Help us stop a greedy bank from hiding behind a loophole!

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The Bank of Queensland claims to be a ‘good corporate citizen’. It claims it wants to show customers they can ‘love’ their bank. The reality is it’s a greedy and morally bankrupt organisation that treats its customers like dirt.

We were the unfortunate victims of a financial fraud that claimed in excess of $60 million in life savings. Imagine working hard your whole life to enjoy a comfortable retirement then losing the lot to a corporate shark. His name was Brad Sherwin, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, pretending to be a financial planner but swindling his victims of over $60 million. This has turned out to be an old-fashioned Ponzi scheme.

Our group of people range from retirees, widows, disabled and very vulnerable people unable to re-enter the workforce.  There are many young families who have also had their lives and dreams shattered. We have all lost our trust, faith and sense of security.

Somehow a big corporation was watching this Ponzi Scheme play out under their noses. Bank of Queensland held Sherwin’s company accounts as well as our own accounts as well his investment accounts. They could see huge transactions moving from one place to another at will. We could not see this as we had no idea we even had these accounts opened in our name until AFTER the Ponzi scheme collapsed. We received no statements. We had never logged in to internet banking to see them. Yet Bank of Queensland claims ‘surely you had to know.’

We ran an expensive litigation against the bank to get compensation. We had to settle for a payout as it was too costly and complicated to continue. But the Bank of Queensland will only pay any compensation to 53 victims. The total number who lost their life savings was over 380. Legally they can get away with this due to a ‘statute of limitations’ meaning you can only chase compensation for a period of 6 years. The question is when do you ’lose’ your money. When does the statute of limitations clock start ticking? If you only find out about your loss years after the event due to a cleverly administered fraud and a bank derelict in their duties in looking after your money.

The Judge in our case against the Bank of Queensland, Justice Murphy described the settlement “as a small pool of money and probably the worst settlement in terms of returns to class members that I have seen in my time on the bench. He can see that we are getting screwed, but the law is the law. We know the law has been upheld but there has been no justice in our case. If the Bank of Queensland was truly a ‘good corporate citizen’ then it would behave in a manner that is both legal AND ethical. Not hide behind a legal loophole that it knows is denying compensation to hundreds of innocent Australians.

We are now calling on the Bank of Queensland and its CEO Jon Sutton to do the right thing and reinstate every one of its account holders with the full amount of what they lost. If the bank had done its job properly none of us would be in this position. It’s time for Mr Sutton to right the wrongs of the past and to prove that he’s really willing to make people ‘love their bank’. That’s what the Bank of Queensland’s catchy advertising says. It’s time for them to prove it and grant 380 hard-working retirees the justice that has so far been denied.

We would very much appreciate your support.

Nigel Jeffares (with the Superannuation Crisis Support Group)