Lock ‘Em Up!

Here’s something shocking that I learned about this week.

Apparently there’s been a spate of violent home invasions in which young thugs have been terrorising vulnerable pensioners, and it’s been going on for years.

In fact, one young thug was caught stealing $120 from a little old lady.

And when the cops caught up with him, and questioned him on it, he repeatedly lied and said it wasn’t him.

Yet, when he went up against the magistrate this week, he not only admitted his guilt but admitted he’d lied through his teeth to save his backside.

I’d say this young thug is heading for the slammer.

Okay … so I just made all that up. There was no gang. No young thugs ripping off $120 from pensioners.

But there is a gang … of wealthy, old banking executives on multi-million-dollar salaries who didn’t have to climb through a window — they were greeted at the front door.

And, according to the Banking Royal Commission this week, they didn’t steal $120 — they stole $120 million.

And that’s just Commbank, who the Commission called the ‘gold medallist’ in fee-for-no-service. Hell, they even slugged dead people fees for advice. For 10 years. Seriously, these guys are good!

All up, across the industry, some 306,000 people have been charged a combined $216 million for services they didn’t get.

And in the case of AMP, the Royal Commission found they’d even systematically lied about it to the corporate cops (ASIC).

(Though let me point out that while this has shone a light on what I’ve been saying about AMP for years, their investment bond — which I’ve previously said I’ve liked — is still a decent product.)

Yet let’s be clear — there will be no jail time.

Instead, the bosses will apologise — via their underlings, who they’ll send off to be shot on the Royal Commission’s frontlines — and they’ll quietly retire on their multi-million-dollar bonuses.

But here’s the rub: at its core, the banking and finance industry is based on trust. You need to trust that the company you’re dealing with won’t rip you off, and that they’ll have your best interests at heart.

What we’ve seen at the Royal Commission suggests we can’t trust them. And that’s backed up by ASIC, which recently found that in the case of bank employed advisors, in 75% of cases the adviser didn’t act in the client’s best interests.

Can you imagine our young thug appearing before the judge: “Look, Your Honour, I’ve made mistakes. I’ve robbed hundreds of thousands of defenceless pensioners for years. So it’s clear what I really need to do is … address my internal processes.”

Yeah, nah. I’m with ScoMo on this one. Lock ’em up.

Tread Your Own Path!