Australian Citizens Party Citizens Taking Responsibility



ACP powering the fight against financial corruption

The Australian Alert Service is the weekly publication of the Australian Citizens Party.

It will keep you updated on strategic events both in Australia, and worldwide, as well as the organising activities of the Citizens Party.

To subscribe to the Australian Alert Service, it's easy, and it's secure.

Click for subscription options to the Australian Alert Service

Lead Editorial

9 August 2023
Vol. 25 No. 32

Andrew Bragg
ASIC inquiry chair Senator Andrew Bragg telling Sky News ASIC should enforce the law and white collar criminals should go to jail. Photo: Screenshot

The Australian Citizens Party visited Canberra for the current session of Parliament, to steel the politicians’ resolve to take on the banks and financial corruption. The meetings showed many individual MPs and Senators genuinely want to represent their constituents on these issues, but feel powerless. However, when they engage with the ACP’s campaign, they get ideas and become quite animated and enthusiastic, which underscores the importance of citizens constantly engaging with their elected representatives.

The ACP met a number of MPs on the importance of National Australia Bank effectively admitting they’ve been lying about their reason for closing bank branches—supposedly declining branch visits—because they don’t measure the many visits that don’t involve deposits or withdrawals. What emerged from the discussions was clarity for the MPs that not only are the banks dishonest, they are incompetent!

The opening response from the first MP the ACP met was, “These are commercial decisions by the banks.” By the end of the meeting, however, and every other meeting, he and the other politicians could see that the bank decisions are commercially nonsensical. The Big Four banks are aggressively pursuing an agenda that is intended to maximise profits in the short term—NAB’s 34 regional branch closures so far this year saves it at least $34 million per year— at the expense of their customer relations, which will have terrible consequences for the bank long term. Examples include Westpac executives closing its Cloncurry and Moree branches, unbeknownst to other Westpac executives who serve the immensely profitable business customers of those branches. In the case of Moree, the Westpac branch included a dedicated agricultural service bank upstairs, but when the locals queried Westpac on whether their announced branch closure included the agricultural bank, the response from the Westpac executives who closed the branch was, “What agricultural bank?”

From the meetings, one MP decided to hold a demonstration outside of the NAB branches in his electorate, using the information that NAB is lying about its reasons for closing those branches. Another MP, extremely concerned about her community, gave the ACP very useful tips on how to focus the campaign in such a way as to force the current Albanese government to have to respond. To varying degrees, the politicians who met with the ACP are starting to understand the importance of the national Post Office People’s Bank solution, especially to break the monopoly of the Big Four whose dishonesty and short-sighted commercial incompetence is driving Australia into the ground—we need a people’s bank to serve, and invest in, the real economy.

The ACP’s visit coincided with parliamentary fireworks over the discredited regulator ASIC, which sent representatives to speak to politicians to rubbish both Senator Bragg’s ASIC inquiry and independent economist John Adams, whose report into ASIC’s pathetic record of investigating complaints triggered the inquiry. The ACP helped turn attention to ASIC by campaigning for the victims of Sterling First in 2021-22, and has helped power the current inquiry. Unexpectedly, Senator Bragg, despite being a Liberal and from the finance sector, has grown tougher as ASIC has obstructed his inquiry. In a 7 August article in The Australian, “Secretive ASIC must be held accountable”, Bragg accused ASIC of obstruction, and the Labor government of protecting ASIC.

“New laws to stop PwC-style events will be completely useless unless Labor takes corporate law enforcement seriously”, Bragg wrote. He highlighted cases where the Senate committee sought documents from ASIC to show how it conducts investigations, but ASIC refused to hand them over, and the government defended ASIC. In an 8 August interview on Sky News, Bragg went for the jugular regarding ASIC’s protection of financial corruption: “What you don’t see in Australia is white collar criminals behind bars.”

The last word goes to Senator Gerard Rennick who was even more threatening against corrupt financial elites, saying last week: “I’m going to be pushing for an old-fashioned public bank.”

In this issue:

  • Communities losing post offices and bank branches—there’s an obvious solution to stop the rot, but is Labor brave enough? 
  • Parliament fires up for Assange
  • For peace, US grip on Australia must be broken
  • Combined Intelligence Centre will destroy sovereignty
  • ASPI central in global censorship network
  • ASPI’s funding reveals role as foreign influence conduit
  • Kennedy: Defusing war requires standing in the shoes of your ‘enemy’
  • 2024 US elections: what to watch for
  • People’s rage and frustration is on the rise!
  • John Desmond Scott (8 October 1942–18 July 2023)
  • For the record: Russia’s reaction to NATO predicted in 1998
  • ALMANAC: What every Australian patriot should know (Part One)

Click here to find out how to subscribe. For freely available AAS articles, click here.

Click here for the archive of previous issues of the Australian Alert Service

Banking / Finance
Page last updated on 09 August 2023