Archive for January, 2012 | Monthly archive page

Ian Narev thinks ‘yes’ means ‘no’

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Report : Tom Tucker

Friday, 27th January 2012

Content : Senator John Williams, PJC hearing, Matthew Comyn CBA, CGI policies and procedures

Extract ' 4 Sept 09 ' CFS 66 & 67. On the 4th Sept 2009 Senator John Williams asked the CBA a very simple question, was the data CBA provided to Storm kept “up to date during that critical period?” Ian Narev the now CEO of CBA, falsely answered, “We know that substantially all of them were.”

On the 4th Sept 2009 Ian Narev and Matthew Comyn from the CBA gave evidence under oath to the Parliamentary Inquiry. This evidence attempted to put a spin on the facts implying that once again CBA's conduct was proper whilst Storm failed in its duties. The main thrust of the CBA's evidence in the below extracts was that:

1) The CBA sent to Storm 3 files of client data per day.

2) The purpose of CBA sending the data files was to keep Storm updated.

3) The process of sending data files from CBA to Storm was automated.

4) These client data files were substantially accurate.

These claims by the CBA are illustrated in the following extracts from Parliamentary Joint Committee Hearing on Corporations & Financial Services ' Fri 4 Sept 09 ' CFS 66 & 67

1) The CBA sent to Storm 3 files of client data per day.

It appears that the CBA did in fact send to Storm  3 files a day' of client data and it is this fact that CBA has been trumpeting in its claim that it did the right thing. In its usual way of presenting only the part of the facts that suited it, the CBA very conveniently omitted to mention that the integrity of the data was profoundly corrupt. This could only have led the Parliamentary Committee to a false conclusion.

2) The purpose of CBA sending the data files was to keep Storm updated.

It is unreasonable to expect a client to contact all the relevant fund managers to obtain unit prices and unit balances for their many accounts, gather direct stock information from their broker along with contacting the margin lender to get a loan balance each day for the purposes of accurately obtaining a picture of their overall portfolio. Similarly it would be even more unreasonable to expect Storm to go through this same absurd process every day for its 14,000 clients when CGI / CBA already had all the data consolidated at their end. Storm and clients should not be expected to re-invent the wheel given the amount of work already done by CGI. Sending Storm  3 files a day' and posting the same data on CGI's website was a far more efficient manner in which to pass on client data for the purpose of the day to day management of a clients' asset base.

CBA has twisted this need of a consolidated view for asset management purposes into implying that the purpose of keeping Storm updated was to enable Storm to make margin calls (which it can not legally do). The Plain Truth can verify from both CBA and Storm sources that there was never an arrangement between Storm and the margin lender that Storm was required to use this data to make margin calls. In fact if such an  agreement' did exist between CBA and Storm then The Plain Truth is quite certain that CBA would have had no hesitation in producing it to remove the lack of credibility in CBA's assertion.

3) The process of sending data files from CBA to Storm was automated.

Once again CBA shoots itself in the foot. By admitting that its processes were automated the CBA has exposed itself to the most crucial question of all… Why was the CBA Empire system responsible for automatically issuing margin call notices switched off by the CBA for all Storm clients?' The Plain Truth has been unable to ascertain why the CBA switched off its margin call notice system for Storm clients but can verify that the system was switched off and this act was responsible for most of the damage suffered by Storm clients and Storm itself.

4) These client data files were substantially accurate.

The Plain Truth can verify that it has tested a statistically significant number of CBA's  Storm data feeds' and expertly compared these data feeds with the actual data over the same periods. The following important discoveries were made:

a) For the period Dec 07 to Dec 08 which included 247 trading days, on average only on 94 of those days did the CBA data reflect any changes. These changes were inclusive of unit price changes and unit transaction updates resulting from redemptions, applications, rebates and dividends. Put more simply…the CBA only updated their data 38% of the time in the period measured. Although the CBA allegedly sent the  3 files a day' to Storm, CBA clearly only refreshed its data when it felt like it. This was also reflected in the CGI website where the data stayed unchanged for 62% of the time on average.

b) Furthermore, even when the CBA data was eventually refreshed and updated files sent to Storm and posted to the CGI website, the data was still incorrect. Accordingly Storm clients fate became inevitable.

Clearly CBA's data to Storm and clients was only updated some of the time and was wrong all of the time. Messers Narev and Comyn please be warned that The Plain Truth will pursue and expose your lies and half-truths until you admit the COMPLETE TRUTH.

The Plain Truth asks its readers to send in any evidence about lies from any of the banks, particularly CBA. You can forward evidence to The Plain Truth through our  contact us' tab. Thank you.

More importantly please, please help spread the word.

The Editor
The Plain Truth,
PO Box 2783
New Farm QLD 4005

Content : Senator John Williams, PJC hearing, Matthew Comyn CBA, CGI policies and procedures

Carey Ramm’s it to Storm

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Report : Jimmy Olsen

Content : Carey Ramm, AEC Group contact, Dalle Cort Financial

Monday, 16th January 2012

The Plain Truth has uncovered statements (click here for statement re Carey Ramm) which point to very serious and potentially criminal invoicing irregularities from Carey Ramm's AEC Group to ozdaq (Storm Financial). These allegations are yet to be brought to the attention of the fraud squad for criminal investigation.

Four related persons of interest emerged very early in our investigation into the CBA / Storm saga. They are:

Tony Raggatt ' Reporter of the Townsville Bulletin and closely associated with Isi Dalle Cort and Carey Ramm.

Bernie Ripoll – the Chairman of Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.

Isi Dalle Cort – Financial Advisor, Founder and CEO of Dalle Cort Financial Services an authorised representative of MLC Financial Planning, competitor of Storm. Isi Dalle Cort uses the same business model as Storm.

Carey Ramm ' Chairman of the AEC Group, close associate of Bernie Ripoll, close friend and business associate of Isi Dalle Cort.

Carey Ramm is the epicentre of these four persons of interest and will briefly be dealt with in this report whilst the remaining three will be reported on in future articles.

Whilst the CBA provided the muscle to sink Storm physically and the lies to destroy many exemplary reputations, it was others who used the CBA's ammunition for their own agenda. It became clear early in the piece that Tony Raggatt flanked by Carey Ramm and Isi Dalle Cort led the charge against Storm with Bernie Ripoll coming up the rear to drive home the final spike.

The toxicity and savagery of the attacks remained a mystery for a period. The Plain Truth could not understand the reason why the attacks were so vicious given that not one of the persons of interest had skin in the game or had been adversely affected by Storm's destruction. The extent of the vicious reaction displayed by these four protagonists far exceeded even that of the most negatively opinionated Storm client ' who at least may have had an excuse.

Carey Ramm's outward display of outrage, ostensibly on behalf of those affected, was insufficient to explain the intensity of his attacks on Storm. His desire, bordering on hatred, to orchestrate retribution against Strom and Emmanuel Cassimatis in particular was even more disproportionate. Ramm has been described as  ruthless' by some of his former clients and business associates and  cold and calculating' by another. All wish to remain nameless out of fear with one stating “I know what this guy is capable of”.

Ramm's extreme reaction against Storm and Emmanuel Cassimatis had remained a mystery until The Plain Truth uncovered the reasons behind his bitterness.

In 2000 Storm Financial (then know as ozdaq securities) tasked Carey Ramm from the AEC Group to among other things develop and commission ozdaq's website, corporate profile and marketing strategy.  Emmanuel Cassimatis requested that ozdaq have a unique identity and ownership of the intellectual material. As it turned out Carey Ramm's firm did the work for ozdaq then proceeded to copy ozdaq's work almost duplicating their website for the benefit of his friend Isi Dalle Cort (an ozdaq competitor). This was the final straw that contravened the agreement that ozdaq (Storm Financial) had with Carey Ramm's, AEC Group. Once Cassimatis had uncovered Ramm's duplicity and complete void of ethics, he sacked Ramm on the spot marching him out of the Storm office. According to Cassimatis this left a bitter taste with Ramm who is reported to have said, “You [Cassimatis] should have stuck with me, I could have made you Mr Big in this town'.

Ramm's desire for revenge at the time became evident soon after. He lobbied against ozdaq / Storm at every opportunity culminating with Ramm coordinating Tony Raggatt and Isi Dalle Cort in attacks against Storm from Dec 08. Such was Ramm's cunning that it is alleged he used the fallout from CBA's action against Storm and their clients for personal gain by directing many of the embattled casualties towards his business associate Isis Dalle Cort.

Far more sinister than Ramm's desire for revenge against Cassimatis are serious and credible signed statements The Plain Truth has obtained from people who were within the AEC Group at the time. It has been alleged by former AEC employee's that Mr Ramm routinely  padded' invoices to his clients to the tune of thousands of dollars and made exaggerated success claims to clients and potential clients. These statements point to potentially criminal invoicing irregularities from AEC to ozdaq (Storm Financial). These allegation are yet to be brought to the attention of the fraud squad for criminal investigation. Carey Ramm could not be contacted for comment.

Carey Ramm contact details
AEC Group ' Townsville ' 07 4771 5550
carey@aecgroupltd.com

The Plain Truth asks former Storm clients and aggrieved parties associated with AEC Group or Carey Ramm to send in any damning information. This evidence can forwarded to The Plain Truth through our  contact us' tab. Thank you.

More importantly please, please help spread the word.

The Editor
The Plain Truth,
PO Box 2783
New Farm QLD 4005

Content : Carey Ramm, AEC Group contact, Dalle Cort Financial

Documents

2001.12.31 d statement re Carey Ramm ethics

Was Storm gagged by ASIC: A reality, not a myth

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Report : Tricia Takanawa / Jimmy Olsen

Content : ASIC gagging, ASIC Hugh Copley, Storm clients, CGI margin call, ASIC Tony D’Aloisio statements, SICAG article

Sunday, 8th January 2012

The Commonwealth Bank needed ASIC to gag Storm. In the week leading up to the 12th Dec 08 the CBA duped ASIC with an unreal allegation which ASIC accepted.  Having predetermined that ASIC would support the CBA and condemn Storm, it was necessary that ASIC not investigate the validity of the allegation because the culpability would point to the CBA rather than Storm.

ASIC's justification for the Gagging of Storm

There has been an enormous amount of comment and interest surrounding the gagging of Storm. There have been claims, counter-claims and strong denials by ASIC including very specific lies by Mr D'Aloisio to the Senate estimates committee. When I commenced investigating the gagging story my mind was limited to the events of Dec 08 when ASIC prevented Storm from communicating with their clients. It did not take long to discover that the cone of silence required by the CBA was so extensive that the gagging events of Dec 08 were only the tip of the iceberg. It quickly emerged very early in my investigations that the relevant topic of inquiry was about the gagging of the truth and information and not just about the gagging of Storm. The gagging of Storm was only a small part of CBA's need to subvert the truth.

A successful campaign of deception has 2 requirements. The first is the story that makes up the deception itself. In this case the story that the CBA wished to put out, needed a particular spin on events of late 2008. The second requirement is that the actual truth be suppressed otherwise it will get in the way of deception and spin. As most of us already know nothing interferes with a good yarn like the truth.

It's now time to begin with the facts…

The Plain Truth has already written in past articles about the various CBA data errors that occurred throughout 2008. These data errors led to the cataclysmic failure of the CBA to issue margin call notices at a critical time when equity markets were rapidly in decline. The bank's failure to issue margin call notices resulted in the bank commencing a campaign of disinformation by issuing false and misleading letters to Storm clients on the 8th, 9th and 17th Dec 2008.

Following its previous attacks and unauthorised sell-downs in late Nov 08 and 4th Dec 08, the CBA then began on the 8th Dec 08 a carefully choreographed, scripted and brutal approach to recover funds from devastated Storm clients whilst laying off blame for the catastrophe onto Storm. These 8 Dec 08 CBA phone call scripts were carefully timed to be reinforced by the misleading statements in CBA's letters (8th Dec 08, 9th Dec 08 & 17th Dec 08) which also commenced on 8 Dec 08.

Storm armed with their own client reconciliations and knowing that the banks calculations were profoundly wrong asked its clients to request a CBA reconciliation to confirm the banks demands and any amounts claimed to be still outstanding and owing to the CBA. The Plain Truth has found upon analysis that in many cases the CBA owed the Storm clients a refund and not the other way around as the CBA claimed. By 9 Dec 08 clients portfolios were completely in disarray and many were seeking guidance from Storm on how to react to CBA demands. Below is an email (one of many) from Storm to one of its clients proposing a possible course of action to assist them.

Sometime in the days before the 12th Dec 08 the CBA approached ASIC for their cooperation to help gag Storm because advisors were informing clients about the true scope of CBA's wrongdoings and CBA wanted a clear run to collect as much money from client accounts as they could. To that end CBA crafted a story which ASIC accepted that Storm was at fault and that…

“Storm provided financial product advice to geared clients in margin call, that they request from the margin lender a 14 day period to consider their position. In doing so Storm may have mislead clients by failing to advise them of the consequences of such action.” Extract from enforceable undertaking demanded by ASIC from Storm

This contact between CBA and ASIC led to an investigation being commenced by ASIC into Storm Ltd on the 12th Dec 08 and the above extract from ASIC's proposed Enforceable Undertaking (EU) demanded from Storm identifies the main excuse that ASIC used to gag Storm and its advisors in late 2008. The  consequence' referred to in the above extract is that if clients where to take an additional 14 days, then they could possibly be up for a little bit more accumulated interest on their margin loan. This  accumulating interest' red herring was the justification that ASIC used to prevent Storm clients from getting a proper reconciliation, never mind the huge errors in CBA's figures. This also was the spin that CBA pushed onto ASIC and that ASIC needed to hear in order to gag Storm. The fact that almost all Storm clients had fixed and prepaid their margin loan interest in June 08 was conveniently overlooked. The irony was, that ASIC having nothing of substance against Storm and all culpability pointing toward the CBA ultimately had to go outside its own jurisdiction to fabricate an excuse. ASIC had no jurisdiction over margin lending. Perversely The Plain Truth has been told by many former Storm clients that when they complained to ASIC about the bank, ASIC told them that it had no jurisdiction over the bank or banking products (which includes margin lending).

“Margin lending facilities are not regulated as a financial product, or subject to Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) supervision relating to financial services. This is because the term ‘financial product’ in the relevant legislation does not cover credit products (such as margin loans) as a result of the current referral agreement with the States and Territories. Further, State and Territory legislation governing consumer credit (the Uniform Consumer Credit Code) excludes investment loans such as margin lending.[6]” ' Treasury, Supplementary Submission 56, p 2.

To have considered these facts would have rendered ASIC's justification for its gagging of Storm impotent.

Whilst ASIC has always denied that they were prompted by CBA to investigate Storm or that there was any discussion between ASIC and the CBA about Storm in the 2 weeks prior to the 12th Dec 08 it is now clear that there was extensive collusion between CBA and ASIC during this period. This was confirmed in conversations held on the 15th April 2009 and then again on the 27th April 2009 between a member of the SICAG committee and Debra Koromilas formerly of ASIC. Debra confirmed that ASIC did in fact gag Storm AND that the gagging was a consequence of information bought to them by the Commonwealth Bank. That Storm was gagged continued to be denied by Mr Tony D'Aloisio in evidence to the Senate estimates committee on the 4th June 2009 some than 2 months after the truth was revealed. An absolute and direct lie.

The Plain Truth has found no evidence to support ASIC's allegation that Storm told clients to not deal with the banks. Equally The Plain Truth has found no evidence to suggest that Storm could sue the CBA on their clients' behalf. If a suggestion the bank be sued was in fact made then it stands to reason that any such suggestion would involve a client suing the bank to recover losses caused by the bank…and of course what would have been wrong with that. Storm did attempt to take a supporting action (i.e. to sue the CBA for misleading and deceptive conduct) with the federal court finding the CBA had a case to answer.

If evidence did exist supporting ASIC's concern then it would stand to reason that ASIC would have been more than willing to provide this evidence during the various meetings with The Plain Truth, Storm, or during any parliamentary hearings. Alternatively CBA would have made sure such damning evidence against Storm would have found its way to the press.

Once again all evidence is to the contrary. The Plain Truth analysis and expert advice was unable to materially fault the Storm advice to its clients in Dec 08 and was unable to see what was unreasonable with this advice as ASIC alleged. The attached email advice dated 17 Dec 08 was disseminated by Storm to its clients. The Plain Truth asks: Do you think the advice is unreasonable?

It is also quite clear from the ASIC email dated 9 June 09 that ASIC's intentions were to place Storm in the worst possible light. Not only was Storm offering reasonable and sound advice to its clients at the time but we can only infer that ASIC's position was driven by its desire to shield CBA's unethical and illegal behaviour.

Coming article – The Plain Truth includes ASIC emails and documentation showing how ASIC actualised the gagging Storm in late Dec 2008

In light of ASIC's ongoing denial that they were instrumental in gagging Storm it is important that as many former Storm clients and interested parties as possible, contact ASIC and ask the question:

“Did CBA approach ASIC prior to the 12th Dec 08 with information on Storm?”

“Was ASIC instrumental (in any way whatsoever) in preventing Storm advisors in engaging with Storm clients in Dec 2008?”

“Would you please tell us how many complaints ASIC received about the CBA from Storm clients and how many complaints did ASIC receive about Storm from Storm clients in the period from 1 Dec 08 to 1 July 09.”

If ASIC refuses to answer or gives waffle, then you know they are being deceptive. There is no legal reason why they can't give you an answer and don't fall for the old,  there is still an investigation in progress' spiel.

For those of you interested in holding ASIC to account here are the contacts and please, please make sure you keep a record of the time and date of any conversation, who you spoke to and the details of your discussion. The best way to do this is to get yourself a little digital recorder, put your phone on speaker and hit the record button otherwise keep a written record. Please forward to The Plain Truth through our contact us tab the details of your conversations. Thank you.

Phone: 1300 300 630

Email: feedback@asic.gov.au

ASIC
PO Box 4000
Gippsland Mail Centre VIC 3841

Content : ASIC gagging, ASIC Hugh Copley, Storm clients, CGI margin call, ASIC Tony D’Aloisio statements, SICAG article

Documents

2008.12.08 d CML letter to client re negative equity
2008.12.09 d CML letter to client re Storm instructions to sell
2008.12.17 d CML letter to client re Storm
2008.12.17 e Storm email to client re addressing CML demands

2009.04.30 e SICAG email confirming ASIC gagging
2009.05 e SICAG article confirming gagging of Storm
2009.06.09 e ASIC email denial of Storm gagging

Regulator leaves its back-door open for CBA receivers

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Report : Tricia Takanawa

Content : ASIC mistakes, KordaMentha, Commonwealth Bank lies, Irma Dulnunan, Storm financial documents

Wednesday, 4th January 2012

In a skirmish in early 2009 the CBA receivers and managers KordaMentha successfully end up with Storm's database after the regulator forced the Cassimatis' with threats of imprisonment to hand it over.

If you thought that ASIC has not been in cahoots with the CBA all along to the detriment of Storm clients, then think again! In late 2008 and early 2009 the CBA acted swiftly, brutally and with overwhelming force to put down the rebellious Storm and its clients. Unfortunately for the CBA at the time and to this day it underestimated Storm and Storm client resistance. By the end of the first quarter 2009 it had become clear to the CBA that it had an ongoing battle on its hands with many hundreds of former Storm clients who were determined to not sit idly by. As with all battles, collecting sufficient and accurate intelligence plays a major part in the outcome of any battle.

To this end the CBA's receivers and managers had in their possession copies of records contained on the Storm database. These records contained all of Storm's corporate information and client information such as: copies of statements of advice, client cashflows and clients scanned data.

There was an additional Storm database stored on a software platform called Phormula. This database managed Storms internal communications and also stored Storm client file notes. Phormula was licenced from a related party company called Ignite Financial Systems and Research P/L of which Emmanuel and Julie Cassimatis were directors. When Storm went into external administration on 9 Jan 09 the Phormula licence to Storm lapsed. This meant that eventually CBA's receivers and managers KordaMentha would not have access on behalf of CBA to Storm client file notes. Accordingly it became necessary and highly desirable for CBA's receivers and manager, KordaMentha, to try and obtain this client intelligence, however the problem was that neither the CBA nor KordaMentha had any legal right to demand the Phormula database from ignite. What to do…!

In March 09 after Ignite refused to provide the Phormula software, ASIC commenced legal proceedings against Ignite to rectify this and procure the Phormula database among many other documents. ASIC claimed that it required the Phormula database as  part of its ongoing investigation into Storm matters'.  The irony is that the CBAs receivers and managers KordaMentha and ASIC already had access to all of Storms records in any case. It appears that one of the reasons the additional copies of the databases were needed was to see (post Storm closure in 2009) which client and Storm files the Cassimatis' were directly accessing from their copy of the database, if at all. This digital footprint intelligence would then give those opposing Storm client actions the ammunition required to repel any potential legal threats. Forewarned is forearmed as they say.

27 May 09 ' ASIC demands all Storm related records including all client records in the possession of Mr Cassimatis by issuing a notice under s33 of the ASIC Act 2001 and taking the Cassimatis' to court. Among other things ASIC threatened the Cassimatis' with prison if they did not hand over the records.

21 Jul 09 ' Storm client records stored on a hard drive that were demanded by ASIC on the 27 May 09 are produced to ASIC by the Cassimatis'. The hard drive was collected by ASIC lawyer Irma Dulnuan on the understanding and agreement by ASIC that the hard drive would be returned to the Cassimatis' in a timely manner. It is worth noting at this point that s127 of the ASIC Act 2001 (Cth), subject to limited exceptions set out therein, obliges ASIC to maintain the confidentiality attaching to any information provided to ASIC in compliance with a legitimate notice issued by ASIC.

Clear and undisputable EVIDENCE emerges that ASIC has been obtaining client records from Mr Cassimatis and passing them on to CBA's receivers, KordaMentha.

27 Jul 09 ' ASIC gives the game away due to either their ineptness, laziness or cocky-ness when the hard drive that ASIC demanded from the Cassimatis' is returned by Failsafe couriers. The consignment notice shows that the sender (the party returning the hard drive) is not ASIC as one would expect, but surprise surprise, the receivers and managers acting on behalf of CBA, KordaMentha, with a contact name of Denny Husen.

In a sinister twist only discovered after the event and not noticed or advised on the day, it turns out that on 21 July 09 when ASIC lawyer Irma Dulnuan actually collected the hard drive she was accompanied by a representative of CBA's receivers. When ASIC was later cornered and queried about the hard drive going to CBA receivers, ASIC offered the excuse that they used CBA receivers, KordaMentha, as their  outsourced forensic IT consultants'. How lame is this, of all IT consulting firms in Australia, ASIC just happened by pure coincidence to choose the CBAs receivers. Clearly ASIC needs to be reminded of s127 of the ASIC Act pertaining to confidentiality….although if one is a law unto oneself then it really doesn't matter how one conducts themselves, does it?

All the way along for the last 3 years if CBA wanted something it used any means at its disposal to get it just as the CBA used ASIC to gag Storm and close down the DOCA ensuring that Storm went into liquidation preventing any further action by Storm against CBA. But the gagging and the DOCA are whole other stories which are on their way.

We ask that information provided to The Plain Truth must be evidence and factual in nature. The Plain Truth is NOT INTERESTED IN OPINIONS. Unfortunately to date there have been too many ill-informed opinions flying around getting in the way of the truth and diluting the efforts of the people  actually' trying to make a difference. We need you to volunteer.

You can either contact us directly through the  contact us' tab on our website or via our postal address

The Editor
The Plain Truth,
PO Box 2783
New Farm QLD 4005

Content : ASIC mistakes, KordaMentha, Commonwealth Bank lies, Irma Dulnunan, Storm financial documents

Storm clients – not all in wheelchairs

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Report : Ted Baxter

Content : Storm clients, Storm targets retirees, Bernie Ripoll lies, FPA conference, baby boomer clients

Tuesday, 3rd January 2012

The good thing about a myth is that it is just that, a myth. Myths can be easily  confirmed' or  busted' simply by looking at the truth. The Plain Truth has conducted an extensive analysis of the age brackets of the Storm clients and illustrated the information in a graph which shows their age distribution.

There are more myths circulating about Storm than there are truths. Most such myths The Plain Truth has been able to source back to the CBA. Obviously it's in CBA's interest to create and perpetuate Storm myths in order to cover its own position. The CBA has used a number of techniques to promote myths about Storm, some of which include direct lies or better still half-truths. Other techniques involve the CBA remaining silent in the face of a convenient untruth circulating about Storm and at other times the CBA simply suggests a possibility and then encourages that possibility to grow into an apparent reality.

One particular myth which commenced in late 2008 involves the age group of the clients in the Storm customer base. The Plain Truth has been able to trace this myth back to its possible source, Edward Tait formerly of the Commonwealth Bank. The Plain Truth extensively surveyed the market place and numerous former Storm clients and has concluded that most of those surveyed believe that the Storm client base was overwhelmingly the elderly and frail. One example of the subtle propagation of this concept can be seen in a statement by Bernie Ripoll at a recent FPA conference. Ripoll said, “if, for example, a 73-year-old widow was sold a Storm-product with a 20 year horizon and a very highly leveraged model, then this was the wrong advice ' not necessarily the wrong product”. Setting up an extreme example that would clearly be wrong advice if given and then linking it to Storm is not only deceptive but also misleading. Ripolls words clearly betray his thoughts even in his cunningly contrived extreme example. “Not necessarily the wrong product” is Ripoll code for – the product was OK thus supporting that CBA did nothing wrong. Whilst the phrases and words, '73 year old',  widow',  20 year time horizon',  highly leveraged' and  was wrong advice' were crafted to portray Storm as the villain. Ripoll has been a constant apologist for Norris and the CBA and a vilifier of Storm to the detriment of CBAs victims.

This age myth induced by the CBA and believed by many Storm clients, was a necessary prerequisite in creating the impression that Storms advice was inappropriate. The disaster which CBA created could only be explained in 1 of 2 ways – either a failure of the advice for which Storm was responsible OR a failure of the product for which CBA was responsible. It can never be in CBA's interest to admit a product failure therefore it must encourage among many other things the  age myth' of the Storm client base.

The good thing about a myth is that it is just that, a myth. Myths can be easily  confirmed' or  busted' simply by looking at the truth. The Plain Truth has conducted an extensive analysis of the age brackets of the Storm clients and illustrated the information in the following graph which shows the age distribution of Storms client base.

The percentage of Storm clients over 69 years of age totalled just 6.2%. What these figures don't show which is even more significant is that on average 67% of all clients over 69 years of age had been Storm clients for 10+ years. In a surprising number of instances many had been clients for 20-40 years. This means many aged whilst being clients of Storm but in any case the data speaks for itself.

Myth : The Storm client base was mainly the elderly and vulnerable

The Plain Truth has been inundated from Storm clients with the question: What can we do to help? The following 2 actions each and every one of you should do.

1) Pass on the information on this website to as many people as possible.

– Family

– Friends
– Neighbours
– Your Professionals (e.g. dentist, doctor, accountant, financial planner, bank manager and bank staff)
– Politicians (local, state and federal)
– Anybody you can…

2) Contact Senator John Williams who is one of the good guys and direct him to the truth with the aim of reopening
the Parliamentary Inquiry. John can be contacted via email at senator.williams@aph.gov.au or 02 6721 4500 or 0427 029 918.

The Editor

The Plain Truth,
PO Box 2783
New Farm QLD 4005

Content : Storm clients, Storm targets retirees, Bernie Ripoll lies, FPA conference, baby boomer clients