The Royal Commission on Banking has stirred Australians to the very core of our being.
It has convinced us that TRUST no longer exists in our nation. Our sense of security is severely diminished, particularly among Senior Australians.
This is understandable as, once upon a time, our local bank manager was a highly respected citizen. He was trusted to give solid advice and not give us loans we had no hope of paying back or credit cards we do not really need.
He was also heavily involved in community life in a high profile way.
Then, he disappeared from public view.
Now, it is almost impossible to find a local bank manager even if we go to a bank. We enter an atmosphere where the message is that they don’t want us there. We must phone a ‘friendly’ relationship manager whom we track down after have pressed about a dozen buttons. We get a different person every time we call and she is only interested in our number, not our name.
It’s very sad that this grand old asset of Australian life has passed away, a killer culture having replaced it.
The Royal Commission has clearly revealed that the hierarchy of Australian banks has gone bad. They have deliberately instated a culture of deceit, charged for services they don’t give and seem to be the sort of guys we would not invite home to dinner.
Having conveyed in my own words the factors about which you are already familiar from watching the evening news, let me pause and affirm that there are some honest bank executives still out there. They just seem to be in the minority and we have to search hard to find them. Let’s hope they can rise to the top when the deadwood has been cleaned out.
So, will some good come from the Royal Commission?
Can we rise above the distrust and disgust that it has now become imbedded in our souls?
Before I answer this question, let us be clear in our minds that the problem of dishonesty can be found far beyond the realm of banking. The rotten core that is at the heart of the banking industry is just the tip of the iceberg. The decay in honesty and integrity is evident throughout the entire business world, but banks have been caught first.
We experience it every day in every corner of the nation.
Just look at a few examples.
Every time we fill our petrol tanks, there are wildly fluctuating prices that cannot be justified.
Our energy bills are in the same category. It simply does not cost that much to produce. It is blatant robbery.
If you have bought a franchisee, the owner of the franchise has the power to screw you to death, force you to employ cheap labour and insist that you must rip off customers.
Those who lease premises in a shopping centre are treated the same – milked to death.
Supermarkets rip off farmers and force them out of business. They have destroyed every small dairy farmer in a disgusting manner.
At the same time, Trade Unions abuse their power mightily. They no longer represent the workers. They are just an elite little club of power brokers who have proved to be untrustworthy.
News media rarely report news accurately. You can never be sure that you are hearing the story correctly.
I could go on with a longer list of grievances, but, if I do, you will decide that I am just a whinger.
Grant me a last line or two as I must talk about politicians.
Our Parliaments were intended to be places that are beacons of respect where Members of Parliament were elected to be pillars of an honest society.
They are not. The political establishment has never been held in lower regard in my lifetime. Voters look at them in disgust, but the pollies are utterly unaware of it. They are in fairy land.
Any young Aussie watching Question Time at Parliament could not be blamed for thinking that he or she is expected and entitled to speak to others in general conversation with the same insulting venom of irresponsible character assassination.
I need say no more. The disgust that we all feel is total.
So, who can we trust?
We used to be able to look to churches, but their status is only marginally above Parliament, especially after the Child Abuse Royal Commission and the court appearances of a Cardinal, an Archbishop and many priests.
Well, our only option is ourselves.
Are we personally trustworthy?
Has any of the above rubbed off on us to the extent that we unconsciously betray TRUST because we have accepted the practice of lying and deceit as being normal human behaviour in modern times.
As someone once said “To thine own self be true”.
Then, once we are true to ourselves, may we work together for THE COMMON GOOD of all humanity.
It is a goal worth chasing as it will rid us of the childishly ancient ideologies and bigotries that foster self interest and remove dignity, decency and integrity from society.
Yours at Large
May I strongly recommend that you go to my website everaldcompton.com and buy my book THE MAN ON THE TWENTY DOLLAR NOTES. It tells the story of the life of John Flynn, a visionary achiever of great things for Australia. He was a decent honest man.
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8 thoughts on “TRUST FADES AWAY”
Everald, ‘banker’ and ‘highly respected citizen’ has now become an oxymoron. Whether it’s a bank or a supermarket, there are more youngsters wearing a ‘manager’ tag and running in ever-increasing circles trying to justify their importance than providing good old-fashioned customer service. There needs to be a major upheaval of the entire finance industry.
Any chance you would be available at 10am on Thursday to talk to Graham about this latest post?
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Never was there a truer word spoken. Well written Everald. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this.
Anonymous post by me.
I’m not a believer in God and when a devout Christian asked me ‘so what do you believe in’, I blurted out ‘if you do good, good will come to you’. I’ve no idea where that came from but it seems to me that if we all behaved like that society would be a much better place.
Terrific summary of the current critical moment in Australian history. Can decent citizens get ourselves organised to remove the corrupt elites from power? We can’t put it off any longer. Most of us have come to loathe the political circus, but unless we organise a citizens’ movement to reclaim the political process from those who have corrupted it, then we are no better than those we allow to run our country. Here is one group making a start: http://www.radicalcentre.org.au
I started my career in the world of professional securities dealing on the ‘Floor’ of the London Stock Exchange in 1959.
I was a ‘Blue Button’ trainee securities dealer in ‘Market Making’.
Conflicts of interest did not exist as Stock Jobbers were the ‘principal dealers’ – taking all the dealing risk and making their ‘turn’ from the ‘spread’ between the buying and selling prices which they quoted to the Stockbrokers.
It was only the Stockbrokers, servicing Financial Institutions and the public, who dealt with the Jobbers.
Stock Jobbers were never permitted to deal directly with the Financial Institutions!
They could only deal with Stockbrokers.
Stockbrokers charged a brokerage commission for their services and Stock Jobbers earned their money by taking the dealing ‘risks’ of either being ‘long’ and/or ‘short’ of the securities they quoted.
The ‘dogs breakfast’ of current markets, which followed the US Wall Street model of having only one financial institution acting as both Stockbroker and Stock Jobber, creates huge ‘conflict of interest’ as clients never know who they are buying from or selling to.
Consider your broker recommending you buy XYZ Security when perhaps his firm wants to ‘unload’ a ‘long’ position which they hold in their own right.
Its a shocker!!
During my 50+ years experience in the ‘markets – Foreign Exchange Interbank included – I am very sad and sorry to say that the former basic ‘ethical’ structures have been dismembered, probably by those who had most to gain.
I will never give up writing about the inequities of the ‘conflicts of interest’ which exist in all financial markets today.
The Banks have many questions to answer in this regard, and it appears that the Royal Commission has started the ball rolling!
when you think of it we do have one benefit we didn’t have 50 years back. bank details of private funds in accounts can be checked quickly by computer. how accurate the totalling calculations are I don’t know
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