodgy receivers, Ferrier Hodgson, arrive at the Bradshaw cattle property at Pentland in 2016 to drag off Neil Bradshaw, 29, in handcuffs. The show of force was endemic in dozens of rural foreclosures in Queensland.

Farmers in attendance, many of whom had travelled from interstate, were visibly upset with the announcement.

Farmers in the audience applauded witness Chris Wheatcroft, from Rural Financial Counsellors WA, who appealed to the commissioner to reconsider.

Mr Wheatcroft accused receivers of wasting farmers’ money when they took over a property and managed it until a buyer could be found.

“It is a massive destruction of value and that sits deeply with people,” he said.

“I wonder if the commission could look at [the reasons] why receivers are put in, as opposed to the practice of receivership.

“There is nowhere to go once receivers are in, and in terms of values, farmers will see their hard-earned money-farm-asset disappear under a receiver like you’ve never seen,” he said.

“They would perceive the money as absolutely wasted and I would be hard pressed — with my background from farming or business management — to say that is not correct”.

Merchant banker PM Malcolm Turnbull ensured the Claytons Royal Commission into Banking would not cross-examine ruthless bank receivers whose actions cost agriculture a loss of tens of millions of dollars. Seven carloads of enforcers swoop on the Bradshaw property to evict an elderly Mrs Bradshaw and her son. Dispossessed farmers have advised sooner or later rogue receivers will get their just desserts.

Mr Wheatcroft also said the receivership process was not good for anyone involved — farmers or banks.

“The act of putting in a receiver never benefits the client, I categorically say that,” he said.

“I actually think in most cases it doesn’t benefit the bank [either].”

Dennis McMahon from Legal Aid Queensland, who also gave evidence at the royal commission, said farmers were often too stressed to engage with receivers, and might not be aware of the trouble they were in.

“Some of those people may have been through years and years of drought or had to destroy all their livestock, so they may not have any income for the foreseeable future,” he said.

“I’ve been to properties where there is three months’ worth of mailing sitting in the corner and they [farmers] are unable to open it.

“The bank manager complains that person isn’t responding to their requests for information, but those people are sick, they are suffering from depression.

“They need a lot of assistance and time to work through their problems, and don’t know who to go to.”

Ms Orr said the Commonwealth Bank told the commission it took enforcement action against 82 agriculture customers in the past decade, while ANZ said it took enforcement action on 30 farm businesses in the last four years.

Calls for receivership reform

New South Wales National Party senator John Williams, who agitated for a royal commission into the banks, said he was disappointed the behaviour of receivers would not be probed.

However, he said hoped banks were now reconsidering their reliance on insolvency practitioners in future, arguing the process was too stressful for family-run farms.

“I’m disappointed, but it’s not for me to direct the royal commission,” he said.

“The Government set the terms of refence, but that doesn’t stop us in Government working with banks to get things changed.

“I’ve said to banks and the Australian Bankers Association, ‘please do not send receivers into family farms’. It’s all good to send them into corporate farms because the management is retained.

“So even if the royal commission isn’t looking into it, I hope banks don’t send receivers into family farms.”

In 2017, the Select Committee on Primary Production Lending recommended the Australian Bankers Association revise the Code of Banking Practice to stipulate that if farmers and banks cannot come to an agreement and foreclosure is inevitable, receivers should not be appointed.

The committee also recommended the farmer and his or her family be allowed to stay on the property and manage it, while being paid the minimum wage, until it is sold.

It also recommended insolvency practitioners be more transparent by providing an estimate of receivership costs in advance, and monthly reports to the lender and the borrower afterwards.

“A key problem we found [in that inquiry] was with receivers when they ran the farm — the cost of running them [was high], we had evidence of farms for what I considered to be sold for far below their value,” Senator Williams said.

“I’ve seen some situations where sometimes it’s not done well and it’s an utter disgrace how receivers manage the livestock and the property.

“Farmers need to be treated with respect and dignity, and sending in receivers is too hard and there’s a huge cost they charge, which means less money for the banks anyway, so it’s better for banks to work with farmers on an exit plan.”

Senator Williams said he hoped the royal commission’s failure to probe receivers would lead to a renewed push for a national farm debt mediation scheme, where banks would be forced to offer mediation to farmers before foreclosing on them.

Currently only New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have legislated farm debt mediation schemes in place, while South Australia has a voluntary one.

Ms Orr said “several” financial service entities had told the royal commission “they would support a uniform farm debt mediation act”.

Receivers Korda Mentha

In one case at Charters Towers in 2015 receivers Korda Mentha allowed at least 500 head of cattle to perish because the owners were not allowed to shift the cattle to agistment and the receivers had provided no money to feed them.

In this case Mr Bradshaw said Rabobank demanded the Bradshaw family pay the entire debt “straight away.”

“They are trying to get their hands on Ballabay Station(Pentland) too, so my parents have worked for a lifetime for nothing,” he said.

The then Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth of Katters Australia Party has been following the case and is critical of the legal system that allows such travesties to occur.

“These people have committed no crime and contributed so much to their community over many years,” Mr Knuth said.

“They have been heavily involved in Landcare and supporting the beef industry. It is not their fault they copped five years of drought and a government enforced live cattle export ban.

“It will take them up to five years to recover from this drought.

“This episode demonstrates a clear demand for a Royal Commission into banking.”

Prophetic words from Mr Knuth in 2016.

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About Editor, cairnsnews

One of the few patriots left who understand the system and how it has been totally subverted under every citizen's nose. If we can help to turn it around we will otherwise our children will have nothing. Our investigations show there is no 'government' of the people for the people of Australia. The removal of the Crown from Australian Parliaments, followed by the incorporation of Parliaments aided by the Australia Act 1987 has left us with corporate government with policies not laws, that apply only to members of political parties and the public service. There is no law, other than the Common Law. This fact will be borne out in the near future as numerous legal challenges in place now, come to a head this year.

Posted on June 25, 2018, in Agenda 2030, Banking Royal Commission, Banks, Corporate policy, corruption, Katters Australia Party, malcolm turnbull and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Robert Chapman

    But the stupid farmers will continue to vote for Banker Turnbull and the LNP who didn’t even want the royal commission, you can’t help those who can’t help themselves.

  2. Farmers in America Are Now Killing Themselves at an Unprecedented Rate
    .
    June 27, 2018 renegade 11 Comments
    .
    Renegade Editor’s Note: The obvious point not being made in this article is that the farmers are mostly White, and that the suicide epidemic is predominately affecting White people, who have been the ongoing target of genocidal hatred coming from the top down.
    .
    By Tyler Durden
    .
    Suicide is exploding in America – and the increase isn’t confined to celebrities like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Suicide rates have risen by an astonishing 30% since 1999, with suicidal people citing relationship stress, financial difficulties and other issues as the underlying cause.
    .
    But suicide rates have increased for some professions more than others. According to CBS, farmers are facing the highest suicide rate of any profession in the US. The suicide rate for people in the field of farming, fishing and forestry is 84.5 per 100,000 people – more than five times that of the broader population. And with retaliatory tariffs from China and the European Union set to further undermine US crop prices, a bad situation could be about to get worse. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, making the loans on which farmers depend increasingly expensive.
    .
    The study comes with a few caveats: For one, it leaves out Iowa, a major agricultural state. And while farmers make up the bulk of the workers in their subgroup, they do share the designation with a small number of workers from related occupational groups, like fishing and forestry. But the figures largely jive with other recent studies. For example, suicide rates are highest in rural areas – where the bulk of farming is done.
    .
    One source said today’s crisis of suicide might be worse than a similar wave that gripped the American heartland in the 1980s.
    .
    The farm crisis was so bad, there was a terrible outbreak of suicide and depression,” said Jennifer Fahy, communications director with Farm Aid, a group founded in 1985 that advocates for farmers. Today, she said, “I think it’s actually worse.”
    .
    We’re hearing from farmers on our hotline that farmer stress is extremely high,” Fahy said. “Every time there’s more uncertainty around issues around the farm economy is another day of phones ringing off the hook.”
    .
    Finances are probably the most pressing reason: Since 2013, farm income has been declining steadily according to the US Department of Agriculture. This year, the average farm is expected to earn 35% less than what it earned in 2013.
    .
    “Think about trying to live today on the income you had 15 years ago.” That’s how agriculture expert Chris Hurt describes the plight facing U.S. farmers today.
    .
    Farmers are at the mercy of extreme weather like hurricanes that threaten crops to agricultural commodity prices that have fallen below breakeven production levels. And prices will likely only continue to fall as America’s trading partners slap tariffs on American agricultural products.
    .
    Of course, farmers aren’t the only American professionals feeling squeezed. In New York City, local press has focused on a wave of cab driver suicides in recent months which have been largely blamed on the rise of ride-sharing apps, which have devalued cab drivers’ medallions. Over the last five months, more than five New York City cabbies had committed suicide, blaming Uber for their financial troubles.
    .
    http://www.renegadetribune.com/farmers-in-america-are-now-killing-themselves-at-an-unprecedented-rate/

  3. PROTOCOL No. 6
    1. We shall soon begin to establish huge monopolies, reservoirs of colossal riches, upon which even, large fortunes of the GOYIM will depend to such an extent that they will go to the bottom together with the credit of the States on the day after the political smash …

    2. You gentlemen here present who are economists, just strike an estimate of the significance of this combination! …

    3. In every possible way we must develop the significance of our Super-Government by representing it as the Protector and Benefactor of all those who voluntarily submit to us.

    4. The aristocracy of the GOYIM as a political force, is dead – We need not take it into account; but as landed proprietors they can still be harmful to us from the fact that they are self-sufficing in the resources upon which they live. It is essential therefore for us at whatever cost to deprive them of their land. This object will be best attained by increasing the burdens upon landed property – in loading lands with debts. These measures will check land- holding and keep it in a state of humble and un-conditional submission.

    5. The aristocrats of the GOYIM, being hereditarily incapable of contenting themselves with little, will rapidly burn up and fizzle out.

    WE SHALL ENSLAVE GENTILES
    6. At the same time we must intensively patronize trade and industry, but, first and foremost, speculation, the part played by which is to provide a counterpoise to industry: the absence of speculative industry will multiply capital in private hands and will serve to restore agriculture by freeing the land from indebtedness to the land banks. What we want is that industry should drain off from the land both labor and capital and by means of speculation transfer into our hands all the money of the world, and thereby throw all the GOYIM into the ranks of the proletariat. Then the GOYIM will bow down before us, if for no other reason but to get the right to exist.

    7. To complete the ruin of the industry of the GOYIM we shall bring to the assistance of speculation the luxury which we have developed among the GOYIM, that greedy demand for luxury which is swallowing up everything. WE SHALL RAISE THE RATE OF WAGES WHICH, HOWEVER, WILL NOT BRING ANY ADVANTAGE TO THE WORKERS, FOR, AT THE SAME TIME, WE SHALL PRODUCE A RISE IN PRICES OF THE FIRST NECESSARIES OF LIFE, ALLEGING THAT IT ARISES FROM THE DECLINE OF AGRICULTURE AND CATTLE-BREEDING: WE SHALL FURTHER UNDERMINE ARTFULLY AND DEEPLY SOURCES OF PRODUCTION, BY ACCUSTOMING THE WORKERS TO ANARCHY AND TO DRUNKENNESS AND SIDE BY SIDE THEREWITH TAKING ALL MEASURE TO EXTIRPATE FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH ALL THE EDUCATED FORCES OF THE “GOYIM.”

    8. IN ORDER THAT THE TRUE MEANING OF THINGS MAY NOT STRIKE THE “GOYIM” BEFORE THE PROPER TIME WE SHALL MASK IT UNDER AN ALLEGED ARDENT DESIRE TO SERVE THE WORKING CLASSES AND THE GREAT PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY ABOUT WHICH OUR ECONOMIC THEORIES ARE CARRYING ON AN ENERGETIC PROPAGANDA.

  4. A Royal Commission is an expensive white wash.
    How come everybody does not know this ??
    For as long as we the people of their beloved nation, Australia, believe in & participate in their pagan rituals & pantomimes, we are doomed.
    The Australian Judiciary need to be overhauled.
    Anyone older than 60 years of age needs to be pensioned off.
    New blood is desperately needed, with a new mindset & a strong work ethic.
    And the horse hair rugs worn as head covering, that are riddled with disease, need to be thrown into a 44 gallon drum with an incendiary device or two.
    The Australian Court System is a smell old rat hole of corruption – is all.

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