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What does Westpac want to hide?

Written By: - Date published: 5:59 pm, July 23rd, 2014 - 12 comments
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The Silveroaks v Westpac test case on mis-selling of interest rate swaps in 2008 is going under cover after a judge last week granted Wespac’s request to “prevent public access to the court file, attendance at hearings and any reporting of interlocutory decisions.” (DomPost story not yet on-line). A senior legal source said that the blackout was unusual but part of “a trend where parties sought to move away from open justice.”

One can imagine why Westpac doesn’t want any public discussion of the case – banks in England have already paid out L600million and are said to be possibly liable for billions.

12 comments on “What does Westpac want to hide?”

  1. vto 1

    a justice system completely open to the public is an outright base foundation stone of our system.

    what is the court’s reasoning for such a gigantic step outside our centuries-old principles?

    • riffer 1.1

      What is the court’s reasoning? Most likely arse-covering. Or maintenance of the status quo.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Yep, justice needs to not just done but be seen to be done. This is taking us back to the times of unaccountable aristocrats and arbitrary in/justice.

      • Tom Gould 1.2.1

        It’s the decision of the Court that matters, surely? To suggest that the outcome is compromised by restricting media and other prurient access to the proceedings is just plain dumb, in my view. These cases are extremely complex and ‘justice being seen to be done’ as relayed by lay-reporters and vested interests is unhelpful to the course of justice.

        • greywarbler 1.2.1.1

          @ TomGould
          Don’t we all have a vested interest – in justice – in having bankers under reasonable control. This is a test case, making new law almost if it is going to set a precedent. The law as it is being made needs to be scrutinised – the pollies have brought in swingeing changes already and even if we can’t stop it we need to watch the circus and note clowning, acrobatic and juggling techniques for possible reversal later on.

        • Murray Olsen 1.2.1.2

          There are plenty of people in the country that would have the ability to understand the case. Now they won’t get a chance. You may think that is helpful to the course of justice, but I don’t see how. These banks are absolute parasites and have contempt for any laws. They need to be exposed, and an open court case would be a huge help.

  2. greywarbler 2

    Derivatives? Hedging? Now interest rate swopping? What do most people know about them. Before you can learn about them you have to have information. How can people get this if the Court is going to allow this type of Deep Blanket?

    We need responsible worthy judiciary to keep on top of the criminality that strips countries of assets. We only know about home invaders ripping off individual citizens and finance companies pretending to have viable projects and borrowing on the basis of lies about their stability and results.

    And protecting the public against scams. Our pollies have been begged for decades to bring in a top interest rate, to make it illegal to quote interest payments n a daily basis so the real cost to the borrower doesn’t register, to prevent fast johnnies from getting people to use their house as a collateral on borrowings for household equipment. This ‘instrument’ ripping off is the same thing on a more complex level, but still presenting something with big ramifications as a simple glossy financial transaction fair to both parties.

    Totally honest people or those whose dishonesty is small and everyday, don’t understand the way that big finance works, and to what lengths and convolutions financiers will go to manipulate the system in their favour. Lambs to the slaughter we are. Red riding hoods not recognising the wolves amongst us.

    In Italy brave judiciary have stood up to the mafia and been shot. Have we got too many pussies here who like the position, the outfit, the salary, the pension but can’t bring themselves to think beyond dealing with those on the mean streets.

  3. greywarbler 3

    By the way I can’t access the link for Silveroaks v Westpac – message is Firefox says server not found.

    And also, in the links to newspapers at the end of the item, the term PPI is used. On par with the way that we don’t find it easy to understand the financial situation is the use of jargon terms by the in-group.
    So PPI is – Payment protection insurance – Wikipedia, the free …en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payment_protection_insurance
    Payment protection insurance (PPI), also known as credit insurance, credit … After this point the borrower must find other means to repay the debt, though the …

  4. Phil 4

    Derivatives? Hedging? Now interest rate swopping?

    FYI: Interest rate swaps are one of many forms of derivative products. Derivative’s are used, as described in this case, as a form of hedging.

    These terms describe broader definitions of the same ‘thing’. This isn’t three separate cases being leveled against Westpac.

  5. greywarbler 5

    Thank you phil. I don’t think everyone knows that. Perhaps you can explain why there are three names for the same thing. Perhaps to create three times the confusion.

    One point I made was we didn’t know all of what was going on and if there was a ban on information being made public, how could we remedy this. I hope you are not a financial advisor as you might have tended to give out information to your clients on a need to know basis. And people these days are saying, because I know so little, I don’t know what to ask.

    That of course goes against the great free market basis that individuals, who are perfectly informed, are the best people to make their own decisions. But unfortunately if the information is not freely, easily, available in a form easy to understand without going to a day’s workshop, then people rely on advisors, and that creates a power imbalance, and then in its turn, a moral hazard against the client of a financial advisor.

    And I didn’t say that the case was about those three things. I had an idea it would relate to these terms which have entered our everyday vocabulary without being understood in the last few years.
    edited

  6. RedBaronCV 6

    Since Westpac is a listed company and required to keep the stock exchange appraised of matters that affect it’s share price and this is likely to affect the price, the Judge in my opinion appears to have created the high possibility of insider trading taking place (tell me that at least some of the proceedings won’t be bandied around word of mouth). I look forward to the ASX stock exchange suspension of trading of the shares and the reactions of the fund managers.

  7. greywarbler 7

    Thinking about what we know and don’t about financial matters, investments, pension funds, security for our old age from dark marks on light paper, this was interesting coming from Awww in Tawhera Mike. http://thestandard.org.nz/tuwhera-mike/#comment-854931

    All the better to raid. Accounts that lay dormant for three years or more have recently been confiscated by the Australian government. It’s outrageous.

    Don’t know about it yet but it sounds alarming. Probably a mistake, a myth, a storm in a teacup…………?
    http://www.hangthebankers.com/australian-pensioners-and-savers-have-bank-accounts-raided-by-government/

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