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Yesterday, we were supportive of Westpac in a case where adverse social reaction did not take account of the realities of the case. Today, they are getting a well deserved kicking from Beach, J in the Australian High Court. His Honour's language bordered in the intemperate in his obvious anger.

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In Australia at present, there is a culture of attacking banks no matter what. Any handy stick can be used to beat them with. A case involving Westpac and a seriously ill disabled woman demonstrates that the craze has gone too far.

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As the US bill to roll-back the Dodd-Frank reforms that were designed, amongst other things, to stabilise banks to protect them from failure is sent to the President, who promoted it, for signature, BankingInsuranceSecurities.com points out one statistic that might indicate how successful Dodd-Frank has been and why the changes increase the USA's risk profile.

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If a little shop told its customers that they could have a special offer that cost x, then denied them when they arrived, then told them the price was actually 15% more than x, then when the bill arrived it was for a further 20%, credit card companies would be deluged with complaints and chargebacks. But that is exactly what Microsoft's Skype does, as Nigel Morris-Cotterill demonstrates.

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Australia's Royal Commission into financial services has criticised the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (same word, different meaning) in relation to so-called enforceable undertakings. There is a problem but in part it's caused by factors outside ASIC's control.

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned financial adviser Ezzat-Daniel Nesseim from providing financial services.

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today that it has issued prohibition orders (POs) against six individuals for the mis-selling of investment products. The individuals are:

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Yesterday, US President Trump announced the long-telegraphed withdrawal of the USA from the Iran nuclear sanctions agreement, known as the Comprehensive Plan of Action. According to the US Treasury "The President confirmed that the US will begin the process of re-imposing all US sanctions previously waived under the JCPoA." That's going to cause huge complexity for businesses all over the world because no other government of any international importance is adopting the USA's position. Also, there's a gold-rush about to start.

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Yesterday, the USA's President Trump announced that the US would leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action a.k.a. the Iran Nuclear Deal. Below is a list of resources.

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On 19th April, Australia's newest national bank, Members' Equity Bank a.k.a. ME Bank, announced that it was to increase its interest rates on existing home loans, with effect from 19th April. Then it made a silly error. Given that the banking sector in Australia is under the most intense scrutiny and that it would be logical to assume that, if at any time, this is the time where banks will double, triple even quadruple check their actions, the stupidity of the error raises a serious question: is the financial sector in Australia simply under-skilled and, therefore, unfit for purpose?

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The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has, far too late, waded into the scandal over businesses that offer completely unnecessary, and very costly, services relating to the mis-selling of Personal Protection Insurance. The industry around selling what amounts to little more than form-filling assistance and which has collected in excess of GBP1,000 million, has force-fed advertising and is now ramping up the pressure on those who have not yet made a claim. The FCA has countered with its own advert. It's rubbish and in the wrong place.

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We've been down this road before: Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has taken action against auditors of self-managed
superannuation fund (SMSF).

Coupled with the evidence before the Royal Commission one thing is clear: ASIC's mandate is fundamentally flawed and a new model must be created ASAP, not ASIC.

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When Barnaby Joyce admits he was wrong, as he has done recently over his previous comments that a Royal Commission was appropriate to inquire into the management and practices of Australia's banks, it's obvious how things are going. It's starting to look as if the sector is going to get a huge shake-up - and the removal of many senior officers. One hopes they are replaced with competent bankers, not more recruits from consulting companies - or from the revolving door with government and quasi-government jobs.

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The story of Warderly International Holdings Ltd is strange. Formed in 2002, it floated almost immediately. In 2007, shares were suspended when Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission raised questions about the management of the listed company and, as was learned much later, allegations of insider trading.

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As if the crisis in retail isn't a sign that the global financial crisis, and the UK's part in it, isn't over, the news from manufacturing and other sectors of large-scale redundancies, non-renewal of contracts for term-staff and closures or restructuring of businesses in non-high street retail isn't enough, mailboxes are being spammed with one of the earliest signs of a financial crisis, threatening to ensure that recovery is a long way off. At the forefront is a spam promoting SAGA, the company that is supposedly the elderly's best friend.

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