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westpac

Another day, another judgment against an Australian banking group for misconduct. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission's civil action against two WestPac group companies ended with findings of fault - but, again, ASIC has not succeeded on grounds upon which it thought it was safe. Spoiler alert: the case was commenced before the start of the Royal Commission on Misconduct in Banking, etc.

BIScom Subsection: 

It's one of those times where there is double take. Are you reading it right? A Court has said it will not approve an agreed settlement between a financial institution and a regulator? Oh, OK, it must be that the Court thought that the penalty was too light and he's sent the parties away to decide how much more should be paid, or perhaps penalties beyond money should be added?

No, that's not it. It's far more fascinating than that.

(previous story)

BIScom Subsection: 

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that in an agreed settlement before the Federal Court, Australian financial services group Westpac will pay a civil penalty of AUD35 million after admitting breaches of Australia's responsible lending rules. The door-of-the-court settlement avoids a lengthy trial that should have started yesterday.

*** Update: see Westpac's new best friend? Australian Federal Court rejects settlement with regulator ***

BIScom Subsection: 

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.

BIScom Subsection: 
Case Summary: 

A former "Home Finance Manager" (mortgage salesman) with a bank was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to abusing his position to make a dishonest gain for himself and others. He submitted for approval fraudulent applications, knowing they were untrue, for applicants to borrow money that they would then "invest" in a developer with which he had a connection.

Type of conduct: 
Consumer fraud