So what’s new?

26Aug16_R

Sunset Lovina  26 August 2016   © PJ Croft 2018

Another day, another example of management dishonesty and criminality. The news item from this morning is gone already, but a former manager of a finance industry regulatory body, who moved to become CEO of a building society, was ripping money out of the society using his wife, using deception, inflating his expenses, submitting false claims for reimbursement and so on. Day after day, week after week, month after month these revelations are coming out. The banking and insurance royal commission is exposing deliberate deception and potentially criminal wrong doing on a massive scale. Committed by managers, or lower level staff at managers’ urging, with bonuses as the carrot.

The Abbott Liberal government wasted no time in holding a royal commission into union “corruption” (that word was in the title of the commission – nothing like prejudging the issue).  The result? One criminal conviction for one state branch secretary and one conviction for a low level official. This at a cost of more than $10m to taxpayers.

Yet where are the demands for banks and insurance managements to face criminal trials like union officials? The Liberal government are relatively silent. Why?

Quoting Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary: “The banking royal commission has found hundreds of thousands of instances of potentially criminal conduct (so far), hundreds of millions of dollars worth of unlawful fees, misappropriations and possible thefts as well as overseeing millions upon millions of dollars in fines for the big banks.

“Still that hasn’t stopped the Morrison-led Liberal party, its storefront thinktank and its various conservative media allies from playing the usual anti-union cards.

“It’s just that this time their hand is weaker than it’s ever been.”

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On the subject of income protection insurance, a good friend of mine who works for himself has been paying premiums for this type of insurance for 23 years. He estimates he’s paid about $23,000 in premiums to now.

Last year he had a heart attack (not serious, luckily) and managed to cut the top of his left thumb off in a circular saw accident. Naturally, these took time to heal and he lost income.

He submitted a modest claim (nowhere near the amount he’s paid in premiums) and guess what? The insurance company rejected his claim. It’s on something of a technicality, but they won’t budge. He’s been trying to resolve the issue for nearly a year now, and the insurance company is doing all it can to waffle, obfuscate and generally act as bastards. Notably, they want to do everything over the phone. Why? Probably because there’s nothing in writing that could come back to haunt them.

It’s still ongoing and my friend is at the point of going to the Insurance Ombudsman. He’s not a man to give up, once someone rubs him the wrong way. They’ve picked the wrong guy to have a fight with.

More later.

 

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