Category Archives: ASIC

Liberal plan to outlaw cash a bigger threat than terrorism

KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has slammed a Federal Government Bill which will control how much cash people are allowed to spend as being a danger to the Australian freedoms; a danger which he thinks is greater than the danger to our lives through a terrorism event being carried out in Australia; which the bill sells as being able to reduce.

Katter warns banning cash transactions will have a worse effect than terrorism. Liberals sneak bill through the House after it had risen

The Federal Government snuck through and tabled The Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019 on Friday afternoon of the last parliamentary sitting while the House had risen and all Members and their staff were returning home.

The bill carries a punishment of significant fines and jail time of up to two years if a person is caught spending or accepting a cash payment over $10,000. If passed, the bill will come into effect from 1 January 2020.

“The danger here to our freedom is greater than the danger to our lives through terrorism,’’ Mr Katter said.

“Clearly there are a thousand reasons why people like to hide a little bit of wealth; and have access to cash.”

Mr Katter quoted George Orwell in his dystopian novel ‘1984’ saying “Big Brother is watching” and that a person’s right to privacy with some of their wealth is one of the most important rights that Australians have.

“I’m told that for every 10 people in China there is one camera watching. Now whether that’s accurate or not, in most police cases that have caught my interest, I notice that the first thing they go to is the security cameras and people have no idea to what degree they are being watched on a daily basis.”

The Federal Government’s key selling point of the bill is better control of the ‘black economy’; arguing that it will reduce money laundering and the purchasing of weapons on the black market, but Mr Katter warned that an increase in going digital will result in an increase in cyber-hacking and that the bill’s passing will open the flood gates on further restriction of freedoms.

“The Government promotes the bill as a measure to combat funded international and homegrown terrorism yet with the ever-rising digital theft and threat of international cyber hacking I wouldn’t be trusting my bank account or the authorities to protect it, nor should they be controlling it.

“The Government will argue that this is the one and only initiative that they will implement to eliminate the black economy however, once the bill is introduced and passed, they will have the flexibility to dictate many more amendments to the law. It will give the police the power to control your cash over $10,000.

“Once the legislation is in place, they have opened the doors to regulate and change as they see fit.

“The assumption that our cash transactions are due to unsavoury activity allows for the prosecution of the potentially innocent, it has always been innocent until proven guilty?

“I’m sure the Government and policing authorities’ intentions are good but the only people allowed to have guns in our society are the people in uniforms.

“So we have lost the right to protect ourselves and now our right to privacy has been taken away with this bill. Are the Government and authorities going to act responsibly? Yes, most of the time. All the time? No.

“All I see here is the undermining of the great principles of Magna Carta in the rule of law. Through insidious increments, ‘The means that is argued justifies the end’.”

Explosive scenes over variable interest rates at Banking Royal Commission as protestor is removed

There were explosive scenes at the banking royal commission on  November 27, during its final days as an audience member accused it of “concealing fraud”.

ASIC a toothless tiger when it comes to the Commonwealth Bank

Alexis Carey@carey_alexis

The banking royal commission was hijacked this afternoon by an outburst from an angry audience member who accused it of fraud.

The man interrupted senior counsel assisting the commission Rowena Orr QC, who was questioning Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chair James Shipton.

Royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC repeatedly asked the man to stand down without success, and appeared to be thoroughly unimpressed during the tirade.

The man, who had been seated in the public gallery, ranted against alleged corruption within the banking and financial services industries.

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne questioned only 27 distressed farmers of more than 10,000 submissions the inquiry received from rural industry

Although his words were difficult to hear over the commission’s webcast, he was clearly heard accusing the commission of being “corrupt” and “concealing fraud”.

“Why are you concealing the greatest fraud in this country which is variable interest rate loans?” he said.

Security eventually escorted the individual from the courtroom.

In typical Rowena “Shock and Orr” style, the QC continued on completely unfazed, immediately firing off her next question.

Earlier today, Mr Shipton admitted ASIC should take criminal action against the bigger financial institutions more often, and said the organisation had failed to act against the Commonwealth Bank’s mishandling of consumer credit insurance and National Australia Bank’s home loan fraud.

“Today these matters would be handled very differently,” Mr Shipton said.

“I used the word mistake deliberately because mistake, in effect, constitutes a misguided decision.”

He said ASIC had only just started to take action against CBA in October — more than two years after the bank owned up to the insurance mis-selling.

Mr Shipton, who has been in the top job since February this year, said ASIC had focused on fixing the problem with customers instead of taking action against the bank.

“In some cases I clearly am of the view that we should have tried to and work towards running both remediation program and the enforcement investigation at the same time, in parallel,” he said.

But Mr Shipton insisted ASIC would be pursuing more legal action in the future when faced with banking misconduct.

“I want to make it crystal clear we will be undertaking more court-based actions,” he said.

“We will be more adventurous, as it were, in pushing points of law.

“We will be taking more — let’s call it risks, because we now have, through my direct engagement with the government, more funding to do exactly that.”

The commission also heard CommBank was concerned about being seen as “paying off” ASIC after the bank was let off the hook with a $300,000 community donation — which the regulator agreed with — instead of a fine over misleading CommInsure ads which were found to have breached the law.

“It was a mistake not to act quicker, swifter and earlier,” Mr Shipton said in response.

Ms Orr’s trademark, dogged questioning was on show yet again today, as she repeatedly insisted Mr Shipton answer her questions thoroughly during a number of tense exchanges with the witness.

The inquiry has ended without the Commissioner calling for extra time to examine more than the 27 distressed farmers it heard, out of more than 10,000 submissions it received.