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Secret Banker efforts to undermine lawful Aussie consumer rights through ASIC

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ABA - Advocating the Divine Right of Banks to return us all to the Dark Ages & debtors dungeons?

In response to the ABA submission to ASIC EDR review, March 2012.

BTW I noticed it took from 2009 to 2012 for ASIC to do undertake this review lol!

And that this unenlightened effort to distort and corrupt the Australian justice system was pieced together prior to the wake up call given to the ABA and some Banks during the Senate Inquiry into post-GFC Banking. Not to mention the ongoing "bath" given to ASIC.

I wonder if anything has changed now in the ASIC - ABA - Bank relationship and if this has changed the way in which FOS and COSL are managing borrower complaints?



"The ABA understands that it is a natural response by a customer to the possibility of losing his or her residence to want to ward off that event.

"The observation and experience of banks is that customers appear to be at a point of desperation and tend to clutch at any opportunity irrespective of change in their long term financial circumstances."

Well, this may have come as a surprise to the cold blooded creeps that lurked in the Banking industry. For normal, decent Australians these "observations" would engender some level of compassion and concern, not another excuse to squash the life out of these borrowers facing homelessness and the loss of all their loan "repayments". 

ABA were a disgrace and so unAustralian to participate in this process by writing this submission - you should hang your heads in shame and immediately and publicly apologise to all Australian borrowers! Of course you won't as you would have to be devoid of empathy and all decent feeling if you could advocate for the further erosion of the borrower's rights and opportunities. I truly hope you get your just desserts and along with hundreds of others who feel similarly will continue to work toward your public shaming in the interests of a fair and decent Australian society. You are still representing the interests of Australia's own Banking Al Capones - it's beyond me why the whole lot of you are not already in jail for your crimes against humanity.

I note that no apology was received for this woeful conduct to date nor for the ABA's efforts to hide their efforts to erode borrower's lawful rights at any subsequent time. From this I would have to conclude that this is still the ABA/Bank position and their MO for getting the system skewed to suit their own illegal purposes.

Comments like the above quote from the ABA submission show the ignorance of the ABA and the banking industry in general. How dare they assume that's what dispute resolution is about for every borrower! Some of us do want real and honest answers to our questions about our loans and we do have rights, you know!

It is widely known that the Banks considered the External Dispute Resolution process to be a hiccup to their fast exiting of the borrower and their illegal collection of the proceeds from the illegal liquidation of the borrower's home.

In order to achieve this the ABA and the Banks enlisted ASIC to ensure that this operation ran as smoothly as possible.

BFCSA have every right to include ASIC Chair and Commissioners in the Hall of Shame as none of them had done anything of significance to assist the borrowers and the borrowers families, entrusted to their care as "consumers".

Further more it is a matter of public record that Medcraft and Kell both stumbled and stuttered when asked a few basic questions about their ASIC efforts on behalf of Australian borrowers. 

Little wonder that Australian borrowers and complainants against the Australian Banks lost faith in ASIC's integrity and sincerity in their duty of care within their jurisdiction. This jurisdiction included the FOS and COSL. FOS seems to have managed to do an effective job to the best of it's ability, given the handicaps placed on it by ASIC's bias toward Banks. COSL, according to borrower feedback, is badly in need of review, as it may not be equipped to handle the rigors of the dispute resolution process in the non-Bank lending arena. We note that ASIC doesn't seem to be concerned in the slightest at this omission in their oversight of the EDR process. Clearly ASIC aren't committed for practical purposes to the EDR process either!

Some businesses (other than Banks) see customer complaints and the negotiation of disputes as an opportunity to improve their business conduct and relationships. Some even enjoy discussing this with their clients, once everyone gets past the "blame game". Some business staff delight in the opportunity to get to grips with a really tough issue and come out on better terms with their customers.

Not the Banks, of course. Despite all efforts to drag them into the Age of Enlightenment they stay firmly stuck with their feudal attitudes to the fate of their bondsmen and women. There is no hope for the Banks, it seems, and nothing but a complete change to the Banking Industry will make any difference to their conduct.

All this presupposes that the EDR officer handling the dispute has the necessary skills and experience to conduct the process correctly. It also assumes that their guidelines are of a suitably high standard to ensure all possible guidance is ensured toward conflict resolution by the "warring" parties. Given that this is all under the guidance of ASIC true conflict resolution in Australian dispute resolution is an idealistic goal for the future beyond ASIC and the present problems. How many borrowers have ever shaken hands with their Bank opponents following a win-win outcome? It's unthinkable, isn't it?

In the meantime, however, we do have access to the best there is for no cost to borrowers: FOS. Yes they may make mistakes and yes we may feel disheartened at times by their answers and treatment of our case. I've gained the impression that FOS is dealing with a massively changing landscape, both internally and externally. Their changes are a work in progress as they endeavour to keep up with the workload. To give FOS credit they're doing the best they can under difficult political circumstances and attempting to satisfy multiple stakeholders while their systems are being tested to the max. It is up to everyone who uses the FOS EDR to ensure that all their rights are respected and that they gather all the information that they can on not only their case but also their overall rights within this important phase of the justice process. If in doubt, ask, and keep asking questions. We're all breaking new ground in a dynamic environment of monumental change - FOS included - and know that you're not alone if you feel bewildered or lost at any time during this process. We must all stick together and lend support to each other to come through with valour on the other side. It's very exciting to be part of this huge shift long overdue and so badly needed within Australia banking and political history.

We can see why so many bank staff feel challenged by anything like negotiation and conflict resolution! After all they're used to winning without opposition in a quick knock out. They need more training and experience in proper EDR conduct - not at the expense of distressed, unwell or elderly borrowers, either! The EDR process is an art form of its own. Do the ABA run professional training to ensure that their members are up skilled in this all important area? By the sounds of the ABA attitude, I doubt it.

After reading Yoda's information on the ABA submission to ASIC I thought: Why don't the Banks and ASIC just request to send all borrowers to the salt mines as soon as they default? Would that make the Banksters happier? Maybe the ABA would like to just ditch the Law altogether and give the bank manager the job of judge and jury to save costs for our poor struggling overworked Banksters! They've certainly done a great job of using the Banking Code as waste paper for the last 20 years, going on the relevance that document has had to Banking Credit practices.

In Australia we are fortunate that there exists a more enlightened and intelligent approach to dispute airing, consideration and resolution that doesn't involve a borrower and their home being fast tracked to the end of the mortgage conveyor belt by legal process workers.

It probably hasn't occurred to the self-confessed Bankophiles at the ABA to check whether anyone else uses non-litigious methods of dispute resolution. As the ABA represents the Australian Banking mindset we have a fair idea how they were perceiving their obligations to the borrowers of Australia! Well they wouldn't want to know about Industrial Relations arbitration, of course. Nor the fine art of negotiation - unless there were a dollar in it for the Banks. I've spoken with professional negotiators who have been appalled at the shoddy attempts of Banksters to participate professionally in good sized negotiations. Even then Banksters have been know to introduce trickery and gamemanship into the negotiation, showing their lack of understanding of what is required to reach a satisfactory result for all concerned. (Yep, it's not just us this happens to!)

Given the conflict of interest that ASIC had in the Bank-consumer complaint system we, as borrowers, were indeed fortunate that we got as good a deal as we did! I wonder what ended up on the cutting room floor following discussions with ASIC on the UCCC, NCCP, Consumer Rights and the EDRs? What we got was a good start from a compromise of political trade offs. We must keep our eyes on all efforts to push back the clock and consign any further consumer rights to the bin. Onward and upward!

I suggest the ABA go back to school and learn to discern truth from spin, just for starters, and value of finding non-violent solutions to assist in the resolution of power imbalanced disputes, as occurs in the Bankster/borrower relationship. Advocating conventional litigation in such an imbalanced situation is BULLYING, EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE OF POWER. But that's how Banksters apparently got their kicks - crushing cruelty toward those perceived as weaker and thus disposable in their pursuit of their own greedy ends. I used to think that was an exaggeration until I and my friends experienced it first hand.

Dispute resolution takes more brain than brawn. I can see why this would be challenging for the Bankster credit brigade, egged on by their Legal buddies. Do us all a favour ABA: Learn how to use dispute resolution correctly and then come and tell all the BFCSA members why you think the thuggery of pandering to your desire to crush and defeat the defenseless and denigrated borrower is the conduct of educated and civilised man? The ABA would be far wiser if it advocated the strengthening of the EDR system instead of pursuing its secret efforts to erode the lawful rights of other Australians by whingeing to ASIC about borrowers!

Yes, I know it's challenging, and that Banks are risk averse enough when it comes to the tiniest changes to their "right" to run their show their way without "interference" from others. I also noted that they're a tad allergic to extra work - like ASIC - and punitive when Senators and regulators suggest they might make a bit more effort in the national interest for the greater financial good. Someone had to tell them - the ABA and the Banks would never have worked that out on their own!

The ABA and their membership could start considering how having borrowers on the Bank board might actually be in the Bank's long term interests. And how they're going to benefit from enlightened and experienced borrowers influencing policy at the "new" ASIC to ensure Banks act consistently and lawfully and under strict regulation. We're on a "War" footing now. I'm sure Banks will understand that concept: they've been involved in wars for years.

Frankly, ABA, we don't want the Banks we've had to put up with for so many years. We don't know how you've put up with them either. The world has changed and so must Banking - the sooner the better for all of us.

When ABA has finishing fighting the unwinnable war against millions of consumers, they should put down their Practice of Law books and PR flimsies and get their banking members on track for the future. A deeper understanding of the spirit and intention of true conflict resolution by all Bank staff and all ABA staff is a positive step toward the future of Banking and completely in the national interest. 

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