Category Archives: Banks

Katter and Hanson table bank reform bill initiating another inquiry

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee on 14 February initiated an inquiry into the Banking System Reform (Separation of Banks) Bill 2019.

This landmark senate inquiry was ignored by big media which preferred sensationalising the dust-up between One Nation’s James Ashby and its former senator Brian Burston in the halls of the senate.

from Citizens Electoral Council

This is a major blow for the banks, which had assumed that the Hayne Report from the banking royal commission, which did not recommended structural separation, would be the final word on the issue—bank shares soared on the news they wouldn’t be broken up. They celebrated too early, however.

Pauline Hanson joins forces with Bob Katter to separate bank industry superannuation and insurance from banking

 

On 12 February, a week after Hayne’s report became public, Senator Pauline Hanson introduced into the Senate the same bill that Bob Katter had introduced into the House of Representatives in June 2018. This bill was carefully drafted by the Citizens Electoral Council based on the USA’s successful Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and the updated “21st Century Glass-Steagall Act” bill currently before Congress, adapted for Australia’s financial system.

The bill separates traditional commercial banks that take deposits and make loans from all other financial activities. This solves the problems of both vertical integration—the gross conflict of interests involving banks advising their customers to buy products from other businesses the banks also own; and horizontal integration—banks mixing commercial banking with risky investment banking that puts customer deposits, and the whole economy, in danger. The bill also brings the failed bank regulator APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) under much tighter parliamentary control.

Support

 

Bob Katter joins forces with Pauline Hanson to separate bank industry superannuation and insurance from banking

Bank separation has the support of most cross-bench politicians in Parliament, including the Greens, Centre Alliance, One Nation and independents. It is also supported by key backbenchers in all of the major parties. The Labor Party had said they would support it if recommended by the royal commission; however, sticking with that position is untenable. They know that Commissioner Hayne’s terms of reference forbade the investigation of “structure”, which Labor had intended a royal commission would have looked at. Also, even Labor’s senior statesman Paul Keating has strongly criticised Hayne for not recommending structural separation.

(Hayne’s recommendation against structural separation is a scandal: that section in his report includes a blatant lie, and experts familiar with public inquiries have accused Treasury of a “dirty trick” to rig the outcome in favour of the banks.)

Opposition

The opposition to separation comes from the big banks, the discredited regulators which are captured by the banks, and the leadership of the major parties who take huge donations from the banks. The banks wish to keep the parasitical structure that has enabled them to amass huge profits, not only through gouging their customers but also through gambling with their deposits, which they use to underwrite their huge derivatives bets that collectively amount to more than $40 trillion. There is a revolving door between the banks and regulators: high-powered executives from banks take key positions in the regulators, such as ex-UBS chief John Fraser taking over as Treasury Secretary in 2013-18 and former senior investment bankers holding six of the nine positions on the executive of bank regulator APRA; and regulators retire to plum banking positions, such as former Treasury Secretary Ken Henry becoming chairman of NAB and former RBA governor Glenn Stevens joining the board of Macquarie Bank. And not only do the big banks donate to the major parties, but so does the Australian Banking Association which lobbies for them, as do the Big Four global accounting firms which audit the major banks and have a track record of covering up dodgy bookkeeping by banks all over the world.

Make a submission

This inquiry is the chance for the Australian public to force the debate on banking separation that the royal commission was not allowed to have. The Senate Economics Legislation Committee is taking submissions from the public, so every concerned Australian should make a submission.

Here are some points to note about the Glass-Steagall principle of full banking separation:

  • It works, as proved by its success for almost 70 years (1933-99) in America;
  • It ends the conflicts of interests of vertical integration, which is the only way to ensure the misconduct exposed by the royal commission can’t happen again;
  • It protects deposits from the dangers of speculation, which boosts confidence in the banking system;
  • It stops banks from diverting credit into unproductive financial speculation, thus making more credit available for lending to neglected sectors such as small business, industry and farming.

The submissions deadline is 12 April, but don’t delay—make your submission today!

How to make a submission

Written submissions can be delivered to the Committee in two ways: 1) by physical post; 2) online.

  1. Post your written submission to: Senate Standing Committees on Economics
    PO Box 6100
    Parliament House
    Canberra ACT 2600
    Phone: +61 2 6277 3540
    Fax: +61 2 6277 5719
    Email: economics.sen@aph.gov.au
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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.

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.

China and India lining up to be world’s largest economies

by Alex Bruce

It’s really hard to tear your eyes away from this dynamic graph showing the projected GDP rankings of the world’s 10 largest economies between 2019 and 2100, using data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product or the monetary measure of all goods and services produced.

The first big change in the period leading up to the 2019 starting point was Russia’s 1992 entry in the world economy at 4th place behind the great economic powers of the US, Japan and Germany. This position which was soon eclipsed by the inexorable rise of China, which reached the number 2 spot in 1999 for the first time in world history and then went full supernova in 2006, with mind-boggling 15% annual growth.

India is currently having its own supernova, projected to move from 7th to 5th place in 2019, ahead of the UK and France and surpassing Germany for 4th place in 2024!

In 2028, China is projected to surpass the US as the world’s largest economy. India will surpass Japan for the 3rd spot in 2030. The latter half of the 21st century will be all about India, which overtakes the US in nominal GDP in 2059, the second country ever to do so. By 2072, Asia will totally dominate the world economy.

These are the happy numbers forecast by the IMF, as opposed to the infamous projections of Deagel, which predicts that the countries most dependent on the heavily financialized economies of the Anglo-American banking system will be hardest-hit by its collapse.

Deagel says the UK will lose 50M people and its GDP will shrink to 8% of its current numbers. The US will lose 220M people and its GDP will shrink to 8% of its current numbers, as well. Are Deagel’s projections expressing the fantasies of disaster-capitalist banksters?

In light of the December 10th signing of the UN’s migration pact, which resulted in yesterday’s resignation of the Belgian president, a review of Deagel’s statements of 2014, reveals new meaning:

The process that the USA will enter in the upcoming decade is migration. In the past, specially in the 20th century, the key factor that allowed the USA to rise to its colossus status was immigration with the benefits of a demographic expansion supporting the credit expansion and the brain drain from the rest of the world benefiting the States. The collapse of the Western financial system will wipe out the standard of living of its population while ending ponzi schemes such as the stock exchange and the pension funds. The population will be hit so badly by a full array of bubbles and ponzi schemes that the migration engine will start to work in reverse accelerating itself due to ripple effects thus leading to the demise of the States.”

Running Time: 4 min

https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/the-ghost-of-christmas-future/

Bank victim’s stories

Extend Banking Royal Commission – Parliament House Canberra 14th August 2018

Bank and Financial Services Victims showed up in force at a Meeting in Canberra ACT, organised by Leon Ashby, at Senator Fraser Anning’s request. The aim was for invited Members of Parliament, Senators and the media to hear directly from bank victims of their experiences.

35 Bank Victim’s Horror Stories were heard and the Series is being released throughout September / early October, stay tuned as more pages are added to this section.

Bank Horror Stories Exposed At Parliament House – [CLICK HERE]

Comment from a reader, ‘Jim’

Just over twenty years ago, the Howard government completed the third tranche of Paul Keating’s three-stage privatisation of the Commonwealth Bank. Howard and Keating supposedly despised each other, but they were thick as thieves when it came to the Thatcherite gutting of Australia’s economy through deregulation and privatisation.

Upon completion, the sale of the Commonwealth Bank had netted the Commonwealth government $7.8 billion. This week CBA announced it made $9.45 billion(!) in one year—more than the Government received for selling it.

This result brings CBA’s total profits in the 19 years since its sale to more than $90 billion! If you sold a business that in the next 19 years made in profit more than 10 times what you were paid for it, how would you feel?

The logic to privatisation is twisted. On the one hand free marketeers claim that governments can’t run businesses, so they will claim that the CBA’s success as a private company proves them right. On the other hand, they praise governments that privatise assets as business-like and financially competent. How financially competent is it to let go of such a profitable asset?

Profits are not the real issue though. Under public ownership, the Commonwealth Bank provided benefits to the government and community far greater than its financial profits, including:

banking services for all of Australia, including small towns and remote areas.
competition with private banks that forced them to also provide banking services to most of Australia. (Coinciding with CBA’s privatisation, all banks started shutting down their small-town and remote-area branches, which had a devastating impact on those communities.)
super-security for depositors, and ballast for the Australian financial system; throughout its history the Commonwealth Bank both guaranteed its own deposits and stood behind the deposits of the other banks, and functioned as a stable mainstay of the entire financial system. (This benefit is now lost: bank deposits are guaranteed in name only, under a scheme that banking authorities admit the government can’t back up, and CBA’s multi-trillion dollar exposure to toxic derivatives bets makes it a systemic risk to the Australian economy.)

When it was privatised, the Commonwealth was merely a valuable publicly owned trading bank; until 1959, however, when PM Robert Menzies split off the Reserve Bank, it was much more: a world-leading national bank that the government had been able to use to create public credit for Australia’s national economic development. WWII was the Commonwealth Bank’s finest hour: under the control of Labor’s John Curtin and Ben Chifley the Commonwealth Bank financed Australia’s miraculous war-time economic mobilisation, which transformed the economy from an agrarian backwater into an advanced agro-industrial power.

After Chifley, the power of the Commonwealth Bank was stripped away, and with it the public benefit the bank provided, until Keating handed this public benefit over to the private sector, for a song. Keating doesn’t like it when John Howard says so, but he only achieved his neoliberal financial deregulation, privatisations, tariff cuts etc. with Howard’s support, because they were Howard’s policies first! Howard as Treasurer had commissioned the Campbell Financial System Inquiry that in 1982 demanded reforms so extreme, among them the privatisation of all public financial institutions, that Howard’s boss PM Malcolm Fraser blocked their implementation. Keating and Hawke came along, repackaged extreme Thatcherite policies as Labor’s, and pushed them through, with Howard’s support. Remember this as Bill Shorten and the ALP claim they want a Royal Commission into the banks—so long as they continue to deify Keating and his reforms, which are responsible for unleashing the banks to gouge the community, while rejecting the need for Glass-Steagall to protect the public and economy from dangerous speculation, as Shorten does, they cannot be trusted.

It is time to renationalise the Commonwealth Bank, restore its status as the national bank, and put it to work for all Australians, issuing credit for productive investments in infrastructure and industries, the productive physical economy, from which the whole country will profit.

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.

RABOBANK manger alternative to farmers debt is suicide

Source: A Current Affair

Debbie Viney claims her bank manager told her he would “commit suicide” in her position –CLICK PICTURE to view A Current Affair video

Central Queensland cattle farmer Debbie Viney claims her bank manager told her he would take his own life if he were in her shoes, in the middle of one of the worst droughts in Australian history.

Ms Viney said she met Rabobank executive Peter Stevens at a farm show six years ago, where he told her he could give her a cheaper mortgage than the one she had.

She took him at his word and switched to Rabobank, a multinational bank that specialises in loans to farmers across the world.

Federal Queensland MP Bob Katter said Australia had “the most unprofessional, unrestricted free banking”.

He said mental health issues were a vital issue in rural Australia.

“There’s a farmer committing suicide every four days in this country,” he said.

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.