Saturday, September 15, 2018

Former British PM Gordon Brown on GFC lessons - "we are sleepwalking into the next crisis"

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown worries that the world has forgotten the lessons from the events leading up to and the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers collapse in September 2008.

With the rise of Donald Trump as US president and the fallout from Brexit, Gordon Brown worries the international cohesion present in the wake of the GFC has been replaced by self interested complacency driven by protectionism.

Here's my analysis from Saturday AM

Friday, September 14, 2018

'Stunned, shocked, incredibly sad and depressed' - cervical cancer patient's insurance claim rejected by TAL Insurance

TAL Insurance executive Loraine van Eeden has conceded the company developed a strategy to avoid paying an income protection claim to a nurse suffering anxiety. 

Ms van Eeden has agreed the strategy to reject the claim was misleading. 

Also the Royal Commission has heard a phone call of a TAL representative informing a cervical cancer patient that her claim was being rejected because prior depression had not been disclosed. 

Here's my report from The World Today on the ABC

CommInsure boss admits to misleading trauma insurance advertising; former labor Treasurer Wayne Swan on ten years since Lehman Brothers collapse triggers GFC

CommInsure managing directior Helen Troup has admitted that advertising materials for trauma insurance were misleading and deceptive. 

The financial services Royal Commission has heard that despite the perception, CommInsure trauma cover only covers certain types of heart attacks. 

Also, on the tenth anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse, former Treasurer Wayne Swan speaks with ABC's Peter Ryan on his fears at the time that the world would plunge into another Great Depression.

Here's my coverage from The World Today

Thursday, September 13, 2018

"It felt like the end of the world" - former Treasurer Wayne Swan on Lehman Brothers collapse and fears of Great Depression rerun

This time ten years ago, the world faced a possible rerun of the Great Depression of the 1930s when the Lehman Brothers investment bank collapsed, triggering the global financial crisis.

Global markets froze, banks were too afraid to lend to each other and central banks slashed interest rates heralding trillions of dollars of economic stimulus.

Australia avoided much of the fallout after Kevin Rudd's labor government guaranteed bank deposits and provided massive economic stimulus.

Wayne Swan was Treasurer at the time and he spoke of his fears ten years ago with the ABC's senior business correspondent Peter Ryan.

Standing at the edge of the abyss: RBA's Guy Debelle ten years after Lehman Brothers collapse

The world was facing a possible rerun of the Great Depression of the 1930s this time ten years ago, when the Lehman Brothers investment bank collapsed, triggering the global financial crisis. 

Global markets froze, banks were too afraid to lend to each other and central banks slashed interest rates heralding trillions of dollars of economic stimulus . 

Reserve Bank deputy governor Guy Debelle tells ABC's Peter Ryan he recalls staring into an abyss of unknowns as the crisis unfolded. 

Listen to Guy Debelle's reflections here

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"Bloody whinger" - Freedom Insurance staffer derides Down Syndrome man trying to cancel policy

The father of a Down Syndrome man trying to cancel an innapropriate policy with Freedom Insurance was described by a staffer as "a bloody whinger".

The financial services Royal Commission heard that while the policy was cancelled, Freedom staff transfered the the man's father Grant Stewart to the insurer's customer retention department.

ABC's Peter Ryan says retaining customers is a key performance indicator for Freedom sales staff.

LISTEN to my report on The World Today

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

ClearView insurance phone sales designed to 'wear them down' Royal Commission hears

ClearView Insurance had a "sell at all costs" culture and used high pressure tactics to sign customers up for policies, the financial service Royal Commission has heard. 

ClearView head of risk management Gregory Martin agreed it was inappropriate for sales staff to use scripts to sign customers up before they changed their minds. 

Mr Martin confirmed Clearview staff were pressured to sell "frenetically" with "random incentive days" where high performing staff were rewarded with gift cards. An email to staff read "let it rain gift cards- we're chasing your premium targets today"

ABC's Peter Ryan says Freedom Insurance has admitted to signing up a Down Syndrome man to accidental injury cover.

Here's my coverage from The World Today

Massive debt looms as major risk ten years after GFC, Canada Pension Plan president Mark Machin warns

Canada Pension Plan president Mark Machin says massive global debt looms as a significant risk ten years after the Lehman Brothers collapse sparked the global financial crisis. 

Mr Machin told the ABC's Peter Ryan that stimulus from central banks provided in the wake of the crash means highly leveraged governments and corporations will eventually need to repay their debt. 

Mr Machin is in Sydney as part of the Canada Pension Plan's $9.2 billion investment in the WestConnex toll road project.

Listen to the interview from this morning's AM

Monday, September 10, 2018

Shady insurance world revealed at Royal Commission as Woolies compensates disability pensioner sold inappropriate policy

Woolworths Insurance has agreed to compensate a disability pensioner who was sold an inappropriate life insurance policy. 

Family member Ben Hodgson says Woolworths will refund premiums and review its sales and resolution processes. 

Here's my report from The World Today

As the financial services Royal Commission, the National Australia Bank announced it would not match an independent rate rise in an effort to rebuild trust with the community. 

Chief executive Andrew Thorburn spoke with ABC's Peter Ryan.

Royal Commission to probe dark side of insurance sector - cold calls, scripts, the hard sell

The financial services Royal Commission resumes this morning to examine shady practices in the life and general insurance sector. 

AM has heard the case of a disability pensioner with the intellectual age of a 13 year old who was sold a life insurance policy by Woolworths Insurance that family members say she did not need and could not afford. 

I spoke to family member Ben Hodgson

ABC's Peter Ryan says Kenneth Hayne's interim report goes to the Governor-General on September 30. 

Woolworths Insurance has examined the complaint and maintains its staff acted appropriately in selling the policy.

Response from Woolworths Insurance 4 September 2018

Top female executive hits back at gender wars in business and politics

Chief Executive Women president Kathryn Fagg has hit back at so-called "gender wars" in business and politics. 

Ms Fagg pointed to the resignation of AMP chairman Catherine Brenner after revelations of "fees for no service" at the financial services Royal Commission. 

ABC's Peter Ryan was at the Chief Executive Women annual dinner in Sydney last night.