Category Archives: Banking Royal Commission

Katter addresses the bank Royal Commission findings

Hon Bob Katter MP

KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy

will respond via Facebook video to the release of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry report, as the first politician who called for a Commission back in May 2015.

3:30pm (Qld time)

TODAY (Monday, 4 February 2019)

Staff will upload live video to Bob Katter’s Facebook page re his response to the report’s release and findings.

Please note, Mr Katter is unable to travel from his home in Charters Towers today due to extensive flooding in Townsville and throughout the Kennedy Electorate and the closure of the Townsville airport (hence the Facebook video).

Facebook @bobkattermp

Katter tips the bucket on corrupt banks and the equally corrupt Australian Banking Association

Timeline of the Banking Royal Commission and how it originated:

  • End 2012 – Rural Debt Summit – Bob pressures the then Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan after a question in Parliament to act on spiralling rural debt. Bob pushes to form the Rural Debt Roundtable Working Group.

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/swan-to-talk-to-qld-farmers-about-debt/news-story/2ae90af857acf754781d12220a22a2b8

    • 7 May 2013 – Bob organises rural crisis meeting in Richmond, Central Queensland. Bob forms Gulf Cattleman’s Association to steer the meeting and actions going forward. Federal Member Barnaby Joyce as Shadow Agriculture Minister and (then) Chief of Staff, Matt Canavan attend. Former Senator the Hon Joseph Ludwig (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) also attends. Focus on the crisis meeting is on debt, drought and live cattle exports. After the meeting is called, but prior to being held, on 27 April 2013 Swan and Ludwig announce concessional loans (in Queensland, administered by QRAA) – package worth $420m Australia- wide.
    • 30 June/1 July 2013 – Indonesian Ambassador tours the Gulf with Bob. The next day, the Indonesian Ambassador flies to Jakarta to brief the President ahead of Prime Minister Rudd’s visit. Live cattle quota numbers are restored following Rudd’s visit.
    • 28 Feb 2014 – Bob and Rural Debt Roundtable Working Group Chair meet with Australian Banking Association (CEO and bank executive members) in Sydney regarding rural debt and the Private Members Bill for a Rural Reconstruction Board.
    • 5 December 2014 – Winton ‘Last Stand’ meeting called by Robbie Katter (Queensland State Member for Traeger and Bob’s son) where Federal Member Barnaby Joyce attends as now Minster for Agriculture and Water Resources. Radio and TV commentator Alan Jones is a special guest. From this, David Pascoe compiles a Facebook story about Charlie Phillott and the ANZ Bank , which goes viral. Following this meeting, Minister Joyce gives another $100 million in concessional loans and the ANZ puts a moratorium on foreclosing on any new drought-affected farmers for a year.  Bob says he will name and shame banks behaving badly in the media and Parliament.
    • May 2015 – After battling ANZ and other bank cases, Bob calls for a Royal Commission into the banks.
    • 12 July 2015 – 60 Minutes airs story on Charlie Phillott and ANZ Bank.
    • 30 August 2015 – Mike Smith’s (CEO of ANZ) apology to Charlie Phillott airs on 60 Minutes.
    • 19 October 2015 – Queensland State Member for Traegar Robbie Katter is appointed Chairman of the Queensland Government’s Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce. The final report, released in in April 2016, made 14 recommendations including establishing a Rural and Industries Development Bank, a Farm Debt Reconstruction Authority, and a commercial Multi-Peril Insurance (income protection) product for all primary industries.
  • 26 May 2016 – Queensland State Member for Traeger Robbie Katter introduces the Rural and Regional Adjustment (Development Assistance) Amendment Bill.
  • 10 October 2016 – Bob introduces Banking Commission of Inquiry Bill 2016, as per election promise. 

Federal Member of Parliament George Christensen comes out publicly saying he will support a bill by Bob.

  • 27 March 2017 – New Bill introduced by Bob which has input from other MPs – People of Australia’s Commission of Inquiry (Banking and Financial Services) Bill 2017.
  • November 2017 – Then Prime Minister Turnbull announces he will call a Royal Commission after the big banks give him the go-ahead.
  • 25 June 2018 – Bob moves the Banking System Reform (Separation of Banks) Bill – legislation for Glass- Steagall separation of commercial banks from all other financial activities.
  • 27 June 2018 – Bob attends the Banking Royal Commission public hearings and asks a question of the Commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC. Mr Katter interrupts proceedings to ask the Commissioner whether the banks’ failures will be properly fixed. The Commissioner concedes that public hearings into agribusiness lending will have to be extended.
  • 4 October 2018 – Bob directly asks then Treasurer and now Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Parliament if he could assure the House that the Royal Commission would include the “carrion” – the receivers – and address the issue of a Reconstruction Bank. The Banking Royal Commission a priority in the 45th Parliament for Bob Katter.
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Perth SWAT police storm home repossessing it for bank – owner dies in hospital

from Channel 9

A woman who was yesterday involved in a five-hour siege at a Perth property has died in hospital.

Perth SWAT police at it again, acting as debt collectors for the avaricious banks. This time one of the home owners,  Janice Croft, passed away in hospital. It has not yet been confirmed if she was hit by a ‘non-lethal’ bullet fired by police during a five hour siege. (what is a non-lethal bullet? Ed)

Officers were called to a home on Douglas Road in Martin, in the city’s south-east, about 9am yesterday following reports a couple in a home made threats after the sheriff’s office came knocking to repossess their home. 

WA Labor Police Minister Michelle Roberts should be conducting an independent inquiry into a possible police shooting of a bank repossession victim

Police fired a single non-lethal shot as the siege came to an end at about 2.30pm.

The home is owned by Rodney and Janice Croft, who were arrested by police.

Soon after, Mrs Croft was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital in cardiac arrest and in a critical condition. Her husband remains under police guard in hospital.

It’s not clear when she suffered the cardiac arrest or if she was hit by the non-lethal police round.

Mr Croft was the former Deputy Mayor of Gosnells but in recent years the couple had battled long running and costly legal troubles.

It is understood they owed close to a million dollars.

No charges have yet been laid. (Against the police? Ed)

 

Anning says bank victims should exert pressure at bank AGM’s

by Senator Fraser Anning

Since becoming a Qld Senator last year, I have assigned a staffer to listen to the stories of people who have been victims of questionable lending practices of Banks.

I wanted to assist these people by helping them find ways to receive justice. At the same time, I have been trying to get the Banking Royal Commission extended so they can deal with all the problems
in the banking system.

I have been motivated by the experiences of several close friends who have been victimised by banks and who have unjustly lost their assets and their livelihood.
The Government has resisted calls to extend the Royal commission, but less than 30 cases (from the 10,000 submissions to the RC) have been looked at. This means that so far, only the tip of the iceberg has been exposed.

During my investigation into this subject, I have been staggered by the depth of deceit and manipulation that I have heard from Bank victims involving the clever and deceptive actions of banks, lawyers, receivers, liquidators and other bank agents. The public has been kept completely in the dark by a media which is indifferent at best.

My staff have looked at more than 80 cases in detail. Many of these unfortunate people had successful businesses, farms, pubs, and houses worth millions of dollars. Within a short time, their assets were sold, and they were bankrupted.

The bankruptcies appear to have been a tactic to make sure they did not have any means to fight back.

Senator Annng says bank victims should exert pressure at bank AGM’s

Some victims have suicided, but many, many more have been so depressed and distraught they cannot even bear to hope for justice. My staff know of several who could not even write a submission to the Royal commission due to the pain of remembering the details.

There are three points I want to make for Australians to consider:
1)      It is vital we elect people in parliament who will not be corrupted by party politics or personal payoffs. Unfortunately, few will buck the system and stand on the side of justice.

Instead, they allow themselves to be controlled by the party. I don`t believe the dominating party system was the intention of our nation’s founding fathers, and …….it is destroying our democracy and preventing justice from being done.

2)      If you are a bank victim, I suggest you join in with the hundreds of others who are getting mobilised to find ways to get justice. Please contact my office to learn how to get in touch with the appropriate people.

3)      Many Bank victims (and one of my staff) have been attending Bank AGMs to inform shareholders and the banks boards about the human consequences of bank actions.

These actions have financially and emotionally destroyed some customers. I encourage people to use BANK AGM`s as ways to shine a light on the corrupt behaviour of banks (and their agents), so they will be pressured from inside as well as from outside their organisations.

I wish all Australians well and I encourage them to say hello whenever I visit their area.

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.

Culleton demands senate President issue a Habeas Corpus writ to testify before the senate

by Gil Hanrahan

West Australian senator in exile Rodney Culleton has called on the senate President Richard Pye to call him and former senator Jacqui Lambie to appear before the senate by issuing a writ of Habeas Corpus.

Culleton has been dogged by state and federal government-initiated law suites since being forced out of the senate. When sitting in the senate he pushed for a Royal Commission into corrupt behaviour of banks and for the High Court to reinstate Queen Elizabeth 2 to legal process.

Former Attorney General George Brandis escaped to London before the effect of Culleton’s legal claims against him further embarrassed the government.

With the help of federal MP Bob Katter, he was successful with the Banking Royal Commission. In part, he got the Queen restored but he pointed out the HCA actually reinstated the fictitious Queen of Australia, which he says is not a lawful entity.

The maverick former farmer has been stymied by government in every legal move he has made to get himself reinstated to the senate.

On the evidence, there is no doubt government has called in judicial favours to knock out his appeals on every occasion, in all levels of courts.

Culleton has also called on the senate to include all other sacked senators, removed as a result of an order from the HCA sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns sought by the Turnbull Government which he says was in breach of the Commonwealth Constitution.

He has asked the senate to debate Motion 163 of 2016, which was lawfully enacted on December 1, 2016 and warned that s147.1 of the Criminal Code Act of 1995 could be invoked for failing to list the motion for further debate.

“Motion 163 of 2016 was a requirement passed by the House announcing that the referral of November 7, 2016 is faulty and that there needs to be further investigation into that faulty action, which was never passed by any procedure of law, orchestrated by former Senators Parry and  Brandis,” Mr Culleton said.

“Brandis’ motion to the House in constitutionally forming a meeting by way of a Quorum on November 7, 2016  as defined in s 22 Constitution was a failure of the tellers who counted the ‘Ayes’ and ‘Noes’ who should have noticed insufficient senators were present to take a vote.”

It is of interest that former inept senator George Brandis was whisked away to London to fill the position of Australian High Commissioner, a reward from Turnbull, the Australian Bankers Association representative in government.

Former senate President Stephen parry, a former Tasmanian police officer, has disappeared from the face of the earth after allegations of his involvement in a massive cover-up concerning the framing of alleged Port Arthur shooter, Martin Bryant, caught up to him while sitting as President.

Extend the Banking Royal Commission Event Aug 14

Senator Fraser Anning, Katters Australian Party is pushing to have the Bank Inquiry extended to give farmers dispossessed by avaricious banks a fair go

Its just Two weeks until 14th August – “Extend The Banking Royal Commission Event” by Senator Fraser Anning

Parliament House Canberra 9.30 am start.

(Please forward this to  your friends, supporters and other bank victims / survivors)

Hi Readers, The news is that

  • Several speakers at the event have been giving their stories to the Media. You might read them this coming week. (Tristan Chapman, David Gilham are in the SMH, Tanya Hargraves on ABC TV (see her summarised story below)
  • Michael Sanderson 0421176997 michael@oits.com.au and Craig Caulfield landofgold@yahoo.com.au can assist you finding rooms to share with others to make accommodation cheaper ($50 / night) if you contact them soon.
  • Many people from WA & Qld are making the trip.
  • If you cannot attend the event but want to, please email me asap so we can list the apologies on the screen prior to it starting.
  • There are at least three people who want to get to Canberra but are strapped for the funds.
  • If anyone can assist someone with making the trip to Canberra, please notify  me 0435423636  so I can put you in touch with them.

Senator Fraser Anning, KAP, pushes to have the Bank Inquiry extended to give farmers a fair go

1)   How to assist the event and make it a success

  • This event may be the last really good chance to influence the Royal commission  to do it`s job properly
  • As well as encouraging as many Victims/ survivors to attend, please encourage family & friends to attend in support
  • The room can hold 300 plus standing room around the edge of the room.
  • As well as attending the event, Please start making appointments to meet your local member and your state senators in Canberra on 13th, 14th or 15th Aug  to inform them you want the royal commission extended. Their office numbers are on the web.
  • Ask/arm twist etc your Local member / senators to hear the event from 9.30 am to 11 am on Tuesday 14th Aug in Parliament house in the main committee room
  • Put messages on face book, twitter, web sites,  talk to media to attend the event.  The schedule for the “Extend the Banking Royal Commission Event” is •   Tues Aug 14th 8.30 am – 9.15 am suggesting those attending should arrive at Parliament House and go to Main Committee room on level 1•   9.30 am Senator Fraser Anning welcomes guests etc•   10:35 – 11:05 am  Media asks the speakers and Fraser questions about why the royal commission should be extended•   Suggest all visitors go to lunch  11:30 am – 12.30 pm
  • •   11: 20 am room begins emptying
  • •   9:35  – 10.35 am interviews conducted to a sharp timetable ( each speakers story will be edited down to a number of dot points to go on the screen so audience can read that while each speaker is interviewed)
  • (Speakers will need to assemble inside the main Marble entrance at 9 am and be escorted to the Committee room – so they don’t get lost)
  • •   Mon Aug 13th  6 pm at Forrest hotel (30 National Circuit) rehearsal for the Event the next day (speakers need to attend this)

Other events that visitors could  attend in the Senate in the afternoon  might include

  • 2.30 pm? – Reintroduction of the motion to Extend the Royal Commission by Senator Fraser Anning in Senate
  • 5 pm     – Senator Anning`s Maiden Speech?
  • After Speech party at 6 pm (free drinks and food)
  • Paul Herman wants to get a team to visit several Ministers and Senators

He is looking for people affected by

  • Predatory Lending,
  • Loan Application Fraud,
  • who have been unable to meet mortgage payments,
  • who have lost their home,
  • or been bankrupted or liquidated.

He wants to coordinate meetings and have a number of people with him

To join him, contact Paul Herman 0408 332 057

We (organisers) believe the success of the event will rely on a combined effort – Here are some ways others will evaluate the effort

All the Best

Leon Ashby

Advisor to Senator Fraser Anning

0435423636

 

Royal Commission into corrupt banks a ‘toothless pussycat’ – Katter

Suicide watch for hundreds of ailing farmers

27 June 2018: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter is not giving up on his steadfast campaign to get decent banking services and a fairer financial system for all Australians, especially rural communities. Mr Katter came out swinging in Parliament today and used Question Time to ask the Treasurer about the scope of the Royal Commission.

Mr Katter’s question follows his attendance at the farm finance hearings in Brisbane yesterday to support Aussie farmers whose lives have been profoundly impacted by unethical banking practices. Mr Katter left the hearing feeling deeply frustrated that the Royal Commission isn’t going far enough and might end up being a ‘toothless pussycat’ because the watered down terms of reference set by the Government mean a solid outcome is highly unlikely.

Yesterday, Mr Katter politely asked Commissioner Kenneth Hayne:

Are we going to address why these things happened and what we can do about it to improve it in the future? Is the commission going to address those issues? at

At he Royal Commission into Banks at the Brisbane hearing, Bob Katter takes them on with a bill to separate their speculative activities from genuine lending. The Inquiry allocated only four days to hear from five farmers which Katter said was outrageous. There have been thousands of submissions from farmers Australia-wide who are committing suicide because of foreclosures. 

And today, Mr Katter followed up the fight by asking the Treasurer:

In Australia where only two entities buy and sell food.

In a world where 41% of farm income is from Government the removal of collective bargaining and all tariff/subsidy yarded Australian farmers for butchering by the banks. Can you assure the house that the Royal Commission will include the ‘carrion’ – the receivers and ‘address’ the issue of a Reconstruction Bank, enabling farmers to ride the roller coaster of supply and demand?

It won’t remove the truncating by taxes of the ‘ups’ but it will at least stop the banks from “elongating the downs” with a continuous imposition of discretionary punitive charges.

Yesterday, Mr Katter stood beside a group of aggrieved and enraged farmers at a press conference outside the Commission and he will continue to advocate for these hardworking people.

“Most of the mob around me has been fighting for this for five or six years. And the fact that the banks were able to set up the Royal Commission, and not we the people, it is frustrating for us. We are seeing all the pain and horror filtered through the forensic process.

“The hide of this business, we are averaging one suicide every two weeks – and no one cared about us, no one did anything about it – and it continues today with one farmer doing away with himself every five or six days in Australia.

“Of course the banks will just go back to where they were before. They are under commercial pressures to compete against each other.

“These are people (the farmers) that have been on the land for generations and generations – they are not out for a big quid – they have fought a thousand elements and survived – but they can’t survive with the cards that have been dealt to them. We hope this Commission gives us the leverage we need to get a restoration of the Reconstruction Banks – to keep the other banks honest.

“We are now playing rugby league without a referee and the people of Australia are disgusted.”

Shortly after the press conference, Mr Hayne announced that the scheduled hearings on natural disaster insurance would be delayed to allow more time to examine farming finance.

For more information or a comment from Bob Katter please contact the media phone: 0418 840 243

Further background information

The Treasurer responded by stating:

I thank the member for his question and his passionate interest in these topics. Can I assure him that the terms of reference would catch liquidators, to the extent that they were operating on behalf of a financial services entity—for example, a receiver—as defined in the letters patent. The constitution has an insolvency head of power which would likely enable the commission to use its coercive powers to obtain evidence from liquidators. In looking at the conduct of liquidators, the commission may also seek to investigate other appointments, such as forensic investigators, accountants or valuers, which are often part of the receivership process, as the member would be aware. Referring to registered liquidators or receivers would single them out from the wide category of services—for example, accounts and orders that are similarly captured—and it may be inferred by some that other similar services are not included.

Rural debt was around $71.6 billion as at 30 June of 2017, and 96 per cent of that debt is held by the banks. Our agricultural sector exports are some $51.6 billion. Seventy per cent of Australian farm business is in grain, beef and sheep. It’s also important to note, as the member would also be keenly aware, that these farm businesses typically have a turnover of less than $10 million.

What the royal commission has been tasked to do is look at all of these matters I’ve referred to. I’m not going to prejudge—I’m sure the member wouldn’t expect me to—the findings and recommendations of the royal commission. He’s unconstrained in that matter and in relation to the specific issues he’s raised and the proposals that he’s put forward here. I understand he’s ventilated at the commission itself. He will have the opportunity to respond to that and make such recommendations to the government as are appropriate.

The Treasurer’s response indicates that the Royal Commission terms of reference will look at receivers but this seems to be at odds with what the counsel assisting Rowena Orr told the Commission on Monday 25th June:

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. Most relevantly, for present purposes, 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. This is because, while receivers are appointed by a bank, they are generally stipulated to be an agent of the borrower and they are separate to a separate and distinct regulatory regime under chapter 5 of the Corporations Act. As such, the conduct of receivers is not within our terms of reference and will not be examined in these hearings.

Katter introduces a bill to clean up the banks

from CEC

The federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter on June 25 introduced a private member’s bill into the Australian Parliament to protect the economy and bank customers from dangerous financial speculation and predatory banking.

The Banking System Reform (Separation of Banks) Bill 2018 is based on the USA’s successful Glass-Steagall Act. It will separate Australia’s commercial banks, which hold deposits, from risky investment banking, as well as other financial services that Australia’s banks have acquired in recent decades, including insurance, superannuation, wealth management, and stock broking.

The ongoing Financial Services Royal Commission, which Bob Katter led the political fight to establish, has laid bare the predatory banking practices that the bill will end. The revelations from the royal commission have been so dramatic that it has attracted global attention, and kindled fear in the City of London that Australia’s inquiry could lead to a renewed push to break up Britain’s too-big-to-fail banks.

Katter excoriated Australian banking in a passionate speech introducing his bill. “The situation in Australia is ugly and it is evil”, he said, “and this legislation is needed to overcome those problems and what effectively it says is—‘Mr Banks you are no longer out there in the market, in the arena buying and selling. Your job is to loan to people that buy and sell, develop and invest. You don’t do that, you judge them.’”

The people’s campaigner to clean up the banking industry is Bob Katter, Federal Member for Kennedy, an electorate three times the size of Tasmania which runs much of Australia’s cattle and sheep herds.
Katter has introduced a bill into parliament to separate banks’ speculative activities.

Aside from the conflicts of interests in banking, Katter’s chief concern in moving Glass-Steagall is for the looming financial crisis arising from the banks’ speculation in real estate and derivatives. He identified the reckless speculation threatening the financial system today was also the cause of the 1929 crash, which led to the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933.

“What we’re talking about here is derivatives: when you don’t buy a loaf of bread; you buy a contract to buy a loaf of bread”, he said. “That is what we call a derivative.

“Glass-Steagall came in and it overcame the vast bulk of those problems so that the American economy ran fairly effectively, making it three, four, five times the size of any other economy on earth, until Mr Bill Clinton, ‘Mr Free Markets’ himself. … In 1999, he abolished the Glass-Steagall Act. Within two years, the dot-com collapse occurred, taking down trillions of dollars of savings, superannuation and retirement moneys of Americans and the rest of the world, and in 2008, as we’re all familiar with, came the GFC.

“Clearly, that timeline indicates the necessity for Glass-Steagall legislation in this place.”

The most immediate danger for Australia, Katter emphasised, is from the bubble in the real estate market.

“The housing boom in Australia today—does anyone seriously think that we are not sitting on the brink of disaster?” he warned. “A quarter of Australia’s population, maybe a third, live in Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong. The average price of a house is over $800,000. That means that 50 per cent of the houses are over that value. Yet the average income for an Australian after tax is about 50 grand a year [$50,000]. So how are they going to make the repayments on a house? And yet they’re buying houses. The banks are financing them. The banks make money when you go broke and they sell the house out from under you. They don’t lose money; they make money out of what has occurred. They should be held responsible.

“I would love to be in a business that is guaranteed by the government”, he continued. “If I buy a corner store and I know that, if I go broke, the government’s going to give me the money, everyone will be buying corner stores in Australia. They are given this, but there is no responsibility placed upon their shoulders to act in a prudential manner.”

Katter singled out the team of people responsible for organising the bill, including Robert Barwick, Dr Wilson Sy, and Bob Butler. Sy is the former principal researcher at bank regulator APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority). Barwick and Butler are representatives of the Citizens Electoral Council, which has led a nine-year campaign to get Glass-Steagall legislation enacted in Australia.

It is significant that on the same day as Bob Katter introduced his bill, Australia’s biggest bank CBA announced it was demerging from its wealth management businesses, as if to send the message that Glass-Steagall legislation is unnecessary because the banks are doing it voluntarily. On closer examination, however, CBA is not completely demerging from other services, and along with the other big banks it is continuing to speculate in dangerous derivatives and other forms of financial gambling. Only a strict Glass-Steagall law will end these practices, which is the intention of the Katter bill.

As a private member’s bill, Katter’s Separation of Banks Bill 2018 will only be debated if a majority of members of parliament agree to do so, which will require the support of one or the other major party. Ordinarily, the governing Liberal Party would be expected to protect the banks, but many Liberal politicians are shocked by the revelations of the royal commission and are concerned about a financial crash. And what about the Labor Party—will it block or delay Glass-Steagall the way it blocked the banking royal commission for six years, or return to its roots as champions of working people against the Money Power? It will be up to the Australian people to demand the major parties stop protecting the banks, and allow a debate and vote on Glass-Steagall.

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.

High Court ruling paves way for Culleton and others to be re-instated to the senate

West Australian Senator in exile, ‘bank basher’ Rodney Culleton is expecting to be re-instated to the senate after the High Court delivered a fatal blow to the long-running ANZ Bank campaign to destroy his career and livelihood

A unanimous decision handed down on March 21, 2018, Alley-v-Gillespie, paves the way for the senate to re-install senators Bob Day and Rod Culleton, however it could have further far-reaching ramifications for other senators removed under s44 of the Commonwealth Constitution.

In essence the HCA has ruled it cannot decide on a question of disqualification or vacancy without first empowering the House under s22  and s47 challenging any question under s44 of the Constitution which states any question of eligibility for an elected candidate to the Upper or Lower House can only be decided by the respective House of Parliament.

Perth businessman and Liberal Dick Lester allegedly under instruction from the ANZ Bank pursued Senator Rod Culleton through the courts spending $1.6 million trying to recover an alleged debt of $200,000

Culleton has maintained this argument ever since Judge Barker of the Federal Court in 2016 found Culleton bankrupt because a proposed land deal between himself and Perth businessman and leading Liberal Dick Lester had turned sour.

Lester was reported as spending $1.6 million with Perth law firm King Wood Malleson chasing an alleged

debt of $200,000.

Culleton alleges the law firm and Lester were acting on instructions from the ANZ Bank because he had challenged the ANZ Bank’s bona fides over bank foreclosures through the senate.

Two solicitors, Michael Lundberg and Adam Rompopis  who were leading the Culleton offensive, have since departed the firm.

To add insult to injury in June last year, the Federal Government pursued Culleton for $712,000 in expenses and wages incurred while his senate office was in operation.

It was a first ever demand for office expenses by government against a former Member.

On March 7 the Finance Minister Mathias Cormann wrote to Culleton stating he had forgiven the office bill. Culleton said he refused the offer because legally, he remained a senator.

Former Senator Rod Culleton warned of a massive Constitutional correction 18 months ago and it has just arrived with the High Court handing the eligibility of Members or senators over to either House

“I did not accept Cormann’s waiver of the debt because I was unlawfully removed from the senate,” Mr Culleton said.

“After the s47 ruling on March 21 I informed the senate President he must recall the senate to deal with the matter of my disqualification which will have implications for other senators who were also disqualified by the High Court.

“All facts must be debated in the House and questions of disqualification or vacancies must be dealt with by the House.

“My argument regarding s47 has never changed and I put the President on notice last week the ‘surrogate’ senators not elected by the people are only filling the void created by the High Court sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns.

“They should pack up and go home. The whole senate has been brought into disrepute by former Liberal Attorney General George Brandis and former President Stephen Parry when Brandis withheld the statement of agreed facts from the senate.

“The new president must recall the senate and deal with the matters.”

The extract below is from a story published by Cairns News on March 8, 2017:

A single judge of The High Court of Australia, on March 2, 2017 struck out Culleton’s appeal against bankruptcy, previously handed down by the Full Bench of the Federal Court.

“I am outraged and disappointed Justice Patrick Keane of the High Court did not ever read my written submissions yet he handed down his finding in spite of me asking for more time to prepare,” Mr Culleton said.

Coincidentally, March 2, 2017 was the 12 month anniversary when he was convicted of larceny in absentia in the Armidale Magistrates Court over the disappearance of a truck key worth $7.50, a charge for which he would not ever have been jailed.

“My counsel clearly told Justice Keane that the High Court did not have jurisdiction to deal with my position in the senate,” he said.

“Counsel told the court only the senate could deal with it and Justice Keane only had to read Section 47 of the Constitution which says any question over the qualification of a senator or a member of either House, ‘….shall be determined by the House in which the question arises.’

High Court Chief Justice Susan Kiefel backed by a unanimous decision on March 21, 2018 handed over the eligibility of members of Parliament to the respective Houses, the basis of Culleton’s argument since he was disqualified from the senate

“The High Court says it gets its power from the unlawful Australia Act 1986 which was introduced two years after a referendum of Australian people said they did not want the Commonwealth to give its powers to the States.

“This referendum failed but here we have the High Court using powers the states should not have such as the denial of juries.”

Lower House supporter Katter’s comments from January 19, 2017.

KAP Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter who had formed an alliance with Senator Culleton because of his effective attack against unlawful bank foreclosures, waded into the fray last year.

“The more we become aware what has been done to Senator Culleton the more clear it becomes that the Liberal Party counts on the vote of One Nation,” Mr Katter said.

“This morning in the Perth Federal Court, Senator Rod Culleton was granted his right to have an Appeal heard on his bankruptcy ruling.

“The Senator’s Appeal application was a live matter last week when the Senate President removed Senator Culleton from his elected seat in the Senate on the basis of Senator Culleton’s bankruptcy declaration being finally determined, which at the time — it was not.

“Whilst One Nation may have started off the ‘Killing of Culleton’, it is most certainly the Liberal Party who are trying to finish the job.  The Liberals are doing exactly the same job on Senator Culleton that they did on Pauline Hanson herself. I was always appalled with what they did to her and publicly said so on numerous occasions. However, it is hard to feel sorry for her now.

“It’s becoming clear now that the Liberals with the support of One Nation moved at lightning speed to bankrupt Senator Culleton and in my opinion, stand him down from the Senate.

“On the issue of bankruptcy, the Liberal W.A Government gets to make the decision (in cahoots with One Nation).

“If Senator Culleton is thrown out over the loss of a $7 key then the Liberals and One Nation do not get to choose his replacement. It goes to the number 2 on the ballot who is a One Nation True Believer, not of the new, ‘James Ashby (Liberal) One Nation’ that we see today.”

On March 8, 2017, Culleton warned of the looming “biggest Constitutional correction since federation.” It has occurred.