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19 May 2020

The Profit and Loss of Politics
From Chartered Accountancy I moved to democracy.
Many individuals, businesses and farms are suffering enormously from the triple whammy of drought, bushfires and corona virus which is predicted to be followed by the recession or depression that was already on the way before the virus struck.
One of the best ways out of this mess is to work with groups like the FairGO Voterlobby and Australian Voters Network to inform all Members of Parliament of how you are affected and what course of action is best likely to help you and the nation move forward profitably.
Losses are sometimes inevitable, but swift action can reduce them.  GBAC has been helping Australians do that since 1971. We have advised people in the cities and rural areas, even the most remote areas in Australia, on how to earn more money and overcome the challenges of overwhelming debt.
You don’t have to suffer in silence or alone. Often some outside assistance works well to turn the tide in your favour. When we are in the middle of a crisis we cannot know all the answers. Because we have done it for so long, in so many different situations and have run our own businesses and farms, we are ideally placed to help others.
Politicians and government policies can affect your profits. So can banks, debts and business decisions. We have a very strong commitment toward assisting our clients.
Don't be put off by the doom and gloom headlines every day. They just attract readers. Many of you will be in good posiitons that just need a bit of improving.

Feel free to call us any time. It is a very rare problem that does not have several possible solutions.

12 May 2020

Bank bonanza may bury borrowers
For bankers, the corona virus has been a blessed relief. The banking Royal Commission has faded away, eclipsed by an escalating disaster of drought, bushfires, business shutdowns and massive job losses.
The loan bonanza for bankers may end up burying borrowers in debt as a year or two from now they struggle to clear it. GBAC can help with managing debt as well as challenges with governments. Don’t wait until it is too late. Bankers want you to succeed too, but they often do not give you the loan support you need. Sometimes financial counsellors can, but often they can’t. We can.

Buy now pay later is booming because most buyers will not be able pay on time and will be charged big fees that earn super profits. Personal financial security may come from adopting as much as possible a policy of save now buy later.
Debt is going to cripple family businesses and farms unless the borrowers do some very serious planning. GBAC has some well qualified and experienced debt negotiators available who can help members borrow better and negotiate payouts that pay off for borrowers.

The world has changed and many richer people have stopped spending. That is how they get rich. It may well pay others to follow that lead. Life is going to get tough. The corona virus has only added to an economic disaster that has been on the way for years, as we have constantly forecast.
GBAC is here to help borrowers all over Australia solve loan problems. 

Our vision is not unlike that of Rev John Flynn who set up the Flying Doctor Service with the pedal radio developed by the brilliant Alf Traeger, to spread a mantle of safety over our inland long ago.
GBAC has been set up using modern IT systems instead of a pedal radio but our objective and motivation is the same – to helpbank borrowers when they need help, no matter who and where they are in Australia.
If you see the merit in that, please pass this information to as many as you can. Together we win, whereas on your own you battle the “banking system” that is biased against borrowers, particulalry seasonal weather-dependent farmers.

5 May 2020
Debt disaster descending on rural Australia

There is a rural debt disaster heading Australia’s way so “Be Prepared”, as Lord Robert Baden Powell said.

The first step that all indebted farmers and rural businesses should take is to make an appointment with their local Rural Financial Counsellor to negotiate the longest term finance on the best terms possible with their bank, to make their business as profitable as possible by cutting all unnecessary expenses  and doing everything they can to get income back on track after the prolonged drought, floods and fires that have done so much damage.


If the RFC cannot assist you or the bank is already taking recovery action, you may wish to give us a call at www.gbac.com.au and learn why it is sometimes necessary to take the whip to the bank. We can also explain why few loan & debt consultants have the leverage with the banks that we have.

Don’t wait ‘til it’s too late. The best loan fix is the early fix, before problems arise.

Greg Bloomfield, greg@gbac.com.au 0428 417 496

1 May 2020

Debt Negotiator Best for Borrowers
 A debt negotiator’s claim in Sydney Morning Herald on May 1, to be 1st in Australia (in 2001) is false. GBAC & Moneygrams began negotiating on bank loan applications and write-offs in 1987. Last year one major bank wrote off 100% of a large mortgage loan for us. We have arranged debt write offs, better loans and re-finance in every state and territory in Australia for 30+ years.

Nobody has the same negotiating tools, experience or solutions as GBAC backed by FairGO and the Australian Voters Network does. We don’t do this to earn a living. We do it because we care deeply that Australians are treated fairly by their governments and their financial institutions.

Most borrowers simply do not have the time or skills to do this negotiating and few negotiators care enough to put their customers first before their own fees. We negotiate very hard with the banks to get a good deal for borrowers. We would not have been attracting debt laden borrowers for over 30 years if we could not do the job well.

But it also pays to borrow well in the first place and without professional assistance that is almost impossible. Then management of your loan is very important throughout its term. This is where many borrowers, particularly businesses and farms, come unstuck. It is not expensive to do, but is great protection against foreclosure.

28 April 2020

Working together when times are tough!

In difficult times we work better together. We toughen up, become more resilient & less self-centred.
We are certainly in difficult times now and there are more difficult times around the corner. Banks are making massive provisions for bad debts. That means they are going to write off billions of dollars in loans.
Does that mean they will be throwing money out of the office windows to be picked up by those in need. Hardly!

Before a bank writes off any debt it will give the borrower a good working over. The bank will ask those who fall behind on payments to cough up, or else. It will threaten for a while then get serious. Then banks will take the borrowers’ homes, businesses, shares, investments or farms and those people may lose everything they have worked so hard to build up.
There will be a lot of blood sweat and tears before any bank writes off much money, let alone a Billion dollars. The problem is that when that happens, so many properties can come onto the market that their values fall. Nab predicted yesterday perhaps as far as 30%. It could go further. Values have certainly risen fast.

So if you are a borrower feeling the pressure of debt, what do you do? As well as running the FairGO Voterlobby and Australian Voters Network, I also run a debt consultancy. You see, I am pretty keen on people being treated fairly and I know that a lot of borrowers get treated very badly when the loan goes bad.

It won’t cost you a cent to phone me on 0428 417 496 or email me greg@gbac.com.au for a brief chat. I believe that the earlier you start to deal with a problem the easier it is to solve. There are many ways for borrowers to come out of their loans doing well, but it takes some careful planning and management. Many borrowers have plenty of other skills but debt management is not one of them. We are happy to tell you how to do it or do it for you. We spend a lot of our time negotiating with banks for borrowers and they usually come out a lot better than they expected.

Feel free to ring. The firm’s initials are based on my name, but many would agree that Good Borrowing Advice Counts with a lot of debts. Ring in business hours. Put “loans” in the subject line of your email so I can give it priority.

22 April 2020
Massive “No Value” Mortgage Insurance Fraud by BIG
The article in the Sydney Morning Herald Money section today by Nina Hendy touched on but did not explain the greatest financial services fraud operated in Australia today by banks and insurance companies.

GBAC took on one bank & insurance company on behalf of one borrower who asked for help, and won. The borrower walked away without repaying the debt. We will take them on for you any time.

Here is how the bank run scam works. When lending money for a home loan the Big Bank requires the borrower to pay a premium, say $15,000 to an insurance company for Mortgage Insurance.  The bank may actually own the mortgage insurance company. The borrower pays the premium.  Years later through some disaster, the borrower defaults. The bank claims on the mortgage insurance and recovers the whole debt from the insurance company. In doing so it assigns its rights under the mortgage loan to the insurance company. The insurance company then owns the debt, the mortgage and the title deeds to the home. The insurance company then sues the borrower to repay the loan back to it in full orr takes and sells the home.

Simple. Better than tax fraud or armed robbery. The borrower paid the premium but did not get insurance cover. The insurance company received the $15,000 premium but recovered everything it paid out from the borrower who paid the premium. These guys are clever. You have to hand it to them.

The sensible thing would be borrower insurance where the borrower paid the premium and received the cover with which they paid out the bank loan. But such a plan would never allow bank or insurance bosses to earn $30,000 a day. What else but crime pays that sort of money?

 The Federal government in 1965 established the Housing Loans Insurance Corporation to provide the home loan insurance. Run by the government it was honest because it worked for the Australian people. My wife and I were lucky enough to borrow 95% of our home price that way. But when banks and insurance companies were deregulated and privatised by politicians to reward their political donors, honesty went out the window and the profiteers who took over banking and insurance, robbed everyone they could.

This is like car insurance companies paying your claim for the car being written off, then suing you to recover the money. You would get no value from your policy. LMI is like that!

If you or anyone you know is caught up in this shoddy Lender’s Mortgage Insurance fraud, please ask them to contact GBAC for assistance.  Australians should not tolerate this fraud that is primarily aimed at young Australians with young families. These financial fraudsters should be gaoled. But at least you can fight their claim on their “No Value” insurance policy. There is every chance of you walking away too instead of paying a premium for no value.

Don’t be robbed by The BIG-  Bank and Insurance Gang.

21 April 2020

Businesses and farms are bleeding money. Do the following help or hinder them?

Tracking app
People power
Politicians robbing voters
Bankers and the virus

Could it be a tracking app trap?
Many Australians are tracked daily via Google and are happy about it. So what’s the worry about the coronavirus tracking app?
Some reviewer said “I don’t see a problem with it. Police can’t get the information”.
She could not guarantee that? New laws can be passed any time. Police are not the only problem, although recent raids on homes of journalists to prevent the public knowing what government has done are a worry. A more dictatorial politician could have been elected PM and given the tracking app control to ASIO, already planning to spy on Australians at home, according to media reports.
Any government can make legal tomorrow what is illegal today. No present politician or bureaucrat can forecast what future ones will do.
Stopping corona virus is vital but we have done very well to date without giving government the right to record, store and analyse where we go, who we visit, meet or phone. Massive amounts of Australians’ private data held by government have already been leaked, stolen, sold or dumped.
Voters need to think this through and let politicians know how they feel.

People power is yours, Right Now!- individual or organisational
Members of Parliament work for you and mostly they do a very good job. But they do heed those who tell them what they want done. Some people just suffer in silence, but that is not necessary or desirable.
Votergrams, the FairGO Voterlobby & the Australian Voters Network exist for your benefit so that you are never powerless in Australia. They exist to give you unprecedented power to influence the future of our society. As the song goes “You don’t have to suffer in silence”. Have your say in an effective way!!
But if you are ever victimised by anyone, Votergrams to every MP in the relevant parliament will most likely put a stop to it.

NSW MPs plan to sell of our assets to pay for future ones!!
Financially incompetent NSW govt ministers promote political fraud - selling off infrastructure already paid for and owned by voters, in order to fund future infrastructure for future users. That is theft and the exact opposite of “user pays” –instead those who have worked and saved and paid taxes pay, but use it less.
New public infrastructure should be financed by loans, Govt bonds, superannuation or bankers.  The people who will use it should service and repay the loans through taxes, duties and charges as they use the assets. Don’t let MPs deplete the assets we worked so hard for, to placate lazy incompetent  ministers & enrich private profiteers at voters’ expense.

Bankers and the virus
Should bankers, as well as allowing the 6 month P & I holiday, extend it to 12 months in some cases and waive 50% of the interest deferred, otherwise borrowers, including landlords & tenants, carry all the actual losses, while banks just defer their revenue stream and earn compound interest on it.

31 March 2020
Coronavirus health and money crisis

Those who have always saved money and borrowed little will have missed out on some pleasures they could not afford, but they will have savings to help tide them over much of the present crisis.
Those who have spent, not what they have saved, but by borrowing in anticipation of what they will earn in future, may have come unstuck. Foretelling the future is a risky business. Happy to help them get the finance they need in a way that does not mortgage their soul for life.
While some Australians struggle on the median wage of about $50,000 pa, some business executives and owners earn up to 200 times that and public companies earn billions after paying very little tax. A few are very generous with their money. Most are just sucking cash out of the economy like giant vacuum cleaners for their own use. Many are sending it offshore to avoid tax, laundering it through international call centres, banks, accountants and lawyers, thanks to generous politicians who pass the laws that allow them to do so.
Saving instead of borrowing is probably the most important cure. It is being in debt that creates a crisis out of any loss of income.
Using the credit card sparingly but to get through the crisis then paying it off. Using cash or paying the full card balance off every month is the wisest course of action to avoid risk.
Looking before you leap into a loan, with a good loan consultant like  my GBAC at your side, is probably a good move. Know whether or not you can meet the loan terms. They all have to be paid back in the end.
Expert loan management enables the borrower instead of the bank to benefit most.
Poorer people than the ultra-rich control the vast majority of votes, so for them, taking a greater interest in government could earn them a lot more money than working two jobs.
That is one reason why, as well as helping small business and farmers get a fair go from their banks through GBAC, I run the FairGO Voterlobby and the Australian Voters Network. Free enterprise capitalism is a great system, but it does not have to involve greed and self-indulgence or political bias toward the donors who finance election campaigns. Voters own the votes. By wise use of votes they can vastly improve their lives.
Borrowing more from banks is a two edged sword. Today it has restored business life to normal. Tomorrow it might cut off your head.
 The government, led by the Feds, have done a great thing by moving to stimulate the economy and put money into the hands of those worst affected. That is a great role for government. Of course later there will be a massive debt for us to all pay off, but if we work hard and share the tax load fairly we can all recover well. Let’s hope the strong take the weak with them. Take time if you can to thank your MP, because they will all be working hard on this corona-crisis. Ring your local MP or send a Votergram to every one of them.
The way to pay of business debt is to work hard, ensure profitability and schedule debt repayment as a top priority.
GBAC has played a strong role for over 30 years by negotiating debt repayment deals with banks on behalf of borrowers. There are many times when a bank will accept less than face value for a debt – always when it works well for the bank. GBAC has developed special skills in that area. A few months ago a bank wrote off the whole debt which was a great deal of money. Banks can be very decent when approached properly and they do have a bit of lee-way because they are so profitable.
People do deserve fair treatment, even from moneylenders. Make sure you get it.
Part of the cure is to take control of your finances and never let them go. Control the lender instead of letting the lender control you. That means understanding and honouring your own obligations before accepting any loan.

28 March 2020

Tough times for small businesses and even tougher times for farmers and regional businesses that have endured drought, fire and flood and now
corona virus.

Rarely have MPs so much needed to hear from voters and voters so much needed to hear from voters. Login or join https://voters.network/join.php then post your questions or suggestions for politicians on https://voters.network/forum.php?p=%3Fforum%3D785009 . They will go to all federal and state MPs on Monday by Votergram. 

Don't let your business collapse without trying to fix it!!

23 March 2020

Better interest rates

Jessica Irvine wrote over the weekend  in the Sun Herald that people could save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of their loans. She is absolutely right. That is why we offer “Bank Bids” to assist borrowers. The comparison sites to not show the very best interest rates a lender will give you. That only comes when they have briefly assessed your security and ability to service and repay the debt. Only then can you do your own comparison of what is on offer and negotiate fr the best possible rate by playing one borrower off against the other.
Sure it costs a bit of time and a small fee but when tens of thousands of dollars are at stake it is surely worth it. You get out of loans what you put into them by way of negotiations and management.
Contact us on 0428 417 496 when you want the best interest rates and loan terms, particularly if it is a small business loan

13 March 202010 Handy hints for handling the corona crisis

  1. Tighten your purse strings because it may lead to a recession wiping out jobs, house prices, shares and government funds.
  2. Just putting money into your bank account makes it available for someone else to use.
  3. Do everything you can to help your employer/ employees keep afloat.
  4. If you lose work, quickly look for anything else you can do to produce money.
  5. Get to Centrelink fast, as it will be overwhelmed.
  6. Look for opportunities to buy or invest cheaply but know that prices may fall further.
  7. If you have a loan, phone your lender and ask what you do if you are unable to make a payment on time. Don’t avoid them. That really makes them mad! Talk to them.
  8. Don’t despair about debt. If you cannot get the sympathy you need, give us a call.
  9. If you have something you want government to do, give us a call and we will tell you how to persuade politicians to get it done.

Take comfort that nothing lasts, good or bad. This crisis will pass. Try to sit it out.

11 March 2020
Rodeo Riding and Recession have lots in common. Try to ride it without coming a cropper

If you have ever ridden a touchy horse or a bike over rough country while mustering or worse a bull in a rodeo, that might prepare you for what is ahead on the money side of farming and business. You need to think carefully and speak to your own advisers about what to do.

Wise advice from my grandmother was “listen to what everybody suggests, think about it, then decide and do what you think is best.”

It would be staggering if we did not have a recession. People, businesses and governments have solved previous financial crises by borrowing more. That just makes the lives of the borrowers more precarious and more of their hard earned money goes to the moneylenders, who make billions of dollars a year profit and pay executives up to $40,000 a day. Yes a DAY!

If that continues, debt approaches the full market value of the assets securing the loan, particularly if values collapse, so the loans are called in and the farmers lose their farms and business owners lose their businesses and maybe their homes.
As a retired Chartered Accountant, CPA and a 4th generation farmer I am conservative about money. I have seen too many businesses and farms fail to not be. My hints are:

Clear debt as fast as possible. Don’t be lured by low interest rates. That is a chance to pay loans, not to borrow more. The interest rate is low because people will not borrow at any higher rates because they expect recession. It is banks meeting the market. Debt always puts you at risk and there are enough risks already in farming and family businesses, like drought, fires, floods and viruses, to say nothing of government policy.

Cut spending to only the very most essential items to run the farm or business. Turn surplus assets or stock into cash.

Cut personal spending to essentials too.

If your farm is starting to look good again thanks to rain, take lots of photos so that if you have to sell in a bad season you can show the buyers what it looks like in good times and you also have good photos to show lenders if you have to refinance or borrow again in a bad season.

Talk to your lenders, be they banks or other bodies. Lenders get nervous about borrowers they are not talking to. Pick up the phone and ring them to explain your situation and if necessary ask for extra time to pay. Have a coffee with them or ask them over for a cuppa.

Remember that if they give you extra time that is not provided in your loan agreement then technically you have breached the loan terms and probably all of the debt can be called in. This can be used against you later if you fall behind. Don’t let that stop you asking for an extension of time. Just be aware of it.

I remember going to a bank with a client who swore he had never been late paying his loan. When I repeated that to the bank manager, he gave me a long list of all the times the client had been late with payments and the bank had allowed it, saying “Your client has been late paying 20 times in the last 3 years. We are tired of all those breaches of the loan contract."

If you do not want to deal with the lender give us a call at GBAC and we will handle it for you. We have a couple of decades of experience in dealing with moneylenders.

26 February 2020

Australian Rural Financial Counsellors – your first stop shop on rural finances

Australian farmers and rural business owners have free access to one of the world’s best rural financial counselling services. Over the period I have been farming, leading one of the NSWF branches and consulting farmers nation-wide, I have had a lot to do with Rural Financial Counsellors.
Nobody can better inform rural Australians of their financial options than a Rural Financial Counsellor.  This is important because there is a wide range of financial support services that can be most helpful to farmers and rural business owners.

A difficulty of working in isolation, which is pretty much what farming is about, is keeping up with the various support measures government has on offer to ensure that farming is viable in the face of our fire, flood and drought environment and the ever-changing global food regulations. Rural Financial Counsellors are also able to keep rural families informed about financial initiatives that affect the non-farming non-business side of their lives.

In many cases those with vast experience of cropping and/or livestock operations do not have a lot of expertise in farm finances. Yet finances are integral to success. Farms are like sponges in the amounts of money they can absorb. Farmers need to be able to arrange their farm finances so that they make substantial profits in exchange for the huge investment that a farm involves and the very long hours they work. The financial impact of every aspect of farming needs to be carefully examined to ensure that a farm is profitable enough to put away money from good years to tide the place over the bad years. Because rural businesses depend a lot on farm income, the same applies to them to some extent.

As rough guide I have always counted on 3 good years, 3 bad years and 4 mediocre years in every decade. Debt dramatically raises the stakes as profits are used to repay it straight out of net profit without any tax deduction. Frequently farmers and other small business owners  see their financial statements as only of use in lodging tax returns, whereas they are as important as soil moisture measurements, micron or muscling. They tell the story on which wealth will either be accumulated or lost. Figures are not easy for non-accountants, but a Rural Financial Counsellor will be able to run the farmers and business operators through the figures to make them understandable.

Make sure you know your Rural Financial Counsellor well before you need their help in an emergency.

4 February 2020

How to make money and enjoy the lifestyle out of buying a farm.

A farm couple were buying a large farm in the Central West of NSW. It had a timber homestead with a 3 metre verandah all around with a modern kitchen. It also had a second smaller house in which the vendors son and daughter-in-law had lived before buying their own place in another state.
Fences were okay but not brilliant – stock proof. The yards looked good. There were substantial grain silos and good sized shed plus some excellent dams - 5,000 and 10,000 Cubic metres. It was about a quarter timbered, half good grazing country with the right sort of trees growing and a nice modern 4 stand shearing shed.

Buying a business
They spent a day driving around the property with and without the present owner then came back to the house late afternoon. They were very enthusiastic about the place and were pretty interested.

Over a cup of tea the lady asked if they could see the last 5 years tax returns and assessments. The vendor was staggered. “What for”, he asked. “They are private!”
“Well”, the guy who was buying joined in “we are not just buying a block of land. We are buying a business. It is just as important to know how much money the place earns in wool and sheep sales and what it costs to run, as it is to check out the dams, yards and fences. We would keep the information completely confidential.”
The owner then went of, somewhat reluctantly and came back with tax returns. The prospective buyers had particularly asked for tax assessments so he had them too. When the buyer had looked over them he asked “Would you mind if I gave these to my farm financial consultant as I am not so good on figures myself? He is in Sydney, so nobody local will see them.”
“Go your hardest.” said the owner.  “I’m the same as you with figures.”
Next day, back home in a rural city, the couple who had inspected the place scanned and sent the financial statements and tax assessments to their consultant in Sydney.

Doing the sums
The consultant, a qualified accountant and experienced farmer himself, looked over the figures and came back with these comments:

“The figures show 5 straight years of tax losses, so that is not too impressive, but the owners will say those are just “paper losses” so I have to look a bit deeper.
What stock is he running and what age are they? Some of his profits are probably  in his ewes at a lot more money than they appear in the books.
When you looked in the shed did you see much fencing material or fuel?  The expenses could include buying stuff in June to get a tax deduction for what will be used next year.
There is depreciation on 2 tractors and 2 vehicles. One of the vehicles may just be personal use but I suspect it is used at least half for the farm. Electricity I suspect is mainly private and probably part of fuel is private, but you could not run the place without them.
Looking through all of the expenses they look fairly normal to me.
How new are the fences and yards? It is possible that money has been spent in these 5 years on fences and yards that will last decades.
There is interest and borrowing charges and a debt has been reduced, plus consultants’ fees that probably relate to it.”

The buyers responded that there was not much fuel or fencing material in the shed & maybe 10% of the fencing was fairly new, there was a silo of oats and that the yards have a new race but that was about all. The consultant gave them a list of expenses and suggested they go back and talk with the vendors about how likely it was that expenses could be cut substantially to turn the losses into profits.

A Profitable Purchase
On the basis of what they had learned the buyers negotiated the sale price down by a quarter and by paying half in cash, the vendor gave them 8 years interest free vendor finance payable annually out of the wool & sheep sales, in return for him continuing to live in the main house until the price was paid in full. They came up with a budget for a modest profit in the first year, half as much again in the second year and a good profit in the 3rd year. It would be lean going but they reckoned they could pay off the balance of the purchase price within the 8 years and move from the smaller house into the main house then.

Moral - The best farm lifestyle is profitable and debt-free
It is good sense to buy any farm at or below market price with some interest-free vendor finance. But it is absolutely essential to buy a farm that is going to be profitable. Otherwise debt escalates. That means reviewing past tax returns and verifying them with assessments. Tax assessments are the one document that cannot easily be rigged. Tax returns and financial statements can be completely  false, just typed up for the unsuspecting buyer.  The key to success is having a skilled consultant draw up realistic budgets on the basis that in each decade there might be 3 good years, 3 bad years and 4 moderate years. In the debt repayment period it is best to avoid all capital expenditure so that all profit goes to reduce debt. There is nothing quite as enjoyable as farming debt-free and earning good profits at the same time.

9 January 2020

Beyond the drought and bushfires....
“I love a sunburnt country... of droughts and flooding rains....
For flood and fire and famine, she pays us back threefold.”

So wrote our legendary poet Dorothea Mackellar, born in 1885. Her poem was published in 1908 when she was just 23 years old. What a beautiful legacy she left us.  But it also reveals the challenging features of life in Australia. How will it pay you back threefold?

When the music stops
 “Nothing lasts, good or bad. It is good to remember when we think the good times will roll on forever.  Be Prepared.

Debt became so great a problem for Australian family businesses and farms after bank de-regulation and privatisation, that I converted my Chartered Accountancy practice into a debt solutions consultancy. It is far more satisfying than “The round eternal of the cashbook and the journal”.
It has been possible to bring the most aggressive and threatening bankers from every major bank to see sense and negotiate a lower payout that at first appeared reasonable, when we were able to clearly explain the debt circumstances and likely consequences of them not doing so.
We never threaten to take banks to court. That is one forum in which banks are almost certain to win because they have vast amounts of money to pay the cleverest lawyers. We have developed our own unique strategies and they work extremely well for borrowers.

Recovery from the lengthy and unprecedented drought and bushfires that descended on Australians in 2018 and 2019 and have built to a crescendo of flame and smoke in early 2020, will be difficult and lengthy. That it comes on top of what for some is overwhelming debt and a crumbling economy  is perhaps the last straw, the one that might “break the camel’s back”. Don’t let it do that to you!

Meanwhile the moneylenders in our major banks are basking in record profits gouged from their customers. They have made billions of dollars that bank customers have been charged over and above the cost of providing those services – or for no service at all. This is the price Australians have paid for being sold out by their MPs who first de-regulated banks so they could do what they liked then sold all the government ones to private profiteers.

There are some key steps Ibusiness owners and farmers could take to recovery. But everyone’s situation is different according to their age, skills, source of income, debt level and assets, particularly cash. Do not follow these blindly. Consider them carefully and find a good professional with whom to discuss them.  Then use or modify the ones that might help you:

  • Take control! Don’t trust anyone to make the decisions for you. Make them yourself after gathering all the advice you can and weighing up the alternatives..
  • Do everything possible to generate income without being limited to what you normally do.
  • The government will encourage you to spend which exposes you to risk. Leave boosting the economy to the government that has  let it deteriorate.
  • If you have suffered insurable damage consider engaging an insurance assessor to tell you what you should claim.
  • Check out what fire and drought benefits are available from the governments if you are suffering losses and claim whatever you are eligible for.
  • Remember that easy interest-only loans for a few years have to be repaid sometime and may have to be refinanced at high interest rates eventually. “Borrowers beware!”
  • If you have existing unmanageable  loans & want some suggestions give us a call.
  • Now is the time to improve your relationship with your bankers. We can help you do that if you wish.
  • Prepare budgets for at least a few months ahead. Compare actual results each month to them and examine the differences. That enables you to constantly improve profitability and cashflow. If you are unsure how to do that ring and we will show you how.

We’ve been through enough troubles ourselves to have a good idea of how hard it is. If you feel a chat might help you bounce around some ideas and clarify your thoughts, give us a call.

Planning your recovery with care is the best way to make it happen.

28 December 2019

Myths & Mythunderstandings

In his book “The myths we live by” renowned author and philosopher , Peter Cave describes our belief that democracy is “government for the people” as a myth. One reason he gives is that government cannot please all the people all the time.

Our faith in democracy is not so much a “myth” as a “mythunderstanding”.  It is a failure to understand that in a world of competing aims and goals, no government can “please all of the people all of the time”. However, it can probably please 80% of the people 80% of the time which is not bad. Most of us know we cannot win all of the time.

Most of those who government does not please have failed to understand that it mainly pleases those who ask for what they want, in the right way, ask the right people and explain why they want it. That requires a small amount of time effort and money, not much. Government “of the people” requires “Government by the people” too.

The myth is that it will happen without any involvement by the people at all in saying what they want and why, in the right way, to the people who can give them amazing personal  power. FairGO has helped Australians to do that for over 3 decades. If you are not enjoying that power you should give FairGO a call.

It is timely for Peter Cave to raise such issues as we voters do need to put in a bit more effort. Politicians and bureaucrats do not know all of the problems, let alone all of the answers.

28 November 2019
Why do they do it? The borrowers and the politicians!

I watched as two lots of borrowers suffered the loss in one case and near loss in another, of their homes. The reason was Bad Borrowing.  I don’t know whether either of them had troubled to consult an experienced loan consultant like GBAC Advisory, but their problems began with high interest loans from shadow bankers. These are the unregulated money-lenders that our federal  & state Members of Parliament allow to decimate the lives of the poorer half of the country.

Quoted interest rates were 20 % pa in one case and 21% pa in another. In one case if the payments were not made on time the interest rate became 150% p.a. That is a bit higher than one borrower I dealt with this morning whose loan contract stated the interest rate at “20%”. When I saw it was a 3 month loan I looked back and saw that it was not 20% p.a. but 20% for 3 months – 80% p.a.

It paints a picture of our federal and State Members of Parliament that they endorse and permit this sort of robbery.

The borrowers wanted to get the loan on security of their property, but did not have the income to support a proper bank loan.  When the bank declines a loan that is because the bank is fairly certain that the borrower will not be able to meet the repayments, which will mean selling up the home in the end. Now, banks don’t mind doing that, so when even they refuse a loan it means there is a very high risk.

At GBAC Advisory and through FairGO I have known borrowers to cool their heels for a couple of years, get their income stream up and save like mad, cutting out all but the most essential spending. Then they have gone back with a proven record on their bank statement of how much they can save or pay off a loan. The bank has been happy to lend them the money. Patience pays!

If anyone is faced with a major debt problem and looks like losing their home they can always call GBAC Advisory or FairGO.org. We can show them how best to deal with unscrupulous lenders. Going to court seems a waste of time as the lender will mostly have the money to engage far better lawyers and few judges I have seen know much about finances.

One might wonder why the Federal Government did not aim its Integrity legislation at banks and insurance companies as well as at trade unions. Then it may have been a fairer bill and protected more people. Surveys show that people do not trust politicians. Wonder why? There are so many good MPs, but the bad ones must rule the roost or there must be a lot of money flowing into party coffers for this ruthless exploitation of poorer people to be allowed.

21st November 2019
Who is steering the Ship of State “Australia” with its 8 staterooms
 A glance at pages 4 & 5 of the Sydney Morning Herald,  21st November 2019 will reveal the secret.
On the left hand side is an article entitled “Westpac accused of 23 million breaches”. Nothing that banks do should surprise us now. Our Members of Parliament, elected to represent us, de-regulated the banks and allowed them to repeatedly break the law. To ensure the current banks had free reign without honest competition from government owned banks, our MPs sold off the government owned banks.  Family businesses and farms have been plundered by the politically protected banking pirates ever since.
In the middle we see a big photo of the PM and smaller photos of business leaders under the banner “ From the lobby to the ballroom: BCA (Business Council of Australia) dines with the PM. Business leaders sharing a meal with politicians of all persuasions. This is one of the ways business leaders get to control what governments do. Mix with the powerful politicians. Smart move!!
Small business and farming could do the same. They control more votes than the BCA does. But they have to do it individually in conjunction with their votes, not through organisatiional leaders.
 Moving to the right hand side of the page we see: The NSW state’s chief economist’s idea of our future
 ( do we really want economists and politicians deciding our future?).
There  are 5 sections to his Blueprint for NSW:
Asia’s middle class - Selling goods, food  and services ( here or there) to Asia’s growing middle class which he feels will comprise 60% of the world’s middle class. 
Environmental stresses -  like climate change, fire, flood, storm and drought will limit this commercial enterprise, requiring water and energy in the right places.
Digital technology -  is seen as an advantage rather than a threat, reducing travel time ( or the need to travel at all). It will also benefit other countries. He thinks it will reduce the need for new infrastructure. We certainly see that those who live inland where housing is cheap and life relatively stress free to deal can with the world online with their farm and business entities.
Shifting demographics - ageing will leave fewer people working and paying taxes to fund government. This is a justification for migration (except if they bring their ageing relatives or take welfare). The simple fact is that there are many taxes not related to income eg GST . Companies pay a substantial amount of the taxes on earnings. They don’t retire at 65. Big businesses would pay more if the tax evasion loopholes and tax rate reductions put in by politicians were removed.
New problems created by change  - warns it will be disruptive – community will have to deal with its social impacts- social viability is weakening in regions (means overcrowding in capital cities) – social change and new technology has eroded trust in traditional institutions – NSW will be changed by global forces –government will make changes to make NSW more resilient – reforms to planning, business regulation, inefficient taxation system.

When we put these three stories together we might see the family businesses and farms relegated to “steerage class” while banks and big business occupy the penthouse suites and upper decks.
But if we look closely we can see that the ship of state is steered and the engine controlled by those on the bridge, which we call “parliament”.  Its Captain and officers (MPs) are chosen, paid and controlled by us, 16 million voters on behalf of the 26 million people on board. Most are involved in or employed by or supply  family businesses and farms.
If we, the family buiness and family farm owners as well as in our capacity as voters, apply ourselves, the blueprints for NSW or any other state will cater to us.
It is up to us after all.
Democracy is a tug-o-war. Those who put the most weight on the rope and pull the hardest win. FairGO quietly helps voters do that, just as it helps family businesses and farms sort out bank loan problems .With good teamwork, they are ideally placed to do it. GBAC Advisory is where they learn how to do it properly.
 Contact GBAC now if you need a hand to even the scales in your favour with banks or government.

18 November 2019
Home aspirants let down by government.

High-rise living is full of dangers from flammable cladding to crumbling framework, terrorist attack, road  & transport congestion, so many workers in one place that unscrupulous employers on multi-million dollar salaries pay those workers very low wages. Little provision is made for children & teenagers. Immigration displaces locals.

Houses, town houses and low level units are relatively safe.

Australia has masses of land for which we need to ensure adequate water supplies and where we need to build enjoyable cities.   Houseuse prices are a quarter of what they are in the city. Interned connection allows those inland to sell goods and services to the world.

If you seriously want a home, more money with less stress and better services, you are invited to join FairGO, its Voters Network or contact us for  Aussie farm and business debt solutions. When voters combine with professional guidance  then work with all helpful politicians, they can change their lives.

13 November 2019

Political Q & A
Q Who benefits most from negative gearing?
A the banks who lend the money and earn the interests that can be deducted.

Q Who benefits most from lower interest rates?
A the banks because the reason for lowering the rates is to encourage borrowing.

Q who benefits most from the recent tax cuts?
A the banks because people are using the money to get or keep up to date with loan repayments.

Q Who can commit crimes and then negotiate the penalties with authorities?
A  The banks who will only be given tiny penalties compared to the damage they have caused customers thanks to friendly authorities &  judges.

GBAC makes it easy for you to balance the scales in your favour and get the banks working for you. It just takes a bit of work. The earlier you start to exerty your authority over the banks the sooner you life gets better. Remember that it is customers who give the bank all their profits. They really depend on you although it often seems like the other way around.

21st October 2019
A tale of two farmers and one long drought

There were two farmers living near each other on roughly comparable farms in Australia.

One farmer, Tom, borrowed $2 million in good times to buy another block for that $2m. The bank was happy to lend him 100% of the $2m on security of both blocks. He borrowed $100,000 more to stock the new block and fix the yards and fences.

When it went dry and feed reduced in 2018 he became a bit nervous about feed so he locked up a couple of paddocks to spell them. Eventually he had to open ithem up for feed because it did not rain.

When someone suggested he sell down stock he explained that his breeders were top quality and were the result of decades of breeding. It would cost a fortune to restock when the rain  came. In the end it became so dry that numbers of stock started dying and the rest looked pretty ordinary.

When he figured many would just die or he’d have to shoot them, he trucked most of them out to sale and bought in feed for the rest. The cattle sold were in poor condition and prices were poor anyway, so he did not get much for them.

Then the bank rang to say he was over his limit and had missed two payments on his term loan. They'd just have to wait.

By the time the drought broke he was broke too because of the feed he was buying in. The ground was bare. Feed prices had skyrocketed. His debt has skyrocketed too. But he had managed to keep a quarter of his breeders. He started looking for a loan to buy back in to re-stock the place once the feed grew but that took months so he continued to hand feed a bit.

His neighbour, Bill, had also looked at the nearby block when it was for sale but figured he could not even raise half the money and would have to borrow the rest. So he gave it a miss. He told a friend “The problem with borrowing is that I would have to make repayments in dry or other hard times and that is not easy. I already have a small loan nearly cleared.”

He used Excel on his computer to graph a sort of index – every day he multiplied the rain in mm  received for the year so far by the number of hectares he had and divided it by his livestock holding that day. He called it a “Drought Index”. It sort of told him how dry it was going – how much water had fallen on his place to grow pasture for each head of stock he was carrying. Nothing fancy. The graph fell as the rain didn't.
In addition to that he had put a big note on his office wall reading  “When lush long pasture goes, start reducing stock numbers.

When it stated to go dry in 2018 the first thing he did was start to watch his graph carefully and as it fell, he cut out all unnecessary spending. He still had to pay rates and insurance and fuel for the vehicles but he used them sparingly.

As he drove around checking the stock one day he pulled himself up with a jolt and thought “The feed is looking a bit short and just not quite so good.”

Next sale week he mustered his stock, drafted off dries and other culls and sent them to the saleyards. His stock were in top condition and the market was high, so he did well at the sale. The proceeds he banked into a special “drought savings account” he had opened years ago at the bank.

But the season stayed dry with not a cloud in the sky. Every month he sold more of his stock, selling 10% to 20% each month or so. Every day he was looking at the blue sky, his graph, the pastures and his stock.

He rang the bank, as he still had that small debt from years ago that he was paying off. He pointed out to the banker that he had been making double payments for the past few years and asked if, should things get worse, he could take a break from repayments for a while to use up some for the fat he had accumulated in the account. After checking with the credit officers the banker rang back and said that would be fine as he was will in front of where he needed to be.

The banker asked if he had any recent financial statements that credit could have. He replied that he produced monthly Profit and Loss figures for each month and year to date, with columns showing last year’s results and the budget. He’d send a set in. They showed profits a bit better than last year and ahead of budget. He explained that was because he had sold stock as it went dry, converting them into profit. The banker said not many of his clients did that. The farmer added that he emailed the figure to GBAC monthly and with a 15 minute review that cost next to nothing he was given a quick analysis of what the figures meant.

Bill had been told by an uncle that the farm needed to produce cash for him each year. So he had kept costs pretty low and squirreled money away in a bank account, without letting his boundary fences fail. That also gave him some fat to ride the drought if it persisted, which it did.

By the time rain with follow up rain came, he was only holding a quarter of the breeders he had two years before, but of course they were the best ones. He decided not to buy back in but to breed up numbers. Natural increase was about 90% and deaths few. By hanging onto all the females and breeding from them, his numbers were back up in five years. Funds had been tight, as numbers were light, but that meant the pastures had recovered fairly quickly.

Comparisons can help
It is always interesting to see what other farmers do. That is one of the advantages of running our own places and consulting farmers all over Australia at the same time. You learn a good bit that way. I have also learned a good bit in workshops from people like Terry McKosker  and Bud Williams.

9th October 2019
Did you think you were the only one being robbed by  the directors and executives of the big four Australian banks?
Relax! Those banks are providing  for nearly $6.5 billion in remediation and fines for their misdeads according to today's media.
Are these financial mobsters who should be in gaol?
Never in your life trust one of these banks again.
For 30 years GBAC has been getting these banks to write off or write down debts bcause of their dishonest practices. 
Anyone planning to borrow from a major bank should engage an experienced loans consultant to ensure they do not get ripped of on a grand scale as so many have since banks were de-regulated by compliant politicians. It is the way to get the best deal and protect your assets.
Always read every word in the letter of offer and prepare a loan impact statement to see what the debt will do to your finances. You can be sure the bank will do its best to hide that from you. When you have a skilled loans consultant with you banks generally treat you very honestly.

8 October 2019

A writer in today’s paper loudly extolled the virtues of banks earning big profits because then they could pay dividends to superannuants and they could more easily access money to lend out.

I take the opposite view. It was said recently in a forum that had nothing to do with finance or business that small time crooks rob banks, but big time crooks run them. That I think is fair comment about most of the major banks in Australia.

What can those in debt do right now to avoid being smashed to pieces in a coming recession when their assets may seriously lose value. One of their options is to do everything possible to clear their debt. That reduces risk of business failure through bank foreclosure. It often increases profit because interest and bank charges are eliminated. It invariably reduces stress levels.

In part, the road to debt reduction is via increased profitability. In part it is often by negotiation with the bank for a settlement.

In farming the drought makes that very hard, but serious examination of financial statements often reveals the way to handle drought most profitably. Experience in one drought can provide valuable clues as to how to do it more profitably next time. One thing is for sure. Those farmers who carry less debt more easily survive a drought and those family businesses with less debt more easily survive recession.

If you have debt problems give us a call. There are plenty of consultants out there, some government funded, who just help to destroy the lives of borrowers instead of helping them. Most of our clients praise us for “caring” about them and working hard to rescue them from disaster. Many accountants and solicitors tell their clients what they want to hear. We take the view that people pay us to be told what they need to hear and we just tell them straight. They are usually grateful and understand the situation when it is fully explained. That is the only way I know to covnvert debt to financial security.

Give us a call if you have debts you want to chat about.

A writer in today’s paper loudly extolled the virtues of banks earning big profits because then they could pay dividends to superannuants and they could more easily access money to lend out.

I take the opposite view. It was said recently in a forum that had nothing to do with finance or business that small time crooks rob banks, but big time crooks run them. That I think is fair comment about most of the major banks in Australia.

What can those in debt do right now to avoid being smashed to pieces in a coming recession when their assets may seriously lose value. One of their options is to do everything possible to clear their debt. That reduces risk of business failure through bank foreclosure. It often increases profit because interest and bank charges are eliminated. It invariably reduces stress levels.

In part the road to debt reduction is via increased profitability. In part it is often by negotiation with the bank for a settlement.

In farming the drought makes that very hard, but serious examination of financial statements often reveals the way to handle drought most profitably and experience in one drought can provide valuable clues as to how to do it more profitably next time. One thing is for sure. Those farmers who carry less debt more easily survive a drought and those family businesses with less debt more easily survive recession

If you have debt problems give us a call. There are plenty of consultants out there, some government funded, who just help to destroy the lives of borrowers instead of helping them. Most of our clients praise us for “caring” about them and working hard to rescue them from disaster. Many accountants and solicitors tell their clients what they want to hear. I take the view that people pay us to be told what they need to hear and we just tell them straight. They are usually grateful and understand the situation when it is fully explained.

Give us a call if you have debts you want to chat about

25 September 2019

Lower interest rates?

Why is the government pushing for them?

Because the government is trying to get Australians into debt to solve Australia’s economic crises and enrich the bankers at the same time!!

How could your debt help government?

Because you will spend money to give others jobs and have to work harder to pay it off with interest and charges. That increases Australia’s productivity.

Recession threatens because people have pushed prices up high with  borrowed money, by competing for what is available eg land, housing, groceries, power, petrol. They no longer need money to buy anything. They can borrow it on a credit card, get a loan or afterpay it.

But when they have bought all they want they stop buying. When they lose jobs or profits fall and they cannot repay the debt, their assets are often “fire sold” by lenders and prices collapse.

The government is just trying to get the Australian people, businesses and farmers to rectify the problems it has caused by bad policy. There are better, safer ways to do that. I will offer my suggestions next time.

17 September 2019

Bad banking is a big problem for Australia

One of Australia’s senior bankers Rob Ferguson of BT fame was quoted recently in the media on Australian banks.  Here are some of his quotes on banking and bank directors:

“It is so oligopolistic that the ability to earn super profits is like a sugar hit for the people who are running those organisations. They feel that they are cleverer than they actually are.”

“It is a licence to print money at the big bank level. The big four.”

“The protection afforded the banks by being too big to fail has also made them too big to manage”

“I think they have abused their social licence in the sense that they have gone for profit rather than recognising  the privilege that they have .”

“The last resort protection (deposits guaranteed by Australians via government)  is just an enormous privilege which means they earn super profits.”

His comments illustrate a degree of malfunction in Australia’s major banks. The remedy is to do what they do. Work as a large body of bank customers, playing one bank off against another to obtain the most profitable arrangement for ourselves. Then customers will not be charged billions of dollars over what the services cost to deliver.

If we as taxpayers are guaranteeing term deposits of the major banks we do not need to also make them super profitable for our funds to be safe. Our money will be safer if we keep it to ourselves.

Then we will pay down loans faster, accumulated savings faster and be able to finance ourselves better.

This is what we have established in GBAC.  Our customers enjoy serious strength in their negotiations with banks. You can enjoy that too.

In recent years we have had to concentrate on sorting out problems and convincing banks to compensate loan customers for wrongdoings by a loan write down or discount. Now we can concentrate on getting the transactions right in the first place.

12 September 2019

Mortgage stress is no laughing matter but...

You have to laugh at Ken Henry, ex Chairman of NAB, not liking populist, (for the people), governments – nasty things like the banking & finance industry inquiry can happen when populism comes into play. He says government should listen to experts. That is true, but the fact is that it is the experts who have allowed the banks to lie, cheat, defraud and abuse their customers. The experts have been corrupted for the benefit of major companies seeking favourable laws and contracts from government to earn billions and pay executives millions.

The Australian people have been treated like dirt by the experts, whether de-regulating the banks and selling off the government owned ones to remove honest competition or depleting the Murray Darling river system.

All bank directors should be prosecuted for their breaches of Corporations law and the Crimes Act.  Banks act on the instructions of Directors. Directors set policy (to obey the code of practice or not). The bank CEO is then responsible for doing what the bank directors decide and instructing bank staff on how to do that. The bank directors are responsible for ensuring that the CEO does what he or she is told and finding out whether the bank is or is not treating customers fairly, in accordance with the law and the Code of Banking Practice. Bank directors are directly responsible for the banking debacle uncovered by the Royal Commission. They set policy rather than deal with detail. The bank policy has been to entrap borrowers in unaffordable debt in order to make extraordinary profits.

This week Westpac  refused to pay interest owed to a term deposit customer unless the customer personally travelled to the branch and gave a signature to collect it.

Yesterday we dealt with ANZ increasing a guarantee by an elderly couple by a multiple of 10 times, up to 100% of their home value on a loan to family members from  which they got not 1 cent of value.

This week we have dealt with Suncorp lending a family a loan on which they had to repay, in the first and most years of the loan, 3 times their average earnings – just impossible.

We are also dealing with nab foreclosing on a family who fell behind on a loan because of serious health and mental health problems. Following our involvement nab has been very helpful in considering a good solution. We have found nab to be one of the best banks at rectifying problems.

If ever you are in trouble with a bank and you give FairGO or GBAC a call, the first thing that will be done is to contact the bank to let them know something is being done about the issue. The second thing to be done will be to find out what caused the problem. The third will be, if possible, to come up with realistic solutions that are acceptable to both you and the bank.

A good move that we find effective is, once the problem has been identified as having been caused by some unreasonable or illegal bank action, to lodge a complaint with the new Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

However it needs to be understood that AFCA is a body owned and operated by the banks and financial services industry for the banks and financial services industry. GBAC can help you to set out your case against the bank very carefully and with reference to the prevailing Code of Banking practice when you took out the loan. Then you should clearly decide what you want out of your complaint to AFCA and be ready to act if you do not get it. FairGO provides a direct link to all Members of every Parliament in Australia via its Votergram service, so if you are not satisfied with the AFCA outcome you can then refer the matter to parliament, which is usually extremely effective.

The idea that parliament is made up of irresponsible men and women who behave like schoolchildren is totally incorrect and the fault of TV showings of parliament question time which is a bit of theatre designed to impress the voters watching on TV, which in fact does the very opposite.

A good 20% of the Members of any parliament will go out of their way to assist voters and that gives you enormous leverage for good government if you take advantage of it.

Government can work “for the people” but for that to happen it requires feedback, ideas, support and encouragement “by the people”. FairGO has helped Australians do that for over 30 years just as GBAC has helped Australian borrowers deal effectively with their banks for a bit longer. Good banking requires the same sort of involvement by borrowers. It is no good expecting the bank officer to look after the borrower. Bank officers look after the bank’s interests. Borrowers need to look after their own interests or engage someone like GBAC to do that for them.

The combined resources of FairGO and GBAC give bank customers very effective remedies against bank abuse. Feel free to call us on 0428 417 496 from wherever you are in Australia.

Politicians can’t do it without your help!

Look at today’s media -

Business & Finance

  • Adele Ferguson launches book “Banking Bad”, (yet another story like “Bankers and Bastards” published in 1992 and “Westpac the bank that broke the bank” published in 1997. Same old same old, protected by compliant politicians and regulators)
  • Banking whistleblower seeks new laws. (Quentin Dempster exposed these issues in his 1997 book “Whistleblowers”
  • Economic problems well beyond the capacity of our politicians and bureaucrats to manage

But it’s not all doom and gloom

  • CBA CEO ($35,000 per day pay packet) says interest rate cut will squeeze the bank’s profit margins and further weaken consumer and business confidence.
  • CBA cash net profit for 2019 after tax was  $8.5Billion  - all earned by charging customers more than what it costs to service them.

Community Lobbyists can stop this rot now.
Get Australia working for you and other Australians!

In association with GBAC, FairGO has a micro business

funding model to work it in with what you already do.

Email actnow@fairgo.org

7 August 2019

Self employed borrowers treated same as employed ones

Claims in the SMH Money section today that banks make it hard for self employed people to obtain home loans is nonsense. 

If self employed people are earning the same annual net profit as employed people they get treated the same. It is not hard to prove net profit or credit worthiness.

The problem for self employed people is they sometimes have their accountants working overtime to save them tax by showing they made hardly any profit. Then they give those figures to a bank and wonder why the bank does not want to lend to them.

Borrowing well is a skill best done with the help of professionals paid by the borrower. That makes it easier and reduces the risk of the borrower being refused or taken down by the bank. It is not expensive and is well worth the time.  Brokers paid by the bank will always work for the bank. We all work for the person who pays us.

Wise borrowers engage a loan consultant like GBAC to make sure they are treated well by the lender and that the contract is fair to them and understood by them.

The suggestion by a person from Orange that the bank “put the deeds in her husband’s name instead of joint names” is also nonsense. The bank has no say at all over whose name a property title  is registered. If the bank holds a mortgage and all property owners guarantee the debt then the bank security is rock solid. A simple $69.50 Votergram to every Member of Parliament would certainly unwind any such dictatorial behaviour by a bank executive. Bank customers do not have to be treated like dirt and most banks do not treat them that way if they have a good banking consultant with them.



29th July 2019

Move fast to deal withpayment demands

A challenging case arose last week where people very nearly lost their capital city home.

They had omitted to respond to a court notice. That resulted in a judgement being entered against them. It can be lifted, but not without a good bit of trouble. It is a lot easier to deal with all debt demands immediately they are received.

This is often neglected because borrowers are usually expert at whatever they do but totally inexperience at legal debt recovery procedures. The best thing to do on receiving any demand or legal looking paper is to get in touch with a good lawyer experienced in such matters, or give us a call at GBAC. If the matter needs to be dealt with by lawyers we will help you find one, but many debt problems are better dealt with without lawyers. We have a faster, easier and cheaper way of battling lenders than going to court.


It is the lack of any response that often sends lender ballistic and doing what they would not otherwise do.


When problems arise act fast!

When in doubt, find out!

You can mostly get me on 0428 417 496


24th July 2019
There is much talk in the media today about the pay of bank CEOs being based on customer satisfaction.

Whilst I have no faith whatsoever in the bank regulators, if parliament passes laws then things might improve.

It means that bank customers need to apply themselves much more to examining what they do in their dealings with banks. 

They also need to record how satisfied or otherwise they are with their own banks.GBAC will be assisting clients to do that.

Today we are dealing with a horrific case of bank bullying of  a very vulnerable couple. I am fairly confident that we will save them and their home.

Time alone will tell. Whatever you do, do not ignore a bank letter of demand. Phone us immediately because it is harder if the bank gets judgement against you simply because you did not understand to turn up at court and explain your side of the story.

22 July 2019
The banker and the greengrocerBanker and green grocer

One dull Wednesday morning a disgruntled greengrocer arranged to see his bank manager in order to get a bit more working capital. His shop was not making what it used to. Next day the sun was shining when he met his banker.

“What customers do not realise”, he explained” is the wastage we have. Nobody wants to buy limp lettuce or rotting cabbage. It is a very fine between having enough to sell and having too much to sell. In school holiday time half the customers seem to go away and unless we are very careful we throw out a lot of food.”

The banker looked across the desk and frowned as he quietly said “We have the same problem!”

“Well when you are next throwing out old money, throw it my way”, laughed Con.

“No. Seriously,” groaned the banker, “but it is worse than that. You throw out bad fruit and veg. We write off bad loans and it is not half as easy as throwing rotten fruit into the bin.”

“I don’t believe you “ said Con. “You’re having me on!”

“Not so!”  Jeremy the banker gravely assured him. “I had somebody in yesterday with a business loan of $160,000 that we can’t recover and the security is not worth a cent over $100,000.”

“So what did you do. Surely there was some way the bank would get it all back. I can’t imagine a bank not getting its loans back.”

“Most of your customers don’t imagine you throwing out bad fruit either.”


“So we wrote off 60 grand - $60,000 down the drain. Gone! Kaput!”

“I am staggered” Con gasped, incredulous. “What if I didn’t pay back my loan?”

“We’d turn your shop into a compost heap. Don’t try it!”.

“Well I have learned something today” said Con.” I am looking for another $20,000 on the overdraft. How am I placed?”

“No worries Con. I’ll get the paperwork to you, but remember what happens if you don’t pay up.”

As Con left, Jeremy looked at the $3.5m problem loan to an IT firm he was dealing with next. “ I wonder how much we will collect on that one” he mused silently.

5th July 2019

The easiest way to make money on-farm!

How much benefit will the tax changes passed today deliver to Australian farmers?

How much pain will their bank debts inflict?

Taxes should really be about value for money. How much to pay and how much to benefit.

It would be surprising if many family farms were going to pay big taxes during the 2020 financial year, given the past seasons. So the tax changes are unlikely to deliver them a pot of gold. But would farmers like to be paying bigger taxes ? There is one thing that paying more tax tells a farmer. The farm is making bigger profits. As a farmer myself I have always aimed to make the most profit possible. When I was a young aspiring Chartered Accountant one of the partners in the firm I worked for remarked “ No matter how great a percentage of your income you pay in taxes, there is always a bit left for you.” So I have never made saving tax my main priority. I don’t spend up big on non-essentials in June (or any time) to get a 30 cent tax saving from every dollar I spend. Of course if something must be bought in July it is smarter to do it in June. But I have worked hard to make the most profit I can. That at least meant that I could clear bank debts reasonably fast.

But there is another side to the coin. How much benefit do most farmers receive from the government? Apart from drought or flood relief, I don’t know that they receive a lot of benefit. They rarely use public transport. Their schools often lack the facilities that city schools take for granted. That is one reason some go to FairGO for a bit of assistance in persuading government to have their needs met. Often the good hospitals are a good distance away. The railways that made travel and freight so easy have all but disappeared.

So how can farmers boost their cash flows? One way is to re-evaluate their debt situation. As the Royal Commission showed, many farmers have been convinced to take on debt that is not and never was, affordable. Some of them do not recognise the reality of this and end up losing their farms. Sometimes they lose farms held for generations.  That is rarely necessary.

For those who are under considerable pressure from the bank, such a debt represents a real opportunity. Quite a few of the big city lawyers have cottoned onto this and set up class actions where if they win they and the people who funded the class action get about half of the settlement from the bank, with the farmers getting the other half. A review of mediations and negotiations GBAC has undertaken for farm clients shows that its clients tend to receive about 10 times what GBAC charges. There are no lawyers or litigation funders involved.

For farmers battling bank debt to pay $20,000 in fees and receive a debt write off of $200,000 or more shows a profit of $180,000. That is usually more than those farmers have earned over the past 5 years. They will have an additional annual saving of the interest on the $200,000 written off, which might be another $10,000 profit each year until the debt is repaid. There are plenty of farmers who know a lot more about farming and grazing than Iwe do. But we know farm finances very well. We also have a passion for fairness and we know how to apply the right sort of pressure to banks who have been unfair to farm clients.

I m always happy to have a cost-free phone chat to any farmer battling debt. Plenty of people have helped me during my lifetime and I enjoy helping others. You will mostly get me on 0428 417 496 when I am not out of range. greg@gbac.com.au will also mostly get me if the sender is patient.

5th June 2019 

What is likely to give you the highest profit boost from low interest rates?

The first thing to look at is why interest rates are low. Have the moneylenders suddenly decided to be more generous and assist those with aspirations beyond their cash reserves?  Not really. Interest rates are low because the economy in Australia and other countries is stalling and people are nervous of a financial collapse. For that reason they are not borrowing as readily as before.  They do not want to be caught short with a big debt and a falling property value that means the lender forecloses and sells the property but there is still money owing after that so they sell the rest of the business assets. In order to entice businesses to borrow the banks are lowering interest rates.

There are probably three main options that present with low interest rates.

  1. Borrow more money for the same monthly (P & I) repayments
  2. Borrow the same amount for lower monthly repayments
  3. Borrow the same amount, repay the same amount monthly and clear the debt faster

Option 1 allows the borrower to buy more, but exposes them to bigger risks of foreclosure  if the economy collapses and they cannot meet repayments or booms and pushes up interest rates.

Option 2 Makes it easier to repay the same amount of debt  and have more money for other things

Option 3 Makes it possible to repay the debt faster which has a snowballing effect as the early repayments of most fixed repayment loans are mostly interest and they are very low so repayments knock a good amount off the loan itself, reducing the interest further and knocking more of the debt with each payment.

It pays for any borrower to spend a bit of time working out which of these is likely to produce the best result for their business or their lives.

4th June 2019

High gas prices

Are high gas prices having an impact on your business or profits? Ross Gittins suggested in yesterday’s paper that high gas prices are forcing some Australian manufacturers to close. We do not need any Australian businesses to close because enterprising profiteers have cornered the market in natural gas supplies because of naive, corrupt or just incompetent government decisions.

If you are being adversely affected please give us a call because we may be able to suggest some sensible remedies. Our associate FairGO has an excellent record of influencing government decisions in favour of Australian businesses.

9 May 2019
Businesses and farmers beware of cashflow crises

Two matters should concern those owning and operating businesses and farms.

1. The reserve bank question of whether to lower the interest rate below 1.5%.
2. Reports of cashflow problems so acute that business owners are having to pay wages late. Small Business Commissioner Kate Carnell, herself a former successful small business owner, has today spoken out on this issue.

This indicates two serious financial problems that should be dealt with quickly.

1. The business is operating as a bank or financier for its customers.
2. Net Profit as a percentage of turnover is too low.

Consider the response of saddle and clothing maker, R.M. Williams decades ago when offered a job making a saddle for pastoralist Sir Sidney Kidman, who offered to pay 30 days. R.M. Williams responded with something like “I could not afford to wait 30 minutes .”

In my Chartered Accountancy practice years ago I realised that many tax clients had us do their accounting , financial statements and tax returns but did not much worry about paying until next year’s work was about to commence.
My first move was to increase my fees and offer a 10% discount to everyone who paid within 14 days. That cut my debtors’ ledger balance by about 65%. The other35% still paid late.
My second move and current practice was to ask for a substantial amount in advance with regular top ups as we completed work, so we always had funds in advance. This completely eliminated our debtors ledger and made it a lot easier to pay staff and draw money to live on. I helped people make money or cope with banks, instead of financing them myself.
People who this did not suit simply went elsewhere for the financial  guidance on business and farming matters and to get their problems with the bank resolved.

I recommend these sound financial strategies to all operators. I understand that they will not suit every situation. Farmers for instance will not be paid in advance for their stock or crops, but stock sale proceeds flow through very fast these days with a good agent.

Cashflow shortages result from the difference between money coming in and money going out of a business.

Many owners opt for a bank loan to solve their cashflow problems. What they often do not factor in is that there will be interest and charges on their loan that will reduce profitability and cashflow further and maybe some extra loan compliance costs. That can make the situation worse rather than better. In addition, before those interest and fee charges can be removed, the loan must be repaid and that can only be done out of profit and excess cashflow. Borrowing to cover a cashflow problem is sometimes a good temporary solution, but it can be the worst of all possible solutions if the debt is not quickly eliminated.

Three other solutions present themselves.

1. The easiest is to get on the phone, or let us do so for you, and ask your creditors for time to pay with a definite monthly plan to slow down payments for a few months  and get back to payment on time within six months or so. Most of your suppliers will help you in this way if you are a good customer, because they want to keep your business.
2. Get on the phone to those who owe you money, or have us do it for you, explain your cashflow problem and ask if they could possibly pay current outstanding money now  so that you can continue to operate. If they value your service, most will do this to help you. You may do the same for them or someone else one day.
3. Phone us at Gbac and arrange for us to look over your figures and business and advise you on how to improve your profitability and cashflow on a long term basis. Where we have been engaged to do that for businesses and farms they have dramatically improved both profitability and cashflow and also eliminated costly and time consuming debt.

Never be afraid to ask for assistance and call in someone who knows what it is like to run a business or farm as we have done – art rental, equipment rental, real estate, sheep, cattle. Consultants who have never done the job themselves talk from a fairly theoretical viewpoint. It is a lot different when the consultant has had to manage and solve their own business and farming issues to make money and enjoy life.

There is every indication that Australia is heading towards a monumental financial disaster along with many other countries world-wide. There comes a time when debt is so high that the interest on it and prospective repayment require more than is available from revenue. That is a debt trap from which there is no escape. Australian Governments have survived so far mainly by selling off assets to foreigners which means the people end up paying more for services. Even some of our hospitals, power and phone services have been sold off to foreigners with no interest in anything other than profits.

It is time to tighten our belts. The economy is now like a game of “pass the parcel”. The government, through low interest rates, is encouraging people to borrow and spend in order to stimulate the economy, but when the fluff hits the fan it will be those with cash in the bank or under the floor who will survive best and those with the highest debt who lose everything they have ever worked for. This is a time for caution, not panic. If the economy survives unscathed then those who have improved their farm and business profits and cashflow will go very well. If the economy tanks they will be the best able to withstand it until it recovers.

Gbac is devoted to assisting Australian businesses and farm owners to come out well and it has excellent systems to improve their profits and cashflow and to protect them from abuse by predatory lenders or impatient creditors. We are a lot more interested in helping our clients than in making money pandering to banks or kow-towing to governments.

The value of budgets

The recent federal budget has brought into focus the advantages and pitfalls of budgets.
One the one hand they allow a person to look into and plan for the future.
On the other hand they can produce completely false information.

Rarely is a business or farm budget subjected to the sort of scrutiny that the federal budget enjoys. But there would be many benefits if they were. Experience has show that over the years, constant attention to comparing budgets with actual results has gradually resulted in remarkably accurate budgets. That is because each year the variances between budget and actual will be compared and incorporated in the thinking that goes into subsequent budgets. It is just the same as experience in any business or farming field produces ever better results.

The practice that I have found most productive is to compare budgets with the current year's and the previous year's actual results.

It is amazing how easy it is to turn losses into profits or to increase profits with this process if it is then used properly in management of the business. That is because the comparisons encourage owners to look closely to see where they can make slight adjustments that increase revenue or decrease expenditure or both.

Over the decads I have seen many budgets that just mislead people into financial disaster because they are fanciful. They plan for profits that have never before been made and which generally do not eventuate. Debt accepted on the basis of unrealistic budgets can be disastrous.

For those who prefer to concentrate on their business or farm activities, GBAC will always be happy to help with the financial budgets and other financial matters like loan management, that detract from the owner's time. There is annother benefit in having GBAC prepare these figures or work through them with the owner. It gets another set of eyes looking over the figures without having had any input into the business operations. GBAC can stand back and offer frank advice that the owner can digest and use if it is deemed helpful

30th March 2019

Screws turn on bankers like they turn them on borrowers
There are changes underway for banking that could eventually change the industry to one with a customer focus replacing and executive one.
ACCC and even compliant ASIC and APRA are talking big about taking criminal bankers to task. We will have to wait to see how many bank directors end up behind bars where they belong. Politicians try to keep criminals out of gaol to save on costs. The people suffer.

Meanwhile the smaller banks are picking up more of the business, which is good. They can be far better than the old established banks headed by rogues. Hopefully voters will get behind them and lobby their politicians to prevent the big four removing competition by buying the smaller banks out.

For those with substantial debts or seeking loans, the times are changing. Many see a world recession on the way. In my humble view this is a time to clear debts and make the business or farm as safe as possible for attack. Those who have home loans should maybe look to see if they can extend the loan terms but keep on making the same payments in order to get a bit ahead.

Lack of profit is the greatest cause of loan default, followed by rash expansion. Owners should perhaps check on these two aspects. See that there is a hefty safety margin in loan repayments to guard against unforseen circumstances – as if enough Australians have not already faced unforseen circumstances in the past year. If profit is too low or non-existent, give us a call and let us help you get it back quickly. Few operations can face making losses for very long.

“Be Prepared “ is the motto known by Scouts and Girl Guides the world over. It a financial sense it can well be applied to the environment we face today. Be careful you are not being taken for an expensive “ride” when you borrow money. We are always happy to help. The debt trap can cost borrowers more than they ever believed possible. It is sad to see the lives of business owners and farmers destroyed just becaue they did not get the right advice  before they borrowed. Their lives rarely recover.

22 March 2019
Debt Agreements – home, business, farm

Debt agreements have become popular as an alternative to bankruptcy. So we are told.

Farmers & first home buyers are among those most stressed by debt following the drought, floods, fires and housing price collapse.

However there is another matter that often arises in debt issues. That is whether the debt has been properly created in the first place.

Has the builder made the roof waterproof as promised; did the wealth manager or professional perform as promised; did the bank adhere to the law and code of practice; were the goods fit for purpose.

Some people feel that they would have to go to court to fight a debt on such issues. Others go to the government run Department of Fair Trading or a financial counsellor.

All these can be effective remedies.

However, FairGO and GBAC are expert at examining debt to see whether there are extenuating circumstances that need to be negotiated between the parties before any payments are made.

This particularly applies to credit cards and business, home or farm loans, where the bankers are often happy to write off substantial amounts of money in order to resolve an ongoing dispute.

It is hard to generalise, but clients achieve a saving of up to ten times what they pay to achieve it. Anyone is welcome to find out what can be done by emailing greg@fairgo.org or phoning 0428 417 496. FairGO & GBAC have decades of experience and successful negotiations.

14 February 2019

“Open banking built” for BankBids
BankBids is a new way for bank customers to get the best deal from their banks. But it is based around our former Moneygram service that has used bank deregulation for the benefit of our clients.One managed to save $100,000 in interest. Not a bad way to invest a couple of hundrred dollars.
The banking Royal commission has opened many avenues for borrowers to make more money from their banking transactions. A new method of using existing information with one bank to negotiate cheaper loans or better term deposit terms from another bank is called “open banking”.

Easy data transfer
It simply means that if you would like to give your current banking history to another bank you may do so easily. You would need to decide whether that would be an advantage or a disadvantage. If you have an excellent loan record of repaying on time all the time, or of placing large amounts of money on deposit, it would work well for you. On the other hand if you have just been battling liquidity problems in your business or bad seasons on your farm with the result that you have not exactly honoured all the terms of your loan facilities, you would probably not wish to waive that in the face of a new bank.

Everyone likes Looking to the Future.
Normally speaking banks are far more interested in your future budgets than they are in your long-term history. However it is true that the results of your past five years’ activities are very likely to indicate the results of the next five. Don’t accept unachievable terms on the basis of wishful thinking that your results are about to blossom into magnificent profits in no time at all.

Don’t let the bank write your loan application
The concept behind BankBids is that instead of going to your bank with a begging bowl asking for a loan, you prepare a top quality Loan Application Portfolio which is then sent to your own bank and all the other banks likely to lend to you. At the same time we would ask each bank what rate of interest it would apply, how much the charges would be and over what period the loan would run. A young man interviewed on TV to promote "open Banking" said that he and his wife would get a better rate by "bluffing that he would go to another bank"> Why would you bluff? Go with the bank that treats you best. You don't want to lose money just to stay with one b ank that treats you badly when you can make money by going to one that will treat you well.
Once each of the banks has come back to you with these figures we would then help you to work through the loan application with them to see which of those banks would be likely to lend you the money. Once the field has been narrowed down to the banks who are most interested in your business, we would then start to talk with them about the loan costs and terms.

Negotiate for profit
We would negotiate the very best interest rates charges and terms available. The result is usually a far better loan than any of the banks talk about in their publicity or on comparative rate sites. Banks don't usually reveal their "best rates" unless under a good bit of pressure. One of the great benefits of BankBids is that usually you give your business to one bank out of two or three who are really interested in picking up your business. That means that you have two banks up your sleeve for any time that the bank you go with fails to give you the sort of service you want.

If you are an investor depositing money you will find that it has been possible to negotiate rates of interest for you that are not generally handed out by the banks.

Customer initiative
This is what you might call a customer initiative designed to put the customer in charge of the transactions instead of leading control with the bank and finding that the customer has been given a product that is less profitable and less appropriate to the customer’s circumstances.
BankBids have been developed by GBAC over many years to give borrowers a competitive edge in a field where they have often been taken for a ride. If you want to know more about BankBids feel free to give me a call in the office on 0428 417 496

7 February 2019

 The banking, insurance and financial services Royal Commission is a prime example of how voter pressure eventually forces the corrupt, incompetent and negligent  politicians to go with the honest conscientious ones, to do what voters want.

For years FairGO has told all politicians by Votergram what the major banks were doing to customers and sought changes. We will never change the banks. Some are very good and some are very bad. Now customers & voters have to take charge and control their banking into the future. That way all banking experiences will be good if we do it properly.

From all over Australia bank customers have come to us for assistance in preventing banks from taking their life savings, their enjoyment of life and their homes, businesses or farms. They have seen family, friends and neighbours lose everything and sometimes take their own lives.  Some dishonest bankers have done terrible things to enrich themselves, earn billions of dollars for their bank and satisfy the demands of wealth manager shareholders who have control of bank shares on behalf of superannuants.

Banks will always be happy to lend people into trouble so that they are hooked on debt for years, paying ever higher interest rates and charges as their debt accumulates, until they are sold up.

Superannuation managers will always use superannuants’ money to advantage themselves.

Insurance companies will always pay high-powered sales people to sell policies that do not cover the risks as they pretend. They will always pay tough lawyers to help them avoid paying claims for as long as possible or at all.

Regulation does not work. We have proved that!
Regulation does not work because government which controls it does not work well itself and:
many politicians do not want it to work
many powerful bank, insurance and wealth management directors do not want it to work
many regulators do not care and are not held accountable by politicians or voters.

There is no easy way for bank customers. They must look after themselves if they want to be treated fairly. We have established Australia-wide facilities to help them do that. Brokers, bank staff or financial counsellors funded by banks or government are not really the answer. Why? They often have a closer relationship with any given bank than they do with any given customer and they mostly do not want to offend any bank. A consultant cannot serve two opposing interests. Either it serves the bank or it serves the customer. We serve the customer every time and the bank never. Offending the bank to protect the customer is what we do best!

Within a year of launching its Votergram service in 1986 and in the face of bank de-regulation, FairGO’s founder converted his Chartered Accountancy practice into a banking consultancy to give bank customers a fair go, just as his Votergram service had done for voters. He was able to help people who were being cheated out of their businesses, homes and farms by greedy, ruthless and unprincipled bankers and insurance company executives. He showed people how to get cheaper, better loans.

Just as democracy will never work well until it is driven by voters, banking, insurance and superannuation will never work well until it is controlled by customers.

GBAC Advisory has been formed specifically to assist Australian bank customers and in fact customers anywhere in the world to do just that. Its tie with the Better Banking Network will also help spread information to customers.

Competition brings care and compassion
One guiding principle is to inject a measure of competition into a person’s dealing with banks. GBAC Advisory has developed a system called BankBids so that any bank customer can quickly see how to get the best treatment from the banking industry. It gets banks bidding for a customer’s business! When depositing money in an interest-bearing account, BankBids will enable any customer to obtain competitive quotes from other banks. That is the only way of enjoying the best interest rate available. In a similar way when seeking a loan BankBids will enable the customer to find out what is offering from other banks. It will then help customers negotiate the best rates possible.

The variables in a loan are the rate of interest, the charges imposed, the contract terms and the degree of care and interest in the customer provided by the bank’s senior staff.  There are thousands of really good bank staff around. It is just that they sometimes work for corporate criminals and fraudsters in their boardrooms. GBAC Advisory helps customers negotiate for the best deal that those banks can offer in competition with one another. GBAC Advisory has spent years helping bank customers all over Australia get a fair go from their banks. It does for banking and insurance what FairGO does for democracy.

Voters Network members and FairGO campaigners will always receive extra-special treatment when seeking assistance from FairGO or GBAC Advisory.

The Laugh is on Loyalty
A second guiding principle that applies in the current era when bank loyalty counts for nothing, is to change banks readily in order to obtain the best services.

Customers who remain with the one bank out of loyalty simply invite the bank to exploit that loyalty to increase its own wealth at the expense of those customers. Bankers joke about how easy it is to rip off a loyal customer who just trusts a bank. An elderly client of ours saddled with a debt of over $500,000 for which he did not apply or gain any benefit said when I queried him “When I get a document to sign from a reputable bank like ... I just sign it.” The bank did not even have the decency to invite him into their offices when they asked him to sign this guarantee. He did not know what the bank knew about the borrower’s financial situation.

Loyalty is now punished not rewarded by banks. Many senior bankers live by the motto “Never give a sucker (trusting customer) an even break.”

Holding accounts with a number of banks is the best protection any customer can have. It provides options to handle any particular transaction with the bank that will provide the customer with the best service.

Survival of the strongest
In this age of unprincipled greed by the financial services industry, supremacy of the strongest has replaced the concept of a fair go. No longer do our bastions of industry “Advance Australia Fair” but they “Advance their profits regardless”. Like voters, bank and insurance customers benefit by taking an aggressive/defensive position in all financial dealings. Customers who approach a bank from a position of strength do best.

It just happens that those who run FairGO and GBAC Advisory are well qualified and experienced accountants, business people and farmers. They know just how to advance the interests of customers in the financial services industry, as they do with government.

Governments, banks, insurance companies and wealth managers will work primarily for their customers if their customers demand that they do so in exchange for their votes or business. Australians in their roles as voters and finance industry customers can control the way in which they are treated. They gain additional strength from services like FairGO, Votergrams and GBAC Advisory rather than relying on very corruptible regulators. We help them use their votes as bargaining chips with politicians and their custom as bargaining chips with the banks, insurers and wealth managers.

As the song goes “You don’t have to suffer in silence” but you do have to act aggressively in your own defence. Let us give you a hand to get the best from the banks.

20th December 2018

Good year! Bad year!

Don't be discouraged by the bad bits and try to enjoy the good bits to the MAX.

To be fair, the banking and political disasters that have unfolded this year in Australia are to some extent our own fault. That is not bad. It is good! It means we can fix them.

Here is a story from one person who has been treated very well by both bankers and politicians. So, given what I know has happened, I ask myself why that is. Why do bankers treat him so well and some of the people who come to me for help, so badly?

Well, it is because he does not accept second best treatment from any bank. He puts a little of his business with each one, sometimes just a few dollars. When he and his companies have needed to borrow he has asked  all the banks what they could offer him then he played them off against one another until one bank gave him a very good deal. He would accept that offer and make sure that he paid it back exactly in accordance with the loan contract. If circumstances made that impossible he would quickly contact the bank and arrange for an extension of time. No bank has ever refused to assist him in that way.

Banks that treat him badly, he just closes his accounts immediately for a year of so and moves those accounts to the bank that treats him best.

Same with politicians. As soon as he sees something being done that he doesn't like, he tells all the MPs what he would like done and explains why. Those who help him, he supports with his vote and he supports their party colleagues too. Those who do what he does not want and ignore his communications, he votes against and he votes against their colleagues too.

By giving feedback to all Members of Parliament and explaining his reasons,using our Votergram service, he finds that they are mostly happy to do what he wants. Sometimes they are kind enough to explain to him why they do the opposite and often they convince him that he was wrong.

He deals with some very good bankers and some very good politicians, but says that he will never give his business to a banker who lets him down nor will he vote for a politician who lets him down. In banking he looks for what is good for him and his companies as well as general good treatment. In politics he says he looks for what is good for his family, community and the country.

He never trust bankers or politicians to the extent of expecting them to look after his interests by themselves. He says that would not be sensible. He reckons they will look after their own interests a long way before they look after his. Looking after his interests is, he emphasises, his job alone.

In that way he teaches bankers and politicians what will make him support them. Each of us can do the same.  I think he has found the answer. It makes life so much more enjoyable to have the powers-that-be working for us rather than against us.

27th November 2018

Borrower Beware!
Read the document
When in doubt, Find out!
Legal advice
Financial advice
Don’t trust anyone.
Conspiracy theory is often fact
The loan for those who can’t afford a loan
Borrowing’s the easy bit
No Guarantees please
Directors, not staff are the criminals
Read the document
You have probably seen and heard the horror stories about borrowers losing everything. It is far more common than you might think. I have been rescuing borrowers all around Australia for 31 years. Getting debt write offs, negotiating debt relief, winning mediations, obtaining re-finance. They are mostly everyday Australians – small to medium sized businesses, farmers, home buyers, credit card users. They are trying to earn a living. They fail to notice the predator tht lurks. In the world of loans and debt as in much of life, the law ofthe jungle prevails. It is the survival of the fittest. But I believe that the weakest deserve a fair go just as much as the strongest.

The most important advice I would give intending borrowers is to read every word in their letter of offer and loan contract. Every single word in those documents has been carefully examined and put there by the cleverest lawyers in Australia for one purpose and one purpose only – to give the bank every possible legal advantage over the borrowers. Little is what it seems when it comes to loans.

Read each document a couple of times and pencil queries in the margin. Do not sign it unless you are 100% happy with every word and sentence. Failure to do this may in the future cost you everything you own and have worked for, even assets you don’t own now and cannot imagine the bank would take from you, even your family. Bankers will toss you into the gutter after robbing you blind, faster than Romans fed Christians to the lions. bank customers don't expect that, but I don't suppose the Christians did either.

Each week I am going to share a few paragraphs with you on each of the above topics. If you think they are worthwhile please pass them on to friends or send them a link. We can save thousands of borrowers the abject misery that defauting debt can cause. Bank customers might even take some of the bankers' billion dollar annual profits and some of their their multi-million dollar pay packets.

15th November 2018
The Robber Bankers do not work alone

It was interesting to see in todays paper the ACCC Chairman saying the “Bankers need to take a look in the mirror about their ethics.” For about 20 years we have reported  to the federal Parliament the fraudulent behaviour of bankers. Business owners and farmers will remember how hard the Liberal/National Party Federal Government fought to avoid allowing a Banking Royal Commission.

Over those 20 years it was not only the vast majority of Federal MPs and their staffers who allowed the bankers to plunder their customer-victims with immunity. The ACCC, ASIC, Financial Ombudsman and APRA all colluded with the bankers to allow the practices to continue. Many of these bodies are "owned" by the banks and the finance industry.

How the government has benefitted financially from the bank behaviour! It has extracted in multi-million dollar fines much of what the banks took from their customers.

Business & farm owners would be wise to join the Better Banking Network (free) and persuade our politicians to change the law to provide triple damages to every bank customer who is in future  tricked or misled into an unaffordable loan or treated illegally.

That politicians provide most protection to consumers, effectively telling the banks that it is okay to mislead and defraud business and farm owners makes the comment by ACCC Chairman Rod Sims ring hollow. The finance industry should not be allowed to cheat anyone, business, charity or consumer.

For protection the business and farming communities will need to unite with their "voter hats" on to press for that simple reform. They would be very naive to imagine that the politicians and bureaucrats of all political persuasions who let this happen for two decades, will do anything to stop it now.

While it is gaining that political clout, the Better Banking Network will spend its time assisting members to obtain better deals from the banks.

13th November 2018

The new banking environment
As borrowers continue to suffer from absurdly unaffordable loans thrust on them by banks greedy to manoeuvre their customers into debt traps from which they might never escape, banks are changing tack.
Exposed by the Banking Royal Commission, they are now to clamp down on borrowers making it much harder to borrow. This change of heart may impact badly on those who can easily afford the loans they seek.
Good, honest presentation is the key to receiving bank loans when they are required by the business or farm. Then the key is to manage them well. That means clearing them absolutely as fast as possible. The sooner you have cleared the bank debt and stopped sharing the profits from your day’s work with the lender, the better. That is partly because your profits will increase and partly because your risks will decrease.
There is nothing as pleasant as running a business debt-free.
If you need a hand in managing your debt so that it ceases to be a problem, please feel free to contact us. Equally so if you need a hand applying for a loan or negotiating with your lender in connection with an old loan, we will be just as happy to assist you.
Most business owners and farmers are not as familiar with the loan process as with their specialty business enterprise.  Each to our own. We are always happy to help and particularly so if you feel that you are not being given a fair go by your lender. We are very big on fairness.

Growth forecast - make sure you enjoy your share of it!

The Reserve bank has forecast  faster growth for Australia, but family businesses and farms will need to work hard and strategially to participate.

The reserve bank policies since the GST have worked steadfastly in favour of large global public companies and against the interests of many small busineses and farmers. Prosperity has been very much the preserve of the big end of town.

Low interest rates have led many to share more of their income with the moneylenders. That has allowed banks to earn astronomical profits from their customers and pay their CEOs salaries that most of us do not even dream about.

But why is it so?

It is chiefly so because we in business and farming often buy without bargaining. We accept the price offered instead of of seeking the best value for money.

In today's competitive world there is great advantage in cutting costs. There is so much fat in the profits of the big corporations that serve us tha twe can easily grab some of it for ourselves and increase our income. Supermarkets, chemical suppliers, steel suppliers power suppliers, banks, insurance companies, accountants and lawyers are all doing well out of businesses and farms.

I urge you to consider joining our Better Banking Network and boosting your income instead of that of the big corporations supplying you with loans or taking your funds on deposit.

6th November 2018
Why does government benefit from the  proceeds of crime ???

The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that the government received or would receive $17 million in fines from financial advice business Financial Circle for the damage it caused its clients by operating as it did. It is worth reading the article.

What about all those poor investors who knew little about finance, just wanted loans and according to the Herald were relieved on their money in various ways?

Why do we see the Government $17m richer for apparently letting a business behave dishonestly, while the people who were taken down get nothing? Surely getting money back to the peole who have lost as much as one third of their supernnuation should be our first priority.

We saw this with the government that allowed banks and insurance companies to rob their customers blind for well over a decade. Government fought hard to prevent the royal commission from happening, then collects a reward of millions of dollars in fines from those banks and insurers.

Would you support laws that instead provide mandatory compensation  (not just refunds for amounts fraudulently taken) payable by offenders to those who lost their money? Email greg@gbac.com.au with your views.

31st October  2018

Strata Title property owners.

Have you got problems with your strata management?
You have down sized but are overwhelmed by paperwork and bureaucracy?

Let us take away the stress and help you sort out your problems. There are always good solutions.

We can assist you with sticky situations with the body corporate and strata manager and help you understand your rights, or even handle your paperwork.

27th October 2018

When political parties fail society, businesses and farmers suffer – society itself has the solution!

An IPSOS poll revealed that “More than half of Australian voters surveyed (53 per cent) said they believe political parties are bad at providing politicians capable of running the country, while only 17 per cent thought parties were good at this.

Political parties were bad at creating policy ideas in the long-term interests of Australia as a whole, according to 44 per cent.

As for parties' ability to communicate to voters about important issues and how they will work to solve them, 41 per cent said political parties were bad at this.
36 per cent said "it (the system) could be improved quite a lot" and another 29 per cent said it "needs a great deal of improvement”.

Business and farm success, profitability, depends on good decisions from those we elect to represent us in the decision-making process. Bad decisions and political brawling just distracts from the needs of our society, particularly the needs of business and farms. For farmers in drought and debt it is a disaster.

First – What is the problem? It is this: since society began, rulers have ruled primarily for themselves and those who finance their battles to gain power over their fellow citizens. Australian society is no exception. In 2016 Australian political parties spent $75 million dollars fighting each other in a war of words to win votes that would deliver them the spoils of ruling Australians. Whereas, centuries ago, dead bodies delivered victory, today in democracy it is the votes of the Australian people that deliver power.

One only has to watch the spiteful behaviour of political party members towards each other and even within parties to discover the lust for power that lies just beneath the surface. Those politicians genuinely interested in serving the people stand little chance of rising to the top in the dog-eat-dog world of politics.
Is this the best we can hope for in our Australian society at federal, state and local council levels? Not by a long way!

Our democracy in Australia has two unique features. First is the Australian persona happy to give everyone a fair go, arising from the appalling way in which our first settlers were treated by the authorities in this unforgiving land. The second is our right to vote our local MPs in or out of office every few years, without restriction as to any political party affiliations they may or may not have. In many cases independent MPs have acted better than party politicians.
By working with politicians instead of against them or ignoring them altogether, voters can provide the unifying stability that parties provide.

We voters have a range of choices. First and foremost, our governments will either rule or serve the Australian people. Which it is, depends 100% on the voters. If we choose wisely and elect only the best local MPs who will do what we want, we will be well served. To date we have not done that. We have simply picked a political party by virtue of our birth, location or wealth and voted for the candidate endorsed by that party. A performing seal could get elected to parliament  that way! And it seems that we have been more ruled for the benefit of the parties and their political donors, than served for the benefit of Australian society.

So what can we do about it to strengthen our profitability and sustainability?

We can put aside the concept of warring, self-serving political parties to whom the truth is irrelevant and false promises the stock in trade. Instead we can devote a bit more time, energy and money to working out which local election candidates will be likely to serve us best on the basis of  PAST PERFORMANCE ( not false promises). It does not matter to which party they belong or if they belong to no party. But we must look at their past performance. How did they go last term if in parliament? What have they done in the community over the past decades if they were not in parliament? Did they live locally or did they just buy into the area to get elected to a good seat in parliament?
We can tell all MPs, not just our local ones, what we want done and explain why. Because Parliament is just an organised meeting where the majority vote prevails, telling every MP is the only way to go, because then you have a chance of influencing the majority. Even on small personal matters, by seeking assistance from 100 or 200 MPs, someone will help you even if your local MP does not. That is why thousands of Australians use Votergrams to persuade politicians. It helps if voters discuss amongst themselves the major matters of concern first, to present a united voice on a topic. The Voters Network forum makes that easy.
We should only re-elect those local MPs who, or whose political party, do what we want about 80% of the time. By using the Voters Network website rating facility you can, on a monthly basis, rate whether your local MPs are representing you well or badly.  Given the multitude of other matters you will deal with between elections, the rating facility gives you a record to which you can easily refer before each election to help you decide who will be the best candidate.

For about 15 minutes and $1 a week, Australian voters in business or on farms can transform their society from a political battleground where the enterprise needs are buried by the greed, self-interest and quest for ever greater power and wealth by a very small group of people, to a well-off happy society where businesses and farms are profitable, jobs are plentiful and rewards sufficient for a lifestyle that is enjoyable and substantially free from the stresses of severe disadvantage.

That is why our national anthem is “Advance Australia Fair”. It is not just a nice song to listen to before the games begin. It is a commitment by the Australian people to the Australian people that no warring, spiteful politicians, behaving towards each other like caged animals, can take away from us.

We can discard the self-seeking individuals  and elect the society serving  candidates to represent us, then support them with guidance, praise and constructive criticism. There are plenty of excellent, community-minded politicians in our parliaments. But no Member of Parliament can serve the Australian people well, if left alone in a vacuum, for into that vacuum will come the evil corrupting influence of the self-seeking dishonest trash of society ready to offer rich rewards to politicians who will do their bidding  by granting them favourable laws and policies and awarding them rich government contracts.

In our society when voters take charge through our fabulous election process and work together with each other and our elected politicians through Voters Network, our governments will serve us instead of ruling us, ruining our business and farming prospects and our society in the process.

10th October 2018
Good way to earn money off-farm. Often 10 times what you spend!

When bank has done the wrong thing you may be able to recover some of the interest by having us examine what the bank has done to you, whether it has misled you and whether it has caused you damage by negligent mismanagement of your loan accounts.

This can be a very profitable exercise. When banks have done the wrong thing they frequently have to compensate those customers to whom they have caused damage. You may have seen examples in relation to the Royal Commission. They can also be liable for multi-million dollar fines. In many case banks prefer to settle with individual customers in private rather than fighting a claim in a public forum like parliament where their reputation can be further damaged.

You can go to lawyers who will fight in court and maybe lose to more highly paid bank lawyers in front of judges who know nothing about farming at all.

You can go to one of the major accounting firms for assistance. There may be a conflict of interest if they have a bank as a client or banks refer work to them. They probably know nothing or little about farming either.

You can go to a financial counselling service that may get some funding from government and banks and where the local financial counsellor deals with the same bank so oftern that they get to know the bank people so well that they don't want to offend them with hard barganing for a big debt write-down for you.

Or you can come to us. We are very happy to offend dishonest and negligent banks who placed unfair and undue stress on farmers because the bank did not do its own due diligence properly, or deliberately led farmers into a debt trap from which they expected to make a fortune while the farmers suffered.

If a person has not done something, it is hard to advise others about how to do it.

We have run sheep and cattle and advised farmers on debt negotiations since banks were de-regulated in the 1980’s.  We have run city businesses and a Chartered Accountancy practice. In all of those we have had to deal with bank debt. We have no arrangement with any bank. We get them competing to serve you better. We report them to authorities and parliament when they act dishonestly and unfairly. We only work for you. Never the bank.

Phone for a chat. 02 9988 3312 or 0428 417 496 from anywhere in Australia. We are far enough away from you that your confidential information is absolutely secure. Yet phone and email makes it like we were just in town.

3rd October 2018
Bargain with banks for better rates

Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald today Clancy Yeates comments about banks offering the worst interest rates to their oldest clients and giving new clients better rates.

It was this principle that led me to launch the Moneygram service  in 1987, now known as “BankBids”. Clever customers can negotiate far better rates from their banks, whether they are borrowing or investing.  One of my first customers saved $300,000 in interest on his loan with our inexpensive flat fee . Today we charge just $180. Saving a quarter percent on a $1m 30 year home loan could save around $50,000. Not a bad return on $180.  That’s because  we get in and help borrowers negotiate the best rate.

We bank customers do not have to change the bank’s behaviour or our MPs or have more Royal Commissions. All we have to do is WHAT MAKES THE BANK GIVE US A GOOD DEAL. It is laziness  or busy-ness that costs  so much money. Let us help you. get a better deal

29th September 2018

Don't DIY debt relief or solutions - enjoy the benefit of our skills and experience

If you are a farmer or business person, no matter where in Australia, do not try to solve your debt problem yourself.

Debt management is as much a specialised business as beef, dairy, lamb, wool or grain farming; manufacturing, distributing, retailing, trades, professions and service industries generally.

The earlier you set about relieving the pressure of debt the sooner you can focus on earning profits which will reduce reliance on debt.

Over decades of helping people from all over Australia deal with excessive debt issues, we have learned how to master the banks and get them treating customers fairly and honestly.

Give us a call. If you don’t think we can help there is not the slightest obligation on you.

As well as consulting people on debt we have run our own businesses very profitably and dealt with debt issues there too. We have also run our own wool and beef producing farms. We know what it is like when the bank gives you a hard time and we know how to change the situation.

Solutions are just a call away 0428 417 496, 02 99883312 or email greg@gbac.com.au

Put a bit more muscle into your banking relationship.

27th September 2018
This is the best time to negotiate with a bank!
It is not the senior staff in these banks who are to blame, but the directors who hopefully will end up in gaol. They knew perfectly well what was being done. Some I have personally visited and written to about their bank’s illegal behaviour. It would not be unreasonable to wonder whether organised crime syndicates may have taken over some of our most respected organisations. You never know.
What we do know is that if home buyers, business owners and farmers are to borrow or invest money without being robbed blind there will need to be some significant changes. One understands how long it takes to move government when it is lining the pockets of crooks, by the fact that we were telling Members of Parliament and regulators about the dishonest behaviour of banks as far back as 2001 as we negotiated debt solutions and debt relief for so many borrowers.
The tacit approval of regulators was a major reason for the behaviour of the banks they were paid to regulate. These regulators drew their pay fraudulently, though some were in fact paid by the banks themselves and still are. No-one in their right mind would trust people paid by the finance industry to regulate it. People have to have ethics to do that and a bank director would not know what ethics were. They say they are sorry. Yes., sorry to have been caught out when they thought they had put all thoughts of a Royal Commission out of the government's mind.
A complete re-think of the finance industry is required. The Australian Government should regulate all financial services bodies. Banks should be confined to pure banking – taking deposits, running bank accounts and making loans. Insurance companies should only be allowed to handle insurance and they should be tightly regulated to ensure that their policies cover what the clients think they cover and that claims are paid within one month of being lodged. Superannuation should be via a government superannuation fund and the tax scheme of superannuation deductions for the wealthy  eliminated.
No company should receive a tax deduction for any remuneration package in excess of $200,000 p.a, to stop the $1m a month rort by banks who then expect taxpayers to guarantee their debts. They should receive a 150% deduction for salaries under $60,000 to lift the lowest wages. Australian taxpaying companies should only be able to claim tax deductions for expenses paid overseas ( like call centres etc) against income earned overseas, to stop them sending our jobs off shore.
State and Federal governments should start honest government banks again to compete with the ruthless and dishonest thugs they sold them to. Guarantees of bank deposits put in place after the GFC should now be withdrawn from the big four banks who have all behaved so badly. Banks should be required to hold far more assets, enough to cover their own debts.
Right now the federal government is making a fortune out of the fines paid by the law breakers who it was supposed to be regulating. The governing politicians must be revelling in the unexpected boost to their coffers caused by their own negligence, indifference or protection of the wrongdoers.
Borrowers weighed down by debt stress are welcome to call us so that we can negotiate very generous settlements with their banks to ease the bankers’ consciences. Of course banks write off large amounts from their debts. Some borrowers have earned more from a debt settlement with a bank than by running their farm or business for the past decade. Right now is the time to negotiate. The Royal Commission has set the scene and the drought has made it hard to sell up farm or rural business security.

20th September 2018

Last week we assisted an Australian company renewing term deposits with three banks to obtain higher rates. At bank No 1 we increased the interest rate received from 2% to 2.6%; at bank No 2 we increased the interest rate received from 2.3% to 2.55%; at bank No 3 we increased the interest rate received from 2.35% to 2.7%. Total annual gain to customer was $1015.

Banks are earning billions by overcharging customers. Profit, not people is their concern. Let’s claim some of those profits back by demanding higher interest on money put with them and paying lower interest on money we borrow from them.

11th September 2018

Financial storm warning –Home buyers beware!!  Be prepared!! 

Problem (if too technical go straight to solutions below)

The Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday issued a financial storm warning according to today’s Sydney Morning Herald. Like all weather forecasts it may never happen, but it pays to take an umbrella when heavy rain is forecast.

SMH wrote:
Reserve Bank sounds warning over national debt.
The country’s debt levels rocketing to the top of global rankings.
“The Australian banking system is potentially very exposed to a decline in credit quality of outstanding mortgages” said RBA assistant governor Michelle Bullock.
Australia’s debt to income ratio more than doubled to 160% from the 1990s to the mid 2000s. Since 2013 that has spiked to 190%.

In a warning to middle aged and older home buyers the article revealed “Up to 60% of the debt is contained within households where the top income earner is aged between 35 & 54, while an increasing proportion of Australians are carrying it (debt) past retirement age”.

The RBA warned an economic shock could leave households struggling to meet repayments for home, business or farm mortgages.

Ms Bullock said “It they have little savings, they might need to reduce consumption in order to meet loan repayments or, more extreme, sell their houses or default on their loans (our emphasis). This could have adverse effects on the real economy in the form of lower economic growth, higher unemployment and falling house prices, which could in turn amplify the negative shock.

That can make people think of bankruptcy, liquidations or receivership. There are far better solutions than those. People would be surprised at the very big concessions banks usually make for us.

Everyone must find and adopt solutions suitable to their own particular circumstances. For assistance email greg@gbac.com.au  .

Here are some steps the wise borrower may wish to consider:
1. Take advantage of low interest rates to make the highest possible monthly repayments to reduce the debt  faster which also reduces the interest you are being charged.
2. Cut down on other expenditure that can be cut, to reduce your debt before the storm breaks
3. If you would like us to advocate for you and see if we can negotiate a lower interest rate or an option for a longer term to minimize the risk of default email us. We have had recent successes, as we have for over 30 years, in negotiating better rates and terms than are generally offered by lenders.
4. If you hav  large debt that has got out of hand, you may be a candidate for us to secure you a significant debt write off.

When a lender forecloses to sell up your home, business or farm (despite having sworn on a stack of Bibles that it would never do so) they often charge huge amounts against your mortgage in the process. I heard of one case recently where the charge alone was in the millions of dollars and absorbed all the equity the borrower had built up over years of repayments.

As long as you owe money on your home, you are at risk, unless you KNOW that your earnings are secure from now until the debt is repaid.

Credit card debt is dynamite unless you can clear the whole card debt monthly on the due date. Last week we reduced the credit card interest rate from 26.99% to 1.99% for one person.

Remember that we are not just here to make money. We are here to help each other greg@gbac.com.au .

We are always happy to act as your advocate to secure better treatment from your lender, but the earlier you act to protect your home and your investment in it, the better the outcome is likely to be.

10th September 2018

What is Wagga Wagga about?

 The screams for better government turned into a ballot box blow-out!

The swing of nearly 30% against the Liberal Party candidate shows how angry voters are. Voters are furious at the wholesale corruption and self-interest displayed by many of today's top politicians. Politicians can treat voters like dirt, but voters can put politicians right out of office with the stroke of a pencil - if they work together.

There is one simple answer – Join Voters Network so that you can continuously persuade politicians to do what is best for Australia and for you in particular. Voting people in or out is only a “remedy of last resort”. The next person may be just as bad. Persuading them to do what you want is the real answer.

Voters Network membership is free and it is producing some very good results for members.

A year after starting the Votergram service in 1986, I turned my Chartered Accountancy practice into a  consultancy for bank customers. Today FairGO and GBAC work together to deliver inexpensive financial and political advantages for Australians all over the country and at discounted prices for Voters Network members. Many have sought to copy us, but few succeed.

The reason is that we do not work to make money or political gain for ourselves. It is far more satisfying to make both available to other people.

Making money out of a family business or farm is not just about serious financial control. That is vital if you want to make a profit. Understanding your business is the most important factor. But along side those two sits political persuasion, the most neglected factor in financial success.

If the government, of whatever colour, continually works against you it it very hard to do well, no matter how long or hard you work. When government works with you the business prospers. We have not seen too many business related lobby groups produce great wins for their business or farm members.

That is primarily because they are single interest groups and politicians work in a pluralistic environment. They must consider a wide range of issues and how those issues interact.

It is for just that reason that I formed Voters Network. There we can bring people together to disucss their differences and work out mutually acceptable solutions to be put to politicians in the most persuasive ways.

Good government plays a big role in good profits. Good profits play a big role in enjoyable lives.

GBAC & FairGO combine to provide an absolutely unique service that is totally client focussed. Phone for a chat if you think we might be able to assist you.

I received another "thank you" email today from a lady whose interest rate we reduced from 26.99% to 1.99% last week. There is not much I enjoy better than doing that. For far too long Australians have allowed themselves to be robbed by politically patronised banks and insurance companies.

You don't have to put up with it if you don't want to! Feel free to give us a call.

3 September 2018
Beating the bank in the nicest of ways

The Banking Royal Commission has revealed that major banks, insurance companies and superannuation managers have been ripping off their most loyal customers for years, with the tacit approval of regulators.

FairGO and GBAC have for years combined to secure repayment discounts of up to $5 million for debt-stressed business and farm borrowers. They have done the same for consumers with impossible credit card debts

 In response to the Royal Commission evidence, they will soon help Voters Network members negotiate the best interest rates and learn whether they are covered for the benefits they expect from their insurance and superannuation payments.

Those who have been kind enough to make a $44 or more a year (85 cents a week) contribution to help cover network costs will received a 10% discount on any of the low costs involved.

28th August 2018

What will you do if the bank calls you about bering over the o/d limit or missing a loan repayment - if you simply cannot fix it?

I would do two things.

First I would ask the bank manager or relationship manager to come out and spend 30 minutes with me to discuss the account over tea/ coffee and biscuits.

Then I would ask my accountant or financial consultant to spend an hour or so with me going over my current and recent financial performance.

Every business or farm should have monthly financial statements that show how profitable the farm of business is. Debt problems generally arise from insufficient profitability. If you do not have regular monthly figures you cannot fix financial problems quickly enough. Some people just prepare a set of financial statements and a tax return annually and that's it. If they are going well that may be okay, but if they are not, they will not know until it is too late.

Profit is like a football or netball game. If you are down a couple of goals or tries early on it is hard to catch up then move ahead. When  you make a loss one month you need to know why. There may be very good reasons. Don't rely on cash flow statements because you can make them look good by simply not paying creditors.

17th August 2018
Don’t despair when dealing with difficult debt

The first indication of difficult debt is not always the bank pointing out that the account is overdrawn. It may very well be an accumulation of unpaid bills creating a number of angry creditors.

Individuals heading their own businesses find it tough going when they do not have anyone to discuss serious debt issues. This is usually not their highest skill area. It can lead to depression and bad business decisions that make matters worse.

Having consulted as a Chartered Accountant, then a banking consultant, and running my own family businesses in real estate, equipment hire and farming, I know how challenging this can be. Anyone can phone me for a free chat about their situation. They certainly do not have to do what I suggest or consult us further – 0428 417 496 or 02 9988 3312. We consult in every state and territory in Australia.

 It is all very well for lawyers to offer instant “debt relief” solutions, but most of us have to continue in the field dealing with our customers and suppliers, so just disappearing on creditors in a legal way is not that appealing. I almost always say “don’t liquidate/bankrupt your business, let us negotiate with the bank for you”. Very few of the business people I have dealt with over the past 30 years have known enough to successfully negotiate with their banks on their own. In fact many have tried it and ended up in a far worse situation.

Firstly the bank is not likely to admit that, even if it is true and secondly the bank does not see loans as being about fairness.  It sees loans as being about contractual obligations. What we do very early is check out where the bank has breached its legal obligations. Most banks do that,  as you may have gathered from the Royal Commission. Not all of those obligations are recorded in the contract. Then the battle over contractual obligations moves from your court into the bank’s. It is always better to fight a battle in the other party’s court.

The first step when the bank overdraft is at its limit, creditors are stretching out to 90 or 150 days and stock orders need to be placed is to deal quickly with the immediate problems of the creditors and bank.  There may also be a question of unpaid wages and taxes.

 One needs to be careful about replacing interest-free debt with interest-bearing debt. At the same time it is worth considering whether the threat is so dangerous as to mean that there is a need to fight foreclosure with expert political persuasion and financial insights. Sometimes people over-react, more often they under-react. The most common reason that creditors or banks ramp up the recovery action is that they are being ignored. It is a lot better for us to phone them on behalf of a client with a solution than for them to phone the client. There is a different relationship between a bank or creditor and an experienced adviser from the one that prevails between them and the person who owes them the money. Creditors or banks know we are working on getting them paid as much and quickly as possible, even if it means a debt write down by them first. If they are going to take a haircut it might just as well be early as later.

It is very rare that we cannot convince creditors that they will receive more money faster by working with us than going into court. Working together is a tried and tested formula for most areas of dispute. When we help you beat the bank it does not mean that the bank comes off very badly. It just means that the bank may not come off as well as it otherwise expected to. There is as much psychology as accounting in negotiating with banks. A small business debt settlement may simply provide time to pay, though it might equally deliver a saving on the amount to be paid.

Once we have calmed the hostile parties down we will then look for the root cause. Debt advice is usually sought when things go wrong, but the truth is that it is best sought when things are going well.
Solving a creditor problem by taking out a bank loan is a popular form of business debt consolidation and sometimes it works well. I tend to feel that it is dangerous because it is “putting all the eggs in one basket”. It is generally easier to deal with 20 creditors than one bank holding the home or business property as security. Creditors mostly want your continued business where as banks are so big that your business is not significant to them.

The root cause of debt problems is quite possibly a reflection of profitability problems. On the other hand it can be caused by rapid and profitable expansion of the business which requires more working capital. It is essential to determine which it is, as they each benefit from different strategies. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Every business is different and very often the priorities of different business owners are different. That means a desire for quick solutions can lead to the worst ones.

In all financial problems, determining the root cause of the problem is vital.  Then, as well as temporary measures designed to pre-empt any drastic small business debt recovery action by a bank or desperate creditor, a business recovery strategy can be developed around profitability and cash flow.

A new bank loan or refinance may be the solution, but it is not worth rushing into. Always remember that the bank and the supplier are there to make profits for themselves, not for you.  We will help you achieve your goals for your business in the very best way we can.

Sometimes business owners are misled by financial statements, budgets and cash flow projections. One needs to have the professional understanding of how those statements are prepared in order to understand what they mean. We will be happy to help you with that too.

Don’t let debt get you down. It is a hurdle to jump over! The longer you wait, the higher it gets.

14 August 2018

Who wants farm friendly loan management services ?

What is all the fuss about farm loans? Aren’t they just the same as any other business loans? Just borrow to the max, leverage your assets and she’ll be right mate.

The answer is “No”. I will try to explain why, because I come from a family that is partly made up of farmers and partly of city business people. I’ve been farming and consulting for about 40 years. Please indulge me, because understanding the issues is particularly important for both banks and borrowers.

My paternal grandfather was a drover in Queensland (like Clancy) before he bought a property in Coonabarabran NSW. He ended up in real estate, home building and hardware in Sydney. He married a lady who grew up on the cattle property I now own in the Araluen Valley out of Braidwood. It used to take my grandmother's family 2 weeks to travel to Sydney by horse and dray for supplies, camping on the way. Today it takes me 4 hours. Before buying that property from Dad’s cousin I ran sheep at Tullamore NSW. Professionally I ran my own Chartered Acccountancy firm before specialising in helping bank borrowers after de-regulation of banks.

The need for farm friendly loans comes from one word - “DROUGHT”.  There is a lot of cross talk about it in NSW now and has been in Queensland for some years, but drought and debt don’t mix well. When I bought the farm, my second cousin, older and wiser than me, gave this warning “When you come out of one drought you know you are heading into the next one.”

I wish I could write the word “Farm Friendly” on every banker’s forehead. Farmers need farm friendly everything – farm friendly loan negotiations to begin, farmer friendly loan management while the debt exists and farmer friendly loan assistance when things go wrong.

Once drought strikes it becomes impossible for most farmers to service their loans as the bank contract requires. Why? Because the farmer is distracted by the need to keep livestock alive. The cost of buying in feed is high at any time but astronomical during drought. Farmers fight for survival! Nobody knows how long the drought will last or the cash outflow will last. Bankers often don’t understand that a farmer with money worries will not be able to focus on them whilst dealing with drought. Life on the land is tough and making money on the land is tougher. The best thing a banker can do is offer sympathy and give support. In my experience the bank will do this if the famer has taken the right sort of loan with the right sort of terms in the first place and then managed it carefully and conservatively throughout. Building a reputation as a good borrower during good times is the first job of any farmer in debt to the bank. It is the best insurance going.

There are two major paths to be taken by farm borrowers in drought. One is to continue to feed stock on hay or grain until the drought breaks or the stock die. This really can absorb every cent a farmer has and more. Bank interest and repayments go by the wayside. Serious negotiations need to be undertaken with the bank as soon as this process begins. The other approach is to sell down stock as the drought deepens by watching the ratio of rainfall received to the number of dry days since. This results in good cash flow and excellent profits as the gains built up by calves who have turned into. cows are realised in cash. The downside is the loss of top class breeding stock. Profits arising from drought disposal of stock are only taxed over 5 years or farmers can avoid being taxed on them at all by reinvesting the money in replacement stock within 5 years. The farmer in this case is cashing in on drought, no matter how damaging it feels. In the case of the latter option good prices will likely be received and the money can be locked away in a saving account until a few months after the drought breaks and then used for restocking.

This is where some other farmer friendly loan negotiations are required and GBAC often does those. The bank has got to be convinced that the farmer needs money to restock. Interest and loan repayments can damage the ability to re-stock. Most bankers I have dealt with will agree to a repayment holiday if they are convinced that the farmer will not waste the money on other things. It is very easy to spend money that is sitting in the bank. A farm is like a money sponge. The sale money can be used to reduce bank debt if the bank can be persuaded to give a written guarantee that the money may be drawn back after the drought breaks if used only for re-stocking.

I suggest that if farmers are thinking of asking us to do the bank negotiations, they don’t have a go at doing it themselves first. It is not that I want to earn the fees. It is just that if the bank has refused the farmer, it would “lose face” by agreeing when asked by us. Way back in the 1930’s Dale Carnegie explained that it is much easier to get someone to say “Yes” if they have not previously said “No”. In our game we like to keep the bank saying “Yes” to our clients.

Given Australia’s propensity for drought, flood and fire, the future of family farming depends on the application of farm friendly management services in general. Accountants, lawyers, brokers, and advisers need to look carefully at the financial implications of everything they do. The idea of borrowing and spending regardless of consequences because it “is needed” is a recipe for disaster and I have had to pull a good few irons out of the fire for those who have run their farms like that.

I saw a question on line  today, “How many cows do you need to run to make a profit?”. The answer given was “probably 100”. It was the wrong question and the wrong answer.  First define what part of your farm and spending is your home to simply enjoy the lifestyle and what part is business. To be profitable, the business side needs only to spend less than is earned. It is no good saying a farmer has to earn more than what that farmer spends, because he or she cannot determine their earnings. Any number of things can alter that. They can determine their spending - except in drought.

There is almost never a case for a farmer to be forced off the farm. If the financial situation is such that a debt cannot be repaid and the farm or part of it must be sold, it is better to do what I would call a “farmer friendly negotiation”, have the bank accept a big discount on repayment of the debt then sell enough land to fund it or arrange suitable long-term re-finance. It is better to turn a stampeding mob gently than stand in front of it and the same principle applies when dealing with farm debt that has gone bad. Deal with it properly and survive to fight another day. Really it is important to seek professional assistance as soon as a loan shows signs of not performing as it should - going over the o/d, unable to pay interest or missing a loan repayment are danger signals. It is far easier and faster to negotiate around a small problem early than to handle a big one later. A stitch in time etc.

However, the most farmer friendly loans I know of are the ones that have been completely paid off. The farmer in that position has a lot more freedom in dealing with drought. Because of natural weather conditions, farming is not the sort of business that thrives on debt. Debt-free farming is the very most enjoyable and rewarding farming there is and profits don’t get shared with the bank.

Banjo Paterson is very popular, but perhaps it was Henry Lawson who most appropriately described farming life. Sidney Kidman and Patsy Durack did magic things with their farming kingdoms, but neither could really beat the fragile circumstances that afflict agriculture here. Caution and conservatism have a lot going for them in farming. Anything a farmer draws on needs to be farm friendly or it can lead them astray. Fanciful budgets by many accountants are a prime cause of disaster.

Greg Bloomfield

10th August 2018

What is the best debt relief company ?
Opinions will differ depending on what people want to achieve. Some simply want to understand the business debt relief options. Right now in the midst of drought there will be farmers looking at their farm debt relief options for stopping payments for a while. Yet others will take the opportunity of drought de-stocking to pay down loans but want to ensure that they can re-borrow to re-stock after the drought breaks. A company like ours can help in the decision-making.

 I am not in favour of bankruptcy because that tag can stick with a person for a long time.  Nor debt consolidation that just puts all your eggs in one basket, unless it produces big interest savings.

I see debt relief as being relief of the stress caused by constant bank pressure and highly inflated interest rates. Loan problems are almost inevitable with long term debt because life itself has highs and lows. For those running family businesses up to $20m or so turnover and farms up to $5m in annual sales, the business or farm will also have its ups and downs.

I enjoy the concept behind our debt reduction services because they are about eliminating debt gradually over time. That can happen in many ways. The best way, if all is going well, is to set up a good loan reduction  program as soon as you have the loan. We design them in a way that copes with most of the issues that bring borrowers unstuck. For farmers that would mostly be drought or commodity price collapses. For businesses including farms it can come in the form of an economic recession, unexpected competition, illness, big cost increases or staffing problems.

All through my Chartered Accountancy practice and then as I began to specialise in helping those in trouble with bank loans, I have found the banks to be very willing to negotiate fair outcomes and good loans. I enjoy negotiating bank loans because it is generally possible to come up with a suitable proposal for both the bank and the borrower.

Banks make risky loans because even though a percentage will fail, the profit from the rest will make up for it. Just as the fruiterer throws out bad fruit and the baker does the same with stale bread, banks write off substantial amounts of debt. That makes them maximum profits. They understand that some borrowers will not cope and they do write off some very generous sums of money. They do not worry about the trauma of foreclosure on the customer unless you can offer them a substantial slice of trauma in return. Once the bank has agreed to a discounted payout, it is then only a case of organising suitable refinance. That is how to get your business out of debt without creating a bad reputation. But negotiating with banks is not for the fait-hearted. They come with internal and external lawyers. We have a secret weapon which makes a very big difference to their attitude.

Fruit is a good example for anyone making a future bank loan assessment. There is a time to enjoy fruit, a way to preserve it and a time when it goes bad on you. Loans are much the same. If the loan has been carefully tailored by an experienced loan consultant to do what the borrower wants and protect against foreseeable problems then early on in the loan is when it should be working best. As time goes on it is important to settle the loan in and preserve its benefits. That means either keeping it in the forefront of your mind and planning all decisions around it, or engaging an expert to do that for you. It is generally in the middle of the loan term that it begins to go bad on some borrowers. If it is going well you can almost bet that the bank will work hard to sell you on more debt. It is crucial at that time to resist any debt increases. Put on the blinkers and pay the debt out completely before entertaining any more loans. The bank is simply setting a debt trap for you.

If you just want to chat about your loan, profits or prospective borrowings give me a call on 0428 417 496 or 02 9988 3312. My great-grandfather settled the cattle property I am on now and I have run merino sheep elsewhere. I practiced Australia-wide as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and I have run four other successful businesses from Sydney. Always happy to chat about solving problems with profits or loans.

Greg Bloomfield

Bank loan consultant, Farmer and Democracy Consultant

9th August 2018

Two sides to drought relief and drought management

Drought stricken farmers, particularly those in debt, are most grateful to the city people and government for the funds and grants directed to buying hay for them to feed to starving stock.

A by-product or unintended consequence for those farmers who have sold down stock as the drought approached and saved money from good times to put into stock feed during the drought, is that the competition for hay from government and charitable programs has seen the price of hay rise from $500 a tonne in some areas to $1,000  tonne.

For those farmers who have made careful provision to sell off stock and set aside money to feed their core flock of sheep or herd of cattle the price has doubled.

Hay producers receive very low prices while there is plenty of feed around or simply store the hay in their sheds wearing the interest cost, to have it available in drought. They are entitled to get a better price when drought sets in to justify them producing  and keeping it in their sheds for so long.

Perhaps there needs to be a government support program based on the amount of recent rain and destocking gradually as the number of dry days from rain increases, with hay price increases  controlled to give a good profit to producers whilst giving the same benefits to those who have destocked and saved money for a dry season as to those who have not.

It will take wise heads and sensible solutions to formulate a fair drought management policy that encourages very early impact mitigation policies by farmers, banks and government.

The overwhelming response by city people to assist their country cousins is a remarkable feature of the Australian community and one of which we can all be proud.

Kidman could not beat drought by moving his cattle about. Is it possible that we could mitigate drought and develop our inland by, instead, moving water about, in order to develop the inland and create a truly Global Nation, rather than just a dry continent with “Global Cities” on the edge? Australian writer Ion Idress suggested the concept a long time ago. It might bear thinking about.

8th August 2018

Big win for businesses and farmers – Australia as a Global Nation

GBAC principal Greg Bloomfield has succeeded in his campaign to persuade politicians to develop Australia as a Global Nation by developing our inland cities and towns. This replaces the old goal of one or two global cities, namely Sydney and Melbourne. We congratulate our national MPs for their clear vision that will greatly enhance the lives of our people and particularly our children. This is the realisation and exploitation of the 3rd line in our national anthem, “We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil” and later “We’ve boundless plains to share”. Like many nations with growing populations, we will need to collect our water when it falls, for use when we need it.

This shows the benefit to business people and farmers around Australia of FairGO and the Votergram service which Greg started in 1986 to give ordinary Australians greater influence over government decisions and services. The inland develpment decision comes on top of his long campaign which started in 1998 to have government investigate the illegal and unethical behaviour of Australian bankers, which has resulted in the banking royal commission.

Global Australia will create thousands of jobs inland where  NBN can transfer skills from anywhere to anywhere. Voters have long pointed out that the restricted “Two Cities” policy was a disaster in that it destroyed what was so good about Sydney and Melbourne and neglected what was so good about our beautiful inland towns and cities. They enjoy clean air, clean water, freedom from time consuming traffic jams and have small enough communities to enjoy the company and help each other. Development will include construction of business premises, government offices, homes, roads, rail, airports, sporting, social and cultural facilities, schools & hospitals. The tidal wave of superannuation money looking for a home will find profitable and constructive opportunities in Global Australia.

With bi-partisan political support and continued voter encouragement, this will also allow Australia to welcome migrants without putting undue pressure on Capital city home prices, infrastructure and services. The neglect felt by many rural communities will soon dissipate so that they enjoy many more of the benefits of bigger city life. Yet they will avoid many of the crises brought about by over-development of our mega-cities.

Because this will also put consumers nearer to food production, farmers will enjoy better prices while consumers will buy for less, as the very expensive transport and multiple handling costs disappear. Technologically based manufacturing will have every opportunity to compete with foreign manufacturers as operational costs fall. off-farm jobs will increase which helps to mitigate the vaguaries of farm income with its weather dependence.

Tax concessions for businesses and residents for the next 10 years can easily be provided as part of the sound government investment to see this exciting new stage in Australia’s development materialise. It was substantial stamp duty concessions that enabled the development of Canberra and Darwin.

For  government, business and agriculturre, this move to turn Australia into a truly Global Nation has a lot going for it. For those, including our young people, looking for career opportunities to supply the world with food, goods and services, they can expect to enjoy far better lives than would otherwise have  been the case.

6th August 2018

Ask an Adviser Before Borrowing -

A serious loan problem was raised on the Voters Network Action Forum today with a call for help which I answered.
Almost all loan problems can be resolved, business, farm or personal. The sooner they are tackled the easier they generally are to resolve.
But the very best solution is to call GBAC first on 0428 417 496 or 02 9988 3312 so that we can help you obtain the best and most suitable loan for your circumstances.
Borrowing is one of the most dangerous things anyone can do, because it can result in the borrower losing all their other assets as well. But it can also be the best in allowing you to do what you could otherwise not afford at that time.
It is important to understand that the banker only wants to help you in order to earn a profit for the bank. You need an expert on your side to ensure that borrowing helps you achieve your dreams.

For those who go into debt without the right advice, it can turn a dream into a financial nightmare.

Banks usually provide, in the loan contract, that they can do anything they like and the borrower is very restricted. Banks usually have the right to increase the interest rate or call in the loan any time they feel like it, though the contract does not make it that obvious.
Once you have borrowed money it is wise to have an adviser help you draw up and stick to a loan servicing and repayment program.
GBAC cost are not expensive and they might save the client 5 to 10 times what a problem might cost.
GBAC has been providing these services to borrowers in every state and territory of Australia since 1987.

28th July 2018
“Why rate MPs on Voters Network?” I am asked. Here is the answer.

Business and farm profits depend to a large extent on government policy and actions. Good government boosts profits.

Good Government is not achieved by rallies, protests or voting for a candidate because he or she belongs to your favourite political party. Doing that makes the MP loyal to the party and the party is always loyal to its donors or financial backers. Political parties exist only to achieve the goals of donors and party members.

By rating your federal and state MPs monthly on the basis of what you find they or their party have been doing, you build yourself a database to which you can refer before you vote at the next election.

Only that way can you fairly gauge their performance over 3 or 4 years.

The 1st step to good government and higher profits is to re-elect the MP who, or whose party, mostly does what you want and replace (with anyone at all) the MP who, or whose party, mostly does what you don’t want.

Just the fact that you and others rate their performance will encourage far better performance by your MPs. You probably rate many factors on your farm or in your business on a daily basis. It is difficult to rremember at each election what your local MPs or their parties have been up to since the last election. Rating them on Voters Network makes it easy. Only you can refer back to your own ratings.

It pays to join and you can do that free.

23rd July 2018

You have to hand it to our federal government politicians. They fought like mad to avoid the banks being exposed to a Royal Commission. Then to protect banks they broadened it to cover insurance companies. Now they are really getting stuck into the AMP society and the banks can slink off and continue their dishonest practices. It is a fair bet that no bank CEOs or directors will be sent to gaol. They have a special "invisibility cloak" to protect them from crimiinal prosecutions.

Business owners and farmers can be assured that little will have changed in banking except that the economy might be going down hill and that would prompt banks not to lend to businesses or farms that need specialy tailored loans to avoid default.

Through FairGO we are going to form a campaign team to press for a government bank or banks to cater for some fair and honest banking into the future, otherwise the only thing Australia will produce is advice and a good time for tourists. That may wear thin in a contracting world economy.

There areplenty of good politicians. We just need to support them better than we do now if we want good government.

Let us know if you would like to join in and push for government banks. Privatisation has been a disaster in  number of fields like energy, banking and insurance. And yet some politicians have the gall to claim that they know what is best for the voters.

Politicians can make a big difference to business results, so political persuasion should be a normal part of business.

19th July 2018


Government affects so much of what we seek to aqchieve through our work in a business, trade or profession or on a farm. And we all get to vote for the government we want, so why does government so consistently let us and our businesses down?

It was pointed out to me by one of those who visited the Voters Network Facebook page that Mark Twain had said , “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”

Remember, Twain was a humourist.

That is a bit like his comment that  “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

Democracy does demand more than just voting for a political party. The voter must also elect a person who is willing and able to do what that voter wants done. It requires deciding what the voter wants done and telling every Member of Parliament what that is, explaining why it is wanted.

That is because democracy is a system of government by majority. If a business owner, farmer or their organisation manage to convince more than half of the MPs in a parliament, they will probably get what they want done. Ask one MP and they will mostly waste their time. What could one MP achieve in a parliament of 200?

Over the past 30 years many business owners and farmers have used Votergrams to influence politicians to do what they wanted. If you or your business/ farming organisation feels that good government needs to do better, for you to make the profits you deseerve, try a Votergram campaign. Persuading politicians is the first step to getting the sort of govenment you want. 

16th July 2018
How much money is your business or farm returning to you?

People who run businesses or farms usually work very long hours and have to invest substantial amounts of their own money as well as dealing with the stress of loan servicing.

However, businesses and farms will absorb as much money as owners feel like throwing at them. They are like sponges.

When I ran our equipment hire businesses, there was always a loan to be repaid or a new piece of equipment that we really needed to buy to meet demand. On my sheep and cattle properties there was always fencing material to be bought, repairs to buildings or equipment to be paid for, dams to be dug or more equipment to be purchased. There were wages to be paid along with insurance. In my Chartered Accountancy practice there were new computers to be purchased, insurance, wages & taxes to be paid.

Not so much money was flowing through to my family, but we did not spend much either.

One day I woke up to the fact that the businesses, farms and practice were not providing my family with the sort of returns one might expect from the long hours I worked so I looked at how that might change.

Of the hire companies, one was losing money, so I had a serious look at why and took measures to cut costs  so that it became profitable. Then I opened a company savings account and started transferring $20 a week into it. The business continued as usual. Gradually each week I increased the amount until it reached $100 a week. Still the business continued well. Eventually I increased the amount to $1,000 a week and the business still went well. By forcing the business to return dividends to shareholders I had made it more efficient and profitable.

On the sheep property I realised that I had spent an absurd amount on dams and contour banks on the basis of sound advice, which did not deliver the promised increase in stocking rates. So I stopped all capital expenditure. That helped eliminate the bank debt. Then when the wool price crashed and a 20% levy on wool sales was imposed I sold the sheep and farm. It was a sad day because I loved the property and we had great friends in the area, but I had already bought a cattle property in another part of the state.  I had paid a high price for it but negotiated very long terms, interest-free.

On the cattle property the purchase payments, supplier payments, wages and drought after a few years drained us of cash, so I took on running it without staff. Revenue dropped by about 50% and expenses by 90%. It worked well and my wife and I enjoyed running it ourselves. It has never looked back.

The Chartered Accountancy practice had always prepared loan applications for clients and in 1987 when banks were de-regulated I had invented the Moneygram to help borrowers obtain far better loans than would otherwise have been the case. I ceased my Chartered Accountancy practice and turned it into a bank loan consultancy, leaving my expensive office premises, moving into very inexpensive premises and dealing with borrowers in every state and territory by phone, fax and now email. It had taken me a lot of “blood sweat and tears” to become a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, a CPA, an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and a Fellow of the Institute of (Company) Directors, but the change was a good one.

I saw a need to bring fairness into the banking business and knew that the banks would never do that for their borrowers. Once borrowers were caught in an unaffordable debt trap, the banks could do what they liked with them. Often borrowers were given the wrong sort of loan. Politicians were to blame for the sale of the two best banks for small businesses and farmers – Commonwealth Development Bank and PIBA. Those sales helped me understand that most politicians work primarily for the people who fund their parties, not the general community. That is just logical. Otherwise they would have no funds to campaign with. Sadly not many voters understand that. Today we suffer from their sale of electricity assets in the same way. That is why I established the Votergram service in 1986 and FairGO in 1990. FairGO has been responsible for winning fair treatment for business people, farmers and both business and farming peak bodies over three decades.

The banking consultancy has been far more rewarding than my accountancy practice which involved audits, accounting and taxation advice. Now we really do save people’s lives, businesses, farms and families. For most people who do exactly what we say, the bank makes very generous concessions on the debt being cleared. Some people end up going their own way and they take the credit or blame for the outcomes. It can be very stressful. Many times before the bank comes good the clients feel sure that we have lost the battle. But banks really can do the decent thing when they understand what they have been doing that is illegal and they realise that if they do not settle, the only option for our client is to use the Votergram service to expose their wrong-doings in parliament and hope that the politicians will add their weight to bring about a fair outcome for both borrower and bank. We learned that some politicians were always very helpful to voters no matter what the issue. They are featured on the www.fairgo.org Politicians Honour Roll.

We put a lot of work into persuading politicians that they should proceed with the Banking Royal Commission, as did many other individuals and groups around Australia and our MPs came good.

Now we may well return to an era where borrowers will need to draw up first class loan applications with persuasive and factual information including realistic risk assessment and sound repayment programmes. Farmers particularly will need to ensure that their loans are affordable in all seasons. But banks will have to stop their  dishonest, deceptive and sometimes fraudulent practices. In that respect we focus on presentation, risk assessment, risk mitigation and careful management of the loan until it is repaid and a mortgage discharge plus title deeds are in the hands of the borrower. That makes for cheaper, stress free loans for the borrowers and more profitable loans for the bank – a win / win outcome for all sides. It sometimes rquires more focus on farming for profit than farming for liffestyle.

8th July 2018

Family business owners who operate through companies need to push their federal  MPs to double the funding available to ASIC.

Not only did ASIC do nothing about the fraudulent and theiving practices of the banks for years, but now it is trying to drown company officers in the quagmire of its website.

It wants you to go onto its website and try to login. If you are lucky enough to get in, then check your company details and pay the invoice that, along with the annual review statement it no longer sends to you. If you phone ASIC for information, you, like me, may be cheerfully told that "someone will be with you in about 30 minutes". Come on ASIC!! As if we are going to wait on the phone 30 minutes.

The existing company details could be emailed out and as before officers asked to check if it was okay, and  told to lodge the appropriate form if not (it could be attached in case) then pay the invoice attached. Fast, like the 21st century - a couple of minutes instead of an hour.

Instead ASIC chooses to not send anything out, even the invoice for the annual fee.

If you are denied access to the website for any one of a dozen reasons, you will be unable to pay the bill. Late fee coming up on top of the hour you may waste trying to do what used to be a 5 minute job.

The blame lies firmly at the  feet of our federal politicians. It is a great way to protect their mates in the bank or big business from prosecution - just cut ASIC funding so it cannot do its job properly. Then we all sufffer this sort of IT nonsense.

Bit like stoping criticism - sell the ABC to private enterprise that funds the party. That will shut them up about politicians, banks and big business.

We have a lot of good politicians and a lot of good bureaucrats, but the bad ones seem to dominate at present. Join voters network https://voters.network/join.php and  help politicians perform better. It is really up to family business owners to drive improvement. Big business has been doing it for decades and that is why it is able to treat family businesses and farmers so badly for so long.

5th July 2018
TAFE and profits

Politicians make it very hard for small to medium sized businesses and farms to make decent profits for the long term when they dismantle TAFE as a prime source of vocational education and put that education into the grasping and fraudulent hands of private enterprises whose sole aim in life is to capitalise on government subsidies.

Businesses in Australia need world class staff with the sort of training that TAFE was recognised as providing.

Politicians do some really stupid things that hamper businesses and both the ATO and ASIC are doing that right now as they try to run  their operations by computer instead of with people.

\We computerised the accounting side of our Chartered Accountancy practice in 1972, but we have never allowed the processing of numbers to blind us to the need of our clients to receive top quality, dedicated proessional and personal service. Computers are good at some things, but they cannot care or make good business judgements. What they can do is crunch data to provide a basis for decision-making .

ATO and ASIC need to use their IT systems to help their clients, not to shift the data input onto businesses as they are both doing at present.

2nd July 2018

ASIC makes life more difficult for businesses

ASIC has some nasty surprises in store for SME’S. Dealing with the annual Return and paying the annual fee used to be a 5 minute job. Now we have to contend with ASIC’s website.

Not only that, but ASIC is about to require a lot more information and is about to levy businesses. Some might call it another form of taxation.

After the way ASIC ignored the plight of borrowers being defrauded by dishonest banks, it is amazing to see it obstructing businesses with virtual red tape like this just when the Trump China dispute looks  capable of damaging Australia’s economy.

Apart from the banking issue we have always found ASIC excellent to deal with and very helpful to family businesses. It is likely that this change is not coming from ASIC itself but from its political masters, in which case we need to make our views known to our local MPs.

28th June 2018

Businesses Beware End-Of-Year spending

Australian businesses are being bombarded with advertisements enticing them to spend before the end of the financial year to gain more tax deductions. This happens in other countries at the end of their financial years too.

There is a question as to why one would spend a dollar to gain a 30 cent tax deduction. I am more in favour of spending 30 cents to make $1.

If it is tax deductible when you spend it before June 30th, then it will be just as tax deductible when you spend it in July or August or in fact when you need it next March.

If you run an overdraft or debt , your interest charge between when you buy the item and when you need it will reduce the tax benefit. Time and money are inextricably linked for those who want to maximise their profits. After many decades in professional Chartered Accountancy and running my own businesses and farms, I focus on profits a lot more than I do on tax deductions.

Those who do spend up big because they want the tax deduction should remember that the same spending reduces their net profit before tax. That is a figure that features highly in bank assessments of borrowers. The less profit earned, the greater the risk to the lender and therefore to the borrower.

I work with my bank loan clients to ensure that we give the bank the right figures. What is shown as “Taxable Income” for Australian tax authorities is generally not the same as the net profit earned from the business. For instance spending up on business consumables or depreciable assets before end of the financial year, reduces net profit for that year. If that year’s profit is of interest to lenders, the spending may produce negative rather than positive results.

A farmer may do a heap of fencing and claim a tax deduction this year for all of it, thus reducing the current year’s net profit. If the fencing will last for 20 years, the net profit thus shown is really incorrect. The farmer would have more correct financial statement if that fencing was capitalised and written off over 20 years. That would produce a higher net profit this year and impress the bank a lot more.

The tax return doees not have to be the same as the financial statements prepared to show the correct trading, asset and liability positions.

The exact terms used may vary, but this applies in most countries. It is therefore best to produce a set of financial statements that reflect true profits then do a tax return that complies with tax laws. When doing loan applications for clients I am very careful how I present both sets of figures.

27th June 2018
Big business versus the biggest body of voters

When I started in Chartered Accountancy private companies paid a lower tax rate than public companies, due to the ease with which public companies raise funds. That difference should be reinstated by politicians now at 5c to 10c in the dollar.

Many Australian wage and salary earners and family partnerships pay a higher rate of tax than companies and on top of that they pay 10% GST when they spend it and huge stamp duty when they buy a home or property.

The best boost for the economy would  be to boost the pay of the lowest earning 25% of tax payers  by 25% and allow salaries to be deducted at 150% of what is paid, removing payroll tax altogether.

Businesses headed by CEOs earning $5 million a year make employment and pay decisions based on pre-tax profitability. It is nonsense to suggest otherwise. The ASX top 100 companies should be required to table in parliament the net staff increases and pay rate increases they undertake to make in each of the next 3 years if the big business tax cuts are passed or retained. If there is a purpose in tax cuts other than being re-elected, let’s tie big business to it.

We could also pay off the national debt that is enriching the wealthy money-lenders and impoverishing the rest of us.

Beware the news you read on the tax cuts because most is not news but an orchestrated PR campaign by big business to mislead voters. These are the richest taxpayers in Australia who cut and  export jobs to boost already high profits, trying to pay less tax than ordinary salary and wage earners, family business owners and farmers. It is not about helping small family businesses at all. Don't be fooled.

26th June 2018
The Great Australian Bank Robbery

The Great Australian Bank Robbery has really been caused by Australian politicians who first de-regulated banks so that they could cheat and defraud customers and then sold off the government banks so that people were forced to used banks controlled by unprincipled private individuals and organisations, with some exceptions.

Those politicians, by neglect or accident, then ensured that the remaining regulatory authorities did nothing to stop the banks from robbing their customers, particularly borrowers and investors.

Many lives have been shattered, some lost, while the big banks have made billions of dollars in profits on which they paid extra specially low rates of tax provided by politicians with the additional advantage of loopholes which allowed them to avoid much of the tax altogether. Big Bank CEO’s are the highest paid executives in the universe because of how they ran their banks and robbed their customers.

The remedy lies only with Australian politicians. They need to re-regulate the Robber Banks, and re-establish government banks or take a controlling shareholding in each of the big banks.

That’s not quite right. The remedy also lies with the voters who could just decide that they want politicians who are on their side rather than working against them.  

Free Bank
What about a FREE BANK. The government can give billions of dollars to banks, big business and NGOs in tax concessions, subsidies, grants and tax breaks on top of the billions banks have already earned by robbing their customers through de-regulation, so why can’t the government give the same sort of money away to small businesses, low income earners and farmers by way of interest-free loans?

If the loans were carefully structured and managed by the free bank and the borrowers so that payments were made on time and the loans cleared as quickly as profits would allow, wouldn’t that get the economy going in a hurry.

In the same way, by saving a bit on tax concessions for the super-rich and reducing welfare dependence by all those who got new jobs because business was booming with interest-free loans, maybe the government could establish Free Bank Home Loans, again giving away only the same as it would otherwise pay in favours, welfare and subsidies. It could provide that such loans would only be allowed on homes selling at 20% below market value. That would provide a safety margin for security purposes, reduce the borrowings and avoid a housing price boom.

I have arranged purchases of substantial properties through interest-free loans and it has worked well for all parties.

When you think about it, giving interest-free loans to poorer people is a very good way to make them less poor and more asset rich. It is not as silly as it sounds at first. Governments throw money around anyway.

22 June 2018

Thought for the weekend:
You can control government or government will control you.
The choice is yours.

Boost income or cut spending

I saw comment in a financial column this week, the gist of which was that the problem with the Australian economy is that we have become so busy cutting costs that we have not grasped the opportunities of investing in expansionary technology.

It seems to me that there is always a conflict between boosting the national economy and earning cash profits in a family business, whether in the city or on the farm.

The economy benefits every time we spend money. The mere changing hands of money is seen as an economic gain. It is true that the money we pay out of our business enterprise goes to some one else who does the same and so many people recveive and pay out the same piece of money, buying whatever it is they want with it.

But when you pay it out and do not cover it with additional income, you personally lose and your farm or business looses. It is easier to identify with regular trading expenditure, not so much with capital purchases. This is where the technology comes in.

I have relied on computers since I had my own accounting program written for the clients of my Chartered Accountancy practice. It did not cost much as I did the systems analysis and a fabulous programer from Honeywell called Ray Rogers did the coding. No screens in those days. Apart from the first couple of years, all my computers were bought second hand very cheaply. But I knew others who outlaid ten times what I did and had not the slightest chance in the world of making that much extra profit to cover the capital cost and then take home extra profit because of the investment.

It can be easy to make the investment, reap extra profit and then plow that all back into stock, debtors livestock, machinery or IT systems, resulting in no gain at all or perhaps even a net loss of  cash. In my mind businesses and farms are there to produce cash profits for their owners as well as funding staff and suppliers.

So it pays to be very careful who you listen to. Often the government will try to encourage spending by offering tax incentives, but just as often the people who spend their $1 to gain the 30c tax deduction do not seem to ever make up the extra 70c they spent plus the margin I would expect from that sort of investment.

Spending can be good for the economy and bad for the spender, particularly in the event of an economic collapse or very bad season. Spending and investing can be extremely profitable, but it pays to examine the projections  carefully, I have done plenty of profit forecasts for my own businesses and farms that showed excellent results awaited if I just spent some bigish money up front. It has been a salutory lesson for me to discover later that my projections were shaped by my desire to do what was under consideration.

The aim should always be to spend a bit less than what you get in, so that there is something nice for you in return for your blood, sweat and tears.

18th June 2018

Sorry that I was away on business last week and a mass of work arose as people coped with the impact of so many government decisions on their lives. I just could not manage to blog at the same time. It is amazing how small and remote government decisions can have such devastating impact on so many lives. People very often do not even see the connection between the actions of their local Members of Parliament and what is going wrong in their home, family, work or business lives.
More to report later today.

8th June 2018

Farm Finance

Farm finance is not just about borrowing money. It is about the whole financial structure of your farm. It is one of the major factors in whether your farming enterprise will be profitable and therefore successful.

Good farm financial management can begin well before you acquire your first farm, so if you are contemplating doing that, get in touch with us first so that farm finances are well organised right from the start.

Farm banking

Farm banking is an increasingly difficult exercise for farmers because many banks have withdrawn from local towns, because many banks have deliberately set out to cheat their farm customers and because farming is largely weather dependent.

In addition to that, Australian politicians have sold off the two best banks for farm finance, in order to force farmers to use the private enterprise banks.

I have been dealing professionally as a Chartered Accountant with farmers all around Australia for many decades and dealing with those who have been in trouble with banks during the three decades since banking was de-regulated.

I am also a 4th generation farmer who has profitably run merino sheep and beef cattle, so I actually know how tough it can be on the farm.

There are tried, tested and truly successful strategies for dealing with banks. Once this financial year ends in a couple of weeks, I am going to devote this blog to these two factors that determine farm success along with the weather and commodity prices:-

Farm Finances – the financial management of the farm, which is as important as care of livestock, crops, pastures and maintenance of equipment or fences – but is invisible and  often neglected.

Farm banking – which is as tricky as dealing with the weather or yarding wild stallions, while it all the time seems to be as simple as yarding ewes. Its hidden traps have caught many farmers by surprise to their detriment.

Handled properly these two factors can greatly enhance the enjoyment of farming. That is what I would like to see happen for every Australian farmer and it can!

7th June 2018

Mortgage Mayhem

The problems of mortgage broker, Mortgage Choice, illustrate a major problem with all incentive-based remuneration packages. There is a great deal of merit in such packages, but they come with disadvantages.

I learned this in my Chartered Accountancy practice where every accountant received a percentage of the fees they earned to boost their salaries. This enabled many to earn more than I did, which gave me great satisfaction. However, when the cleaner needed a tax return done and I asked for someone to do it for free, staff were not so keen to pick it up. I realised that was because they would not earn anything for doing it. I did the return myself but learned a lesson that incentives encouraged very specific conduct, the consequences of which needed to be analysed in advance.

The fact that requiring brokers to write a certain amount in loans every month or receive reduced commission rates, would prompt them to falsify figures to fool banks into making loans, may not have occurred to anyone, but in retrospect is a logical consequence of that style of pay.

It is more than two decades since the first case of bank managers who were paid an incentive bonus for granting loans encouraged them to grant unaffordable loans to people who would eventually lose most of their assets. That the same bank has been involved in major breaches of law recently must make it clear that with the protection of their political underlings, banks are unlikely to be reformed by the Royal Commission.

Having been dealing with banking disasters for over 30 years now, I have concluded that borrowers need to do their own Risk Management studies. That is one of the matters that will be discussed in the Better Banking Network we have launched. Like my bulls, debt can seem like a perfect solution and it often is. But like my bulls, under certain circumstances debt can be dangerous. It does not take much for a bank or a bull to do you a lot of damage simply because it was busy doing what it does best and you just happened to get in the way. I am very fond of one of my bulls and one of my banks, but in every dealing with the bank and every time I am close to the bull, I do my own risk management assessment and endeavour not to take any undue risks.

We are going to show Australian borrowers how to do their own risk management when dealing with a bank. If you are interested use our contact form to let us know.

Another area where they should do their own risk management is with regard to the election of their local state and federal parliamentarians. I am sure many do but plenty don’t bother to think how much harm can be done to their business or farm by those politicians if they decide on or are pushed into some action where the business or farm simply becomes collateral damage.

That is exactly what has happened as many federal MP have stood idly back and let banks plunder the accounts of their customers. All federal politicians have been informed of the predatory, unlawful conduct of banks for at least 20 years yet the regulators have allowed corrupt, fraudulent and illegal conduct to continue unabated, showing very little interest in doing their jobs at all. When politicians, government regulators and moneylenders collude to take down borrowers the risk to those borrowers is enormous.

My suggestion would be for every borrower, no matter how old the loan, to do or have done, a risk management assessment every year or so to determine what risks they are exposed to at that time. It is often external factors that heighten the risk and people can be so absorbed in their own operation that they are unaware of the risk of approaching disaster. Whether is a bus or a bull nearby, it is better to keep an eye on it than to turn one’s back and walk away. Something unexpected might slam into your. Never take your eye off a debt until it is repaid, particularly if it is interest-bearing.

6th June 2018
Support for the GBAC - FairGO - Voters Network strategy

Ross Gittins (SMH 6/6/18/) does not endorse what Dr. Richard Dennis of The Australia Institute says but claims it is thought provoking and worth exploring. Dr. Dennis concludes with this observation:
“The world is full of choices. Neoliberalism’s real power came from convincing us that we had none (choices). We do and making them is the democratic role of citizens – not the technocratic role of economists, nor that of any self-serving elite.”

I don’t know anything about the Australia Institute, Dr. Denniss or neoliberalism, but making choices for ourselves and having our wishes carried out by the politicians and bureaucrats we employ and pay to do our bidding, is the foundation of the new voters network I have established with FairGO. It is what FairGO and its Votergram service have enabled small to medium sized businesses, farmers, producer groups and organisations to do for over 30 years by managing their political persuasion campaigns for them.

All we have to do is think strategically, use new technology and persuasively tell politicians what we want done. Then they can do the rest. The biggest persuader we have is our combined votes. Votergrams usually solve the problems with the support of many superb politicians, but if not a weekend or two in a marginal electorate can usually alter the results there and send a message to MPs that we are serious. I have only done that twice in 30 years but each time the govenment lost that seat.

It is the same with banks. There are many instances where we have negotiated with banks on behalf of business and farm clients and made it possible for our clients to make choices that were previously denied them, including restructuring, refinancing and debt write downs.

The time has come for businesses and farmers to flex their muscles and drive policy that is good for them and is good for their customers. The unique relationship between our GBAC Advisory and FairGO has assisted many business and farm groups over the years including apple and pear growers, milk producers, chicken growers, pork producers, furniture and IT companies.

4th June 2018

Banks React to Royal Commission

Many people are expecting that Australian banks will become more honest as a result of the Royal Commission. I think those people are going to be sorely disappointed.

There have been many royal commissions and inquiries into banking since federation and nothing has stopped bankers bleeding their more trusting and vulnerable customers dry.

There are two maxims that are adopted in Australian banking :
“Fools and their money are soon parted” and
“Never give a sucker an even break”

The Royal Commission will barely touch the surface of what banks are doing. The government has made sure of that. It is interesting that Minister Kelly O’Dwyer was quoted at being “disgusted” at Barnaby Joyce being paid for his TV interview, but she has done nothing to assist borrowers who have being raising in Votergrams their problems about dishonest banks taking millions of dollars from them that were not justified. Nor does has she said to my recollection that she is “disgusted” by the donations accepted by the Liberal Party from people and businesses who benefit from its policies.

Banks are now setting the stage to blame the Royal Commission for them not lending to small businesses and farmers at reasonable rates. They will have to be dragged into the lending and will do so on the basis that the borrowers will have to accept some pretty onerous terms.

It is interesting seeing the bankers still wanting the right to cheat big business customers who they define as anyone borrowing more than $3 million. They make special concessions in their Code of Banking Practice to be fair to consumers and small business. It is mind-blowing that our “respected” Members of Parliament allow this distinction when most bank customers would think that the bank should be fair to all customers no matter how large.

That does point to the fact that we need at least one government bank so that there is a lending entity that customers can trust. One wonders why the government could not establish a “Free Bank” to lend money without interest. Governments hand out our tax money in all sorts of grants and subsidies to people and companies, including the latest move to reduce company tax for the billionaire companies to well below the rates paid by the average voter/taxpayer.

Just stop and think how much interest-free lending would stimulate the economy, allowing borrowers to clear their debts and earn profits faster and better. It would also help develop inland Australia if those loans were only available to individuals and businesses based permanently in inland Australia, including farmers.

We invite those who agree on that "Free Bank" idea to join our Better Banking Network and help lobby for change. In addition they can learn about the non-debt options for building business profitability and wealth instead of making it for the money-lenders.

GST on online purchases from overseas

Finally, a decade after they have given foreign companies a totally unjustified advantage over Australian small buinesses, the federal government is going to impose GST on foreign based onliine sales.

How could our politicians be so destructive to our local busineses as to allow this to continue.

Now it is time to jack up the tax rate on public companies well above the private company rate to stop our big companies crushing family businesses with their massive profits acumulated thanks to politcal favours allowing many to pay almost no tax at all. 

Small  business in Australia has taken the rough end of the pineapple and it is time to stand up and tell MPs that if they want to be re-elected they will need to look after small businesses and famers a lot better in future.

30th May 2018
So bankers really are bastards after all – at least at the most senior levels of Australian banks.

We thank all those farmers and business owners who have lobbied the government on dishonest banking practices over the years since deregulation in the 1980’s and so helped to bring about this Royal Commission that many Coalition parliamentarians fought so hard to prevent.

Bankers could not have lied and cheated customers as they have without protection from Members of Parliament and the bodies charged with keeping them honest. Votergrams have been going into parliament since as far back as 1998 informing MPs of what was happening. Few have been interested in doing anything to stop it.

A good suggestion put forward at a meeting the other day was that the CEOs of each of the banks in question should be given a 5  year gaol sentence and the banks required to pay triple damages to their  customers or have their banking licences cancelled. Or government might seize their assets as the "proceeds of crime".

The vast majority of bank employees who are as honest as the day is long must be overwhelmingly disappointed with the dishonesty of their directors and CEOs.

The government has found a lucrative way to profit from bank dishonesty - levy enormous fines. If this goes on the government will become dependent on bank dishonesty to balance its budget. Since the fines will never equal the profit, banks will be happy with that too.

There is a serious need for an efficient, competent and customer focussed government bank to be formed, for it is unlikely that any of the private enterprise banks will behave without some honest competition from a government bank. The constant greed of banking shareholder groups is destroying the very foundations of our capital based free-enterprise system and this attitude of seeking constantly more and more profit should be actively discouraged.

There is no reason why this country’s finances should be run by liars and cheats who have become millionaires and produced billion dollar profits for the banks by robbing customers.

It gives a new meaning to the phrase “Bank Robbers”. Ned Kelly had nothing on these guys.

We have formed a Better Banking Network to give customers more muscle to drive fair banking practices. With our associate FairGO and its Votergram service, bank customers will be able to quickly report problems direct to parliamentarians. With criminal leaders removed, banks may be willing to agree to those fair banking practices.

Participate in the network by emailing gbac@internode.on.net .

29th May 2018
Tax reform - What about small business owners and farmers ??

The media is full of tax reform talk.

Independents and minor parties change their minds about supporting the government.

Big business stands to gain a huge windfall in tax avoidance from the government’s proposals.
Voters, farmers and small businesses stand to gain a little bit from the reforms too.

But it is self-evident that reducing taxes will reduce government services and public infrastructure available to voters, farmers, small business owners and their families. That is ....

Unless the government borrows from our moneylenders, the very banks under inquiry at the Royal Commission. That will give the banks even more profit from interest and charges and mean that even less of the actual tax revenue can be spent for the benefit of voters.

Government leaders say the aim of the corporate tax cuts is to stimulate the economy because companies earning billions of dollars in profit think so little of Australia that they will not create profit-making jobs if they have to pay 30% tax to contribute to running the country like ordinary voters who on average already contribute 32.5%. What miserable corporate leaders we have.

I saw yesterday in the SMH that the average pay of CEO’s of the ASX top 100 was $4.75 million a year. Nearly $100,000 a week! Yet they are so mean that they will not let their companies work for the same tax rate average voters pay. Oh that a small business owner or family farmer could dream of that!

Much of their profit is derived by sending jobs off shore or replacing people with very much less helpful computers. Good profits and high pay are to be applauded, but they need to be shared around a bit not monopolised by the super rich who mostly get wealthy because voters, farmers and small business owners buy their products and services. Maybe Australians should stop buying from companies who earn over a million dollars net profit and pay less that 10% of gross revenue in company tax.

If the government really wanted full time jobs created it would abolish payroll tax for all full time jobs paying under $100,000 and allow company tax deductions of 150% for all full time job salaries under $100,000. That would promote low-paid full time jobs and maybe encourage the $35,000 a year ones to be paid $50,000. It would set small business and personal taxes at 10 cents in the dollar under big business rates.

It is good to help big business and billionaires but there are 16 million voters and 2 million small businesses in Australia. If they do not get treated fairly by their current Members of Parliament, they will, if they have any sense, replace them with other MPs who just might treat them fairly or be removed in turn.

Why is it that small businesses now pay the same rate of tax that big businesses do when years ago they paid 5 cents in the dollar less because it is so much harder for them to raise funds for their businesses?

It is because big business constantly uses professional lobyists to persuade politicians to do what they want done, but small businesses and individuals do not use FairGO, Votergrams or Voters Network nearly enough to persuade politicians to do what they want.

Big business reaps the rewards  from lobbying in higher profits. Small businesses would do the same if they used these services FairGO provides, more frequently. Those who have used them have reaped very substantial financial rewards. Similarly, individuals who use FairGO's services to persuade politicians to do what they want, gain financial benefits in health care, educational facilities for their children, better pay and better governnment services at lower costs. For example the 50% licence renewal for safe drivers, new school halls, covered areas or airconditioning. Retention of hospitrals instead of their sale, feweer road deaths and injury and better health by avoiding inhalation of other people's smoke. All of these translate into more money for ordinary Australians. We voters need to think a bit more strategically.

Meanwhile all voters can rate the performance of their own and any other MPs every month if they wish on the voters network website to give feedback on how well they feel they are represented.

27th May 2018

Dealing with an interest only loan the bank will not continue?

What happens when your bank declines to roll over your interest-only loan?

This is a little known rick in the lending game. People borrow interest only on the basis of rolling the loan over periodically.

But one day the friendly bank advises that it does not wish to roll the loan over any more and would like the borrower to kindly repay the loan very soon.

For many borrowers this is a foreboding of doom. They cannot repay the loan without selling the very asset for which they borrowed. It might be business premises, a home or a farm.

The solution is to move fast and in fact there is a lot of merit in moving before the bank does.

The solution is to very carefully have a good professional loan application prepared to “sell” yourself to a new bank as a very reliable customer to whom they should give a new loan. It is unlikely to be an interest-only loan as the banking royal commission has revealed how many people are in trouble with that sort of loan.

It is most likely to be a loan that is paid down regularly and that is a great advantage over having to repay the whole loan in one go. It gives you time and the interest payable falls along with the loan. For a business or farm this allows the owner to retain more of the earnings instead of giving them to the bank. Home buyers keep more of their income.

We have been helping borrowers renegotiate into this sort of loan for decades and would be happy to help you if that is what you would like.

You can use our contact form, phone us on 0428 417 496 or 02 9988 3312 or email me at gbac@internode.on.net.

Don’t wait ‘til it’s too late. Always try to keep ahead of the lender.


25th May 2018

Banking Royal Commission - how will it affect you and your bank?

Most likely the banks will use it as a chance to make it harder for you to obtain loans.
To compensate for less business they will probably put up interest rates and charges.

It is unlikely that they will stop lending people into unaffordable loans or asking borrowers to sign agreements they do not understand. That is very profitable for banks. Often a bank requires a customer to obtain legal advice before signing the loan agreement. Sometimes they require an accountant to advise the borrower.

Solicitors usually have great legal skills and few financial ones, so they can tell a borrower about the legal ramifications of a loan but not the financial ones. Many accountants seem to be fooled by forecasts into believing that a borrower will be able to service a loan based on forecasts of profit that the borrower has never before looked like earning. Some are just happy to do what their client wants instead of giving them sound advice.

Banks will never stop providing an overdraft account from which the borrowers can pay loan interest. Later when that overdraft increases past the authorised limit the bank will still happily increase the term loans to allow the overdraft to be paid down. Then interest will take it up again and an increased term loan will take it down again. By this see-saw method the debt will gradually increase, boiling the borrower alive, like the frog in the pot.

The borrower will usually not detect that it is the interest on the loan that is causing the overdraft problem because it comes out of the overdraft account like every other business expense.
This dishonesty by banks is the reason that I abandoned my broad based Chartered Accountancy practice when banks were de-regulated in the late 1980’s, to focus on providing support services to bank customers.

The secret to better bank borrowing is a very good and honest loan application; negotiation to obtain the cheapest and most suitable loan for the borrower’s likely circumstances during the loan term, including slumps, illness and droughts; meticulous attention to detail in managing the loan in accordance with the contract and prompt negotiations with the bank immediately servicing or repayment problems look like arising.

Most borrowers are expert in their own field, not banking and so overlook these essentials. They tend to leave the bank to manage the loan during its term. That is a bad mistake given that the loan is the one factor that can probably ruin their enterprise and perhaps take all of their assets. The bank manages it for its own benefit. What would we expect?

Once interest exceeds profit, both interest and loan repayments become impossible.

Wise borrowers devote considerable time to managing their own loans in a way that works well for them. It requires some serious "paperwork" on an excel spreadsheet. Making early loan repayments in good times is one excellent strategy. Provision for it should be written into a loan contract. Borrowing as little as they possibly can is another.

The fact that moneylenders earn far more than their customers must surely show that they benefit most from the loans. There are plenty of good alternatives to borrowing at bank interest.

I have used them myself and a always happy to share them.

Feel free to phone or email if you think we can be of assistance.

22nd May 2018

To borrow from the bank or not to borrow from the bank, that is the question!

The answer is very often “NO!”

I bought a Chartered Accountancy practice to grow; two hire companies to run; took over a real estate development company; bought a sheep property; bought the block next door and bought a cattle property.

The Chartered Accountancy practice that I could afford to buy from my saved cash was very small, but I soon grew it without borrowing a cent. In an economic crash I borrowed $10,000 on a term loan interest free from a friend and was meticulous in paying it back.

The hire companies I paid cash for. One cost almost nothing.

I paid cash for a pretty ordinary 4000 ac sheep block a good distance inland, bought the 5,000 ac block next door on 5 year interest-free vendor terms in return for letting the vendor continue to graze it while I paid it off. He stopped grazing after 2 years.

I bought the cattle property in good country for a high price but payable interest-free over 20 years in return for the vendor living in the homestead while we had an old workman’s cottage. After 7 years we moved into the homestead as the vendor had moved. Had to borrow a bit during a run of droughts but took it on a term loan and again always tried to be a bit ahead with repayments.

I heard an MP talking on radio about why farmers need to borrow to expand and increase production. I don’t know that that is really why they buy more land. I think it is often to expand their “empire” or make a gift to the kids. If a farmer is going to borrow from a bank to expand, that farmer should send us information to prepare a Loan Impact Statement to determine who is going to make the most money from the loan. Usually it is the bank by a country mile. I like to see my farm and business clients making a lot more money out of the loan than the bank does and realizing that the loan has to be repaid.

Many farm borrowers do not even consider that either the loan is going to be repaid on time or the farm is going to be sold from under them, yet willingly agree to that in their loan contract which they did not read.

A good Loan Impact Statement will deal with what happens when the inevitable drought arises, or commodity prices collapse or illness or accident strike. It looks realistically, not through rose coloured glasses, at how much extra money is likely to be generated by the loan on the basis of past performance. It is funny how many people when borrowing, budget for themselves to earn far greater profits than they have ever earned before.

Frankly in many cases they would be better off not borrowing at all.

But if you are going to borrow from a bank then please do it properly. That is why we have set up the Better Banking Network. Learn from experts what to do. The bank will never in a million years treat you fairly, so don’t expect it and you will not be disappointed. You need to manage the bank,not be managed by it.

Making money on the basis of a bank loan requires very specific skills, strategies and disciplines. Take it seriously! Budget before you borrow!

Don’t fake the figures to get the loan, because there will be nothing “fake” about the foreclosure.

Call us on 02 9988 3312 or 0428 417 496. I’m a 4th generation farmer, company director for 50 years, retired Chartered Accountant, CPA. I consult farmers all over Australia on dealing with banks. We are happy to help you too.

21st May 2018

Start building a better life for your children
through the power of your votes as well as your voices.

There are many challenges facing young Australians today, from those in child care to those starting work.
Their future is in your hands as parents, grandparents, friends and relatives. Do nothing and life may be very tough for them, because powerful vested interests are so busy maximising their wealth and power that they do not consider other people, particularly the young who they can exploit. Already we have huge youth unemployment and other countries are the same. Our society is controlled by Australian governments and governments are controlled by powerful vested interests represented by up to 5,000 lobbyists persuading politicians to do what they and their clients want.

But we, the voters, can if we work together, persuade our politicians to do what we want and they will happily do it if it is fair to all Australians. They will do it because we 16 million voters, through our 16 million votes, control the careers of those 225 federal MP and less state or territory MPs who directly control so many aspects of our lives. When voters work together with each other and then with their elected MPs, they will give their children the best chance for the future.

The only platform in Australia driven by voters that can do and has done that already to some extent for over 30 years is the FairGO, Votergrams and Voters Network group. This platform is designed to be controlled by the Australian voters, to give Australian voters the power of political persuasion to build a better, fairer society. It seeks a society that is fair to the poor and rich and all in between, fair to the business community, to the staff & customers, to the livestock, farmers and environment and to our elected politicians who work a lot harder than most voters think.

To achieve that, we need to work together and www.voters.network provides the framework within which to do that. We need members, advanced members, Hub Leaders and Hub Leader Mentors, all learning and sharing their knowledge of how democracy really works which is quite different from what is generally believed. We need their $4 a month to run the network through funded hubs and hub leaders.

For the sake of your children, join Voters Network today and start paving the way for their future enjoyment and achievements.

18th May 2018

Tough times demand quick thinking and action.

Businesses affected by a downturn in sales or profits and farmers affected by looming drought should do one thing as a matter of urgency:-

Contact their bank, speaking to a responsible banker and seeking a change in their loan terms to ride out the hard times. Prudent borrowers will have been paying twice the required repayments to build up some "fat" for hard times and should find it relatively easy to renegotiate the loan terms with their banker.

Whatever they negotiate they should stick to or talk with the banker again.

Next move should be to close down expenditure. For farmers, sale of stock should be a seriously considered option. For businesses, clearing excess or older stock should be a priority along with debt collection.

Budget Benefits Blues

It was certainly worth listening to. Treasurer Scott Morrison talking about what he proposed spending, how his government would raise the money to fund it and how he was going to deal with the current government debt that results in $18 billion a year of our taxes going to the moneylenders. Worthwhile knowing about the tax cuts for the super rich, but the Treasurer did not talk much about that.

Perhaps better listening was Opposition Leader Bill Shorten giving his address in reply. He certainly talked about the government’s planned tax breaks for the super rich. Of course it is a bit easier for him because he is not actually in government and having to do it – yet.

As a former practising Chartered Accountant before I learned how easy it often was to persuade politicians to get government doing what we wanted, I have seen the enormous value of budgets to businesses.

I have similar views about business to those I have about government. We know what we want out of them and they need to produce it. I want to know that they have done it, not why they haven't.

In business, we prepare the budget based on last year’s results, but planning to do a bit better. Then we try hard to actually meet the budget in the current year. If we do not succeed, we look at where we have failed and adjust our practices for next year. At the end of each year we compare the actual results to the budget and to last year’s result. Managers who meet or exceed budget and last year’s results are highly prized. Those who don’t, start working on their CVs.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea if we did that with our government budgets? We would like half a dozen keen accountants or economists or concerned citizens to join Voters Network as Advanced Members and form a Budget Benefits Analysis Team to start the process. It will take a few years to get it right, but from then on we should be able to take the federal budget seriously and let voters know how well each government did compared to what it projected in its budget and the previous year.

If you would like to be part of that Budget Benefits Analysis Team (BBAT), please email voters.network@internode.on.net and let us know. If enough people are interested we will do it. If not we cannot.

9th May 2018

Budget blowout bad for business

If we ran our family businesses like the politicians run the federal budget we might go broke. The thing is that we do not have to please the majority of 25 million people or 16 million voters at all. But we do need a family-business-friendly environment.

We also do not have to put every important decision to a vote, so we can count ourselves lucky in many ways.

What are the real problems facing family businesses?

Tax used to be 5% less that for public companies because it was harder and more expensive for us to raise money.

We used not to face grossly unfair competition from huge business monopolies or duopolies that operate with government support and buy at absurdly cheap prices. Surely the price should be the same to everyone. I would be very happy to lead a lobbying campaign on that one and it would be winnable because big companies do not vote at all and nor do they influence the votes of their staff or shareholders.

We need banks that will at least treat us fairly and honestly. Most will not do that without us making them do it which is why we established GBAC Advisory and the Better Banking Network almost as soon as banks were de-regulated. I have to say as one who banks with a number of banks that Bendigo Community Bank stands out head and shoulders above the rest. That is probably because the people who own the shop front are also the customers. With 60 years of professional accountancy, business and farming under my belt, I just cannot praise Bendigo enough. They are better now than the big four were 40 years ago. I’ve been with them for well over a decade and only recently decided to buy some shares in the operating “shop front” company. Just to thank them really. They are so good.

Of course the politicians selling off government banks was what really allowed the private banks to rip us off on such a grand scale. We really should lobby for some new government banks . They might have been slow sometimes, but at least they were honest.

Sometimes government compliance work is so time-consuming that we just want to get on with running our businesses.

Sometimes governments refuse to do what we want, to make our businesses more successful. That is when it pays to use FairGO and the Votergram service.

A budget is only of any use when compared with this year’s and last year’s actual result, whether it is for the nation or your business. I don’t believe in generating reports unless they are going to increase profits.

It is best to ensure that the bank and government are working for you rather than having it the other way around.

2nd May 2018

Worse, the youth unemployment rate since 1978 has averaged 13.4% according to some sources.
Why is this happening and what do we do about it?

Big business and governments are shedding jobs like you can’t believe. Today we don’t speak to a receptionist when we phone a major company or government department. We are more likely to spend between 15 and 60 minutes hanging on and working through sometimes meaningless menus before we speak to the person a receptionist would have connected us to in 30 seconds. Chances are they will be in the Philippines anyway .All this is in the name of cost-cutting and profit-making. Going into a bank branch (except Bendigo Community Bank) is just a nightmare because it is certain to have about half the staff needed to cope with the customer load. Banks don’t make all of their billion dollar profits by cheating and defrauding customers. Some is made by hopelessly under-servicing customers. Talk about lambs to the slaughter! These are jobs going begging.

There are many places where young people could replace machines and do the job a thousand times better, though not as profitably. Profit is not everything! We need government to get in there and actually offer jobs to our young people and make sure they do them properly. The idea of government lining the pockets of business people who employ youths is absurd.

In part it is quite possible that many young people are not worth the money allocated to them in awards. Sometimes the adult pay is hardly any higher than the pay for teenagers. Most employers know that an inexperienced young person will not perform as well as an experienced 30 year old. I would think the 30 y.o would do twice the job the 18 y.o would do in accounting. Some young people think they know more than their bosses and some are more interested in their social lives.

By the same token many young people are excellent workers, do what they are asked to do and learn fast. They are worth a lot more than minimum wages. They do not deserve to be cheated by employers.

Underpayment of wages needs to be easy to detect and carry gaol penalties. That would stop it dead.

We do not need young people on “Newstart” allowances. We want them in jobs. There are still the jobs that I did when I started in Accountancy. Running errands, filing documents, taking phone calls, assisting seniors, getting coffees or lunches. We need to find the jobs and have the youth working and learning. Many with uni degrees have so little experience they are just not worth the pay demanded. Lower pay progressively rising annually with ability is the solution.

We also need to ensure that parents are doing the right thing by their children, encouraging respect for others and school learning, because education has a lot to do with whether or not a person gets work. Government could also look at the sort of businesses the young people might be able to start for themselves.

Career advice is essential to have students studying for jobs that will have value in future and for which they have an aptitude. The investment advisory area could do with some people with skills and aptitudes. Trades don’t look like going out of fashion, nor do business and financial services like accounting or law. Personal Assistants are highly valued and need to be highly skilled. Semi-skilled work exists in retailing and construction industries.

Contracting has become fashionable because unfair dismissal laws worked very unfairly for employers – so they just stopped employing. All of a sudden a staff member who had been trained for years could legally leave a job without notice, whilst an employer could not dismiss someone for not doing properly what they were paid to do properly, nearly as easily. If a male staff member harassed female staff they could not be sacked. They had to be counselled. Business owners do not want to be trainers or counsellors. They want to earn a living by doing what they know. So maybe the industrial laws need to be made fair to both employers and employees.

And why would we possibly have a payroll tax, a tax on giving people jobs? Can you imagine a stupider tax to have in an era when IT is wiping out jobs daily. It was fine before computers, but it is a political disgrace now.

If you are interested in young people all having jobs, why don’t you join voters.network and help us make it happen. It will not happen without you. That is for sure. Voters.network is about helping voters make change, not about doing it for them!

Is there one harsher law for borrowers and another, more generous one for lenders?

What is the justice in directors and CEOs of companies that have been robbing customers, just resigning? What messages does that send to tomorrow’s would-be-crooks? How does that help those who have been financially ruined? Are we seeing financial regulators allowing powerful companies, banks, insurance & wealth managers, run by “respectable” directors, to continue committing corporate crimes in return for multi-million dollar fines that boost treasury coffers?

Should these directors instead be in gaol or home detention? If you have a view, why don’t you send a Votergram to every Federal Politician telling them just what you would like them to do about it. The Votergrams (https://fairgo.org/votergrams.htm ) will cost you $25 in total or a bit over 10c per MP, but surely Australia’s future is worth $25. Or do we want our country run by corporate crooks “because we have to trust them” and because they spend millions of dollars lobbying politicians while we sit pat.

Decisions will be made in future and there will be a lot of effort put into persuading politicians not to have these directors prosecuted.

Why did the Federal government fight so hard to avoid the banks and insurance companies having to appear before this Royal Commission?

Has that anything to do with the forthcoming multi-million dollar campaign by Big Business to keep the current political parties in power? Are the financial services industries perhaps not the only ones in Big Business who have doing the wrong thing? What about super fund managers, supermarkets, construction companies, lawyers, accountants, imported building materials suppliers?

Financial penalties make governments the huge beneficiaries of corporate crime. It is like a tax on gambling. The government gets hooked on the taxes or fines and so there is a real disincentive to stop the criminal behaviour.

Is one state “Fair Trading” colluding with dishonest businesses by allowing them to trade after breaking the law, on the basis of written “enforceable undertakings”? Is Fair Trading generating fines for the government while allowing businesses to continue fleecing customers. We, the voters need to decide whether or not we like this sort of cosy arrangement with fraudsters. Then we need to share our views with our politicians in a very forceful way. Votergrams are the most effective way that I have seen. I may be biased, but they sure have been effective.

For those feeling vulnerable to action by banks to call in their loans, foreclose on security or seize the assets of guarantors, I have run the GBAC Advisory consultancy since before banks were de-regulated and set loose on their unsuspecting customers. We have very effective ways of preventing banks taking unfair action against customers. The way is being paved for conversion by banks of interest-only loans to principal and interest loans in a year or two.

If anybody needs to negotiate a gentle rather than a “sudden-death” conversion, then the sooner they contact GBAC Advisory and arrange to have that put in place the easier the transition will be. It is always wise to have a customer advocate talk to the bank with you about difficult situations before they develop. Many people leave it until after they default on the loan and then it is 10 times as hard to negotiate a fair outcome.

27th April 2018

Just how many people have been ripping off bank customers?

One always hesitates to cry “CONSPIRACY” or “COLLUSION”, yet my auditor’s brain tells me that is how many great frauds are perpetrated.
At the Royal Commission uncovering the Great Australian Financial Fraud today’s media reported that barrister Niall Coburn is reported as having said that ASIC did not “have the balls to bring proceeding” against the banks. Now we do not know whether this is right or wrong, but......

What if it was not a case of “not having the balls” but of deliberately not taking the action that was necessary to deter or stop the banks from their criminal behaviour? Would that amount to collusion by the regulator?

Mr Coburn is said to have criticised ASIC for making “enforceable agreements with banks rather than commencing criminal prosecutions”. Here we have the corporate regulator being advised of crimes and yet sitting down with offenders and negotiating some agreement that satisfied the banks and ASIC. Why would the regulator not do what voters might expect of a regulator there to protect them? That would surely be to prosecute the offenders with the heaviest punishment available. Is this evidence of collusion between the regulator and the bankers? Let us not assume that ASIC was incompetent or negligent. Let us ask for an investigation into whether there could have been criminal intent to collude in defrauding financial service customers.

Mr. Coburn is also reported to have told the Royal Commission that the government (read politicians) of both stripes (parties) had appointed people who lacked experience in prosecutions or experience. He talked of one ASIC head as being a banker. A banker to police the bankers?? Really!!

Is it possible that the our Australian government was deliberately appointing people to head ASIC who could not do the job, in order to give the banks, insurance companies and wealth managers freedom to defraud their customers without fear of retribution? It may not be the case at all, but it bears investigation. If so we need to know which politicians were making that possible. They must have been extremely senior MPs, perhaps ministers.

There is surely a real problem if politicians, regulators and offenders were working together and forging agreements. For a start those agreements should be scrutinised to see how they compare to the maximum penalties that apply to the various offences.

There is yet a lot more to come out of this inquiry and the blame may go higher and higher.

26th April 2018

The Great Australian Financial Fraud - GAFF (“stick with an iron hook for landing fish”. )

How could such dishonesty continue for so long? Has there been collusion and if so how much, between dishonest bankers and Australian corporate financial regulators? This needs serious investigation. Maany of our lcients know the sort of disintereste4d replies we received from regulators.

How could regulators collude in this crime? They could offer token punishments, no gaol or loss of licences. They could turn a blind eye to customer complaints. They could let banks draft their replies to complainants for them. They could just let the fraud continue and ignore the law or contracts between banks and customers as well as the Code of Banking Practice.

How could this Great Australian Financial Fraud continue unabated despite being raised publicly around Australia in one state after another against one bank after another, without the collusion of some senior politicians on both sides of politics, who had been made aware of it when they were in power and when in opposition? Have some politicians colluded with financial regulators and banks to defraud their constituents? A few Politicfians like Barnaby Joyce and Bo Katter,  Senators John Williams and Barry O'Sullian did all that they could, but they were up against a brick wall of political support for the bankers.

Colluding politicians could direct regulators to go soft on the banks. They could deprive the regulators of funding to investigate or prosecute banks and bank directors for their crimes. They could refuse to amend the law to make such fraud illegal. They could ensure the laws gave banks sufficient scope to rob customers without it being exactly outside those laws. They could oppose a Royal Commission. They could receive millions of dollars in fines to the government out of the billions stolen from customers. They could arrange for the regulator to be funded by the banks. You know the saying, “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

Just tonight I heard that Ford and Telstra were each fined $10 million by ACCC.

Can you imagine the joy in Federal Treasury? Another $20 million added to their funds. How many millions have the banks paid in fines to the government over the decades this fraud has run? Governments could become dependent on fines from the financial service industry The banks take money fraudulently from the customers then the government takes money from the banks in fines??? But nobody stops the banks dead in their tracks.

Only the customers and other voters are likely to do that. That is why we are setting up a Better Banking Network and re-vitalising the Moneygram service we rans immediately after bank de-regulation which threw bank customers to the loan sharks.Moneygrams helped many farmers and city business people obtains better treatment from their banks by introducing more competition.

14th April
Crooks dominate bank boardrooms

I have always written that the dishonest, destructive and predatory treatment by banks of their customers is no accident of minor staff, but a deliberate strategy of bank directors to put their own financial interests way ahead of those of their customers. Policy directives to lend amounts the customers could not possibly service and repay, boosts bank profits through penalty interest rates, charges and compound interest that could not have been dreamed of if the loans were affordable. All it needed was sufficient assets for the bank to strip from the customers when the debt got high enough.
Today Fairfax media quotes Mr. Michael Chaney, former chairman of directors of Nab. The Herald says “Mr. Chaney describes trade-offs between behaviour and profits, between enduring the community’s mistrust of banks and the desire of the bank CEOs to keep their jobs.”

As bank directors appoint and dismiss CEOs, the clear implication is that if the CEOs did not do what was required to boost bank profits they would be sacked by the board. The only reason for the community mistrusting banks is their fraudulent misappropriation of customers’ money, their theft of funds from bank accounts, their fake insurance policies and their false and misleading statements that encouraged customers to borrow more than they could afford. Often this cost customers their life savings and the government has ended up providing welfare for people who were quite well off before being worked over by their bank in order for the CEO to not be fired by the bank board.

The herald continues “He (Mr. Chaney) backs that assessment with his experience as a bank chairman. “When you get back from investor meetings, you say we need to create some incentive plans that cause our people to generate more profits. You assume everyone will do it ethically but somewhere down there, whether it is amongst your tens of thousands of employees or your brokers or other parties somebody does the wrong thing because they can make money out of it.”
Mr Chaney is further quoted as saying “ In the shorter run over a couple of years you (bank executives) would be absolutely crucified in the market and the people would be calling for your head”.....” if you don’t ever make a move to sell someone a product that they don’t want and so on.”

Three points.

Firstly the community does not mistrust banks for selling people products they don’t want. The community mistrusts banks for deliberately lending people unaffordable loans that any banker would know were unaffordable from the start, but which the customer did not know were unaffordable because the customer had less experience with loans than the bank staff. Customers mistrust them for illegally drawing money out of customer’s accounts, for a bank manager getting into a horse racing syndicate with a customer’s executive staff then when the customer complains about his money being taken to feed & train the horse, victimising that customer with false claims of breaching loan terms; when the bank offers the loan at one rate but charges another rate; when the bank colludes with another bank customer to financially ruin a borrower.

Secondly, bank directors are not paid to “assume” anything on important matters like ethics, corruption, dishonesty, theft of customers’ funds. They are paid to plan bank policies and factor in the impact of those policies they endorse then instruct staff how to carry out those policy directions. They are not kindergarten children, but supposedly astute business people who know exactly what they are doing.
Thirdly what Mr. Chaney espouses is like the Nuremburg principle. Bank directors give instructions like “make more money” – just do it, don’t tell us why you can’t. They leave it to the staff and brokers to decide how, washing their hands of responsibility, just like Hitler left it to camp commandants to decide how to treat Jewish prisoners. Only bank victims were not gassed quickly. Like long term prisoners many were gradually starved of every vestige of wealth, health and respect as the bank sucked out all their assets.

It tells us something about bank directors when Mr. Chaney explains how bank executives are maximising profits for investors while not worrying about the well-being of their customers at all. The Mafia does the same.
What is the solution? Private enterprise banks were given free reign years ago by their political henchmen who sold off the government banks to prevent any competition from curtailing this ruthless private bank behaviour, probably in return for big political donations and favours. Private moneylenders, which is essentially what the banks are, will probably not change radically, so there are two good solutions.
The first is new government banks to work for customers if as voters we encourage our elected MPs to make sure that happens. This would give government more access to long term funds for infrastructure development and put compulsory superannuation to work for the nation and the superannuants instead of lining the pockets of the banks and their offshoots. It would dramatically alter the profit perspective.

The second is the model adopted by Bendigo “community” banks, where the bank operates through community owned retail outlets. Bank customers own those retail outlets so they are some of the “investors” of whom Mr. Chaney speaks. Bank staff are employed by those community owned “banks” so staff are always looking to the interests of their customers. Their jobs depend on it. My own experience with Bendigo Community bank has been superb compared to the horrific experience of dealing with the grossly understaffed major banks who treat their borrowers and investors so badly, through no fault of staff. The government, if it had any interest in the rights of bank customers would take a substantial interest in Bendigo & Adelaide bank, perhaps 20%. It would remove government guarantees from customer deposits with the four major banks. It is absurd that while these banks earn billions of dollars annually and pay outrageous salaries to the CEOs for ripping off customers, that taxpayers should be held liable for the debts of those banks if their financial ineptitude renders them unable to pay their debts. It is the bank directors and CEOs who should be liable for debt the bank cannot afford to pay as it will only be their actions that cause that to happen.

Clients of GBAC Advisory can have inexpensive Loan Impact Statement drawn up and loan management plans drawn up to deliver them, rather than the bank, good profits from their borrowings. GBACA is always ready, when some unusual circumstance like illness, business downturn, bad seasons arise, to negotiate with the bank to temporarily adjust the loan terms to suit the circumstances. We have found banks very willing to do that. Borrowers are rarely experienced enough at such negotiations to do it themselves. They are often quite surprised to see that we have achieved what they thought to be impossible. Everybody has their own field at which they are good.

Nothing will happen without action by the Australian voters. That is why I have established voters.network so that people like bank customers can exert some influence over what happens instead of so many people having their lives destroyed because bank directors and CEOs are more interested in making maximum profits for investors (probably other banks) than the social destruction they cause their customers.

Democracy means voters ensuring that government works for them. That is, as opposed to dictatorships and monarchies where heads of state “rule over” the people. Because the Queen leaves it to Australian parliamentarians, despite the monarchy, voters rule in Australia. But they will only rule when they work together because they need to have politicians do what the vast majority wants done. Honest banks are probably wanted by all but the bank boards and those investors who constantly want more profit at any cost.

12th April 2018
The self assessment system imposed by the Tax Office is designed to catch out unsuspecting business owners who obviously know more about their business than about tax.

It pays to engage a qualified and experienced tax expert. I have been a Tax Agent for years and I practiced as a Chartered Accountant for decades. We also have another CPA in the office. We can assist with many tax matters but for more complex ones we would find you an accountant who could advise you on your tax matters.

What we tend to specialise in is helping small business people and farmers in particulaar deal with debt issues. As a 4th generation farmer  who has run city businesses as well as a Chartered Accountancy practice, I know very well the difficulties experienced by farmers and family businesses.

Managing loans to maximise benefits and profits is not difficult but it is difficult if you are not familiar with what is required and you are trying to run a business at the same time.

Look at the interest shown in your profit and loss statement. That is the amount of profit from your work that goes to the bank. Now look at your net profit. That is the amount of profit from your work that goes to you. If the bank gets more out of your business than you do, something is wrong.

We can also give you direct access to every Member of Parliament in Australia if you feel you are being given a rough trot by any government bodies.

Remember - Kings, Queens and dictators "rule" the people. Democratic governments are elected and paid by the people, to "serve" the people. There is a big differrence and recognising it can help you boost your profits and sort out issues.

If you want a hand call me on 02 9988 3312 or 0428 417 496

Greg Bloomfield

10th April 2018
Have you seen the media reports of the ATO abusing taxpayers.

Where were their tax advisers? Not one of them mentioned their tax accountants. None of our clients would ever be treated like this. Firstly we would be quickly investigating the truth of the situation and then engaging with tax office staff. only twice in my decades of dealing with the tax office have I had uncooperative staff. One, years ago, I sent a Votergram into Federal Parliament and he was taken b efore a public service tribunal. The second, recently, was an arrogant oficer and I persisted in a heavy conversation until he did what I wanted. Had he not done so I would also have rreported him by name to all federal MPs.

Do not put up with abuse from the Australian Tax office or any government department. Joining voters .network is the best form of protection and a lot cheaper than taking on the tax office in court. But having a tax consultant to advise and assist you is important with tax matters. People who try to handle these matters by themselves can create mountains out of molehills.

The ATO would not dare to persecute voters.network members as it apparently has others recently.

Anyone persecuted unfairly by the ATO has an additional simple inexpensive remedy. A Votergram to each of the 225 Federal MPs would stop the persecution dead in its tracks. No fancy lawyers or accountants needed, though we have tax accountants in the network. The cost to send a message by Votergram to 225 Federal MPs is $25 in total. Responses are monitored and you can rate MPs for good or bad responses.

The ATO action is most likely caused by unrealistic cost-cutting and performance demands by Federal MPs themselves. Historically the ATO has been very obliging to honest taxpayers.

Today taxpayers, residents, bank customers, children, women, cattle, chickens, dogs and sheep are all being abused under the auspices of our state and federal politicians who are responsible for all laws and all government action. Abuse is running rife!

Unless voters do network together, to campaign, help politicians perform better and guide government policy, Australians are going to end up enduring the sort of abuse to which our first settlers were subjected by the authorities in the 1700’s. Let’s not do that!!

Join voters.network now if you have not already done so and remember that Votergrams can protect you from abuse - not only by government. If you have a problems with the tax office give us a cll for professional assistance. We have decades of experience.

26th March 2018

The Royal Commission into the Finance Industry

The Royal Commission into the Finance Industry, for which we and many others have campaigned long and hard, has already identified widespread dishonesty in the banking, insurance and wealth management industries.

We would fool ourselves if we thought the government was going to stop these liars, cheats and thieves. They will just adopt different means of boosting their ill-gotten gains from customers.

What can those individuals, small to medium sized business owners and farmers do to obtain fair treatment? They can be extremely careful about who they deal with.

When banks were first de-regulated by politicians keen to set the evil genie free, possibly in exchange for big political donations, we launched Moneygrams to ensure that borrowers received the lowest interest rates and charges and that investors received the highest rates, by forcing banks to be competitive. That shifted some of the bank profits towards customers.

Then our attention was diverted to rescuing the huge numbers of people who had been tricked into unaffordable loans and faced loss of everything as a result of foreclosure. We have been able to have banks accept millions of dollars less than they claimed. Some banks have behaved well and others disgracefully, but most have made the write-offs rather than bear the consequences of not doing so.

Now we are about to launch a Better Banking Network to help Australians move their banking business to banks who will be honest and look after them. The network will give them more muscle when under attack by the moneylenders or having their savings stolen by the wealth managers.

Our strength lies not just in our lengthy experience as qualified accountants in professional practice and in commerce specialising in banking, but in our ability to draw on support from politicians and to have banks named in parliament for illegal practices. We will work hard to give bank customers the tools and knowledge with which to monitor their own accounts. Then they can identify dishonest or inappropriate conduct and put a stop to it early.

Constant vigilance is required with even the most honest banks, as a change of directors or CEO can turn a respected bank into something resembling a mafia gang, plundering customers as hard as it can. There are good banks, but they are few and far between.

Customers have been warned, leopards do not change their spots and banks to not change their morals. It is necessary to find and use the honest ones.

With any sort of luck some politicians we understand that the government owned banks treat customers best, though banks like Bendigo Community Bank have done very well for customers as far as we know.

14th March 2018
Thinking of borrowing?
Let us help you prepare a financial impact statement first.

14th March 2018


It used to be the dog we had to beware of. The Royal Commission should alert all homebuyers, business owners and farmers to the way they can be torn apart by the dishonesty-riddled  banking industry with teeth like a bull terrier.

Email gbac@internode.on.net if you would like to protect yourself from this monster industry. There are good banks out there. There are good ways to borrow. Many borrowers in trouble with banks have caused the problem themselves because they were not familiar with the way in which banks operate.

Our Better Banking Network will help bank customrs receive good treatement. When banks were first de-regulated by misguided  or funded politicians, we commencd the Moneygram service so that customers could compete for better terms. then for a period banks behaved and did the right thing.

After the bank-caused Global Financial Crisis in which they convinced the government to use voters' money to guarantee bank debts, banks became more dishonest, reverting to their earlier attitudes. Thousands of bank customers have suffered huge losses because of that.

It does not need to happen. The  simple Scout / Guide motto "Be Prepared" is the secret. Know that they are not trying to help you. They are trying to help themselves - to your assets, if you let them.

Don't let them. We are happy to help you. Prepare a brilliant loan application to attract a number of banks. Play one off against the other. Avoid brokers to whom the banks pay huge commissions which are built into your loan repayments. Brokers work for the bank, not you. Have expert eyes go over the loan contract which has been devised by the best lawyers in Australia to specifically give all the advantages to the bank. Work out in detail your obligations. Design a loan servicing plan that allows you leeway in bad times. Keep in touch with an advocate who knows the rules the bank must obey. Collect hard evidence of everything the bank does wrong or dishonestly. Keep it safe. When repayments become difficult call us to chat with the bank and come to a sensible arrangement. If you want we can monitor your loan servicing plan and confer with you on any problems that arise from time to time.

The Better Banking Network (BBN) is your route to better banking. Keep the upper hand or you can lose everything. Networking adds strength to individuals.

11th March 2018

Unscrupulous bankers devour savings of the gullible for breakfast!

As we watch the TV and hear an ordinary lady tell of her critical loss of superannuation money and massive debt from buying 11 properties on interest only loans, our minds reel at the dishonesty of our major banks.

Anyone with any basic financial knowledge would have known that borrowing interest-only to buy 11  properties to provide a passive income was not a realistic financial  proposition.

My personal belief is that those who took her into this investment should be gaoled for life just as they have ruined hers.

Crooked bankers only dominate our financial service sector with the protection of equally crooked politicians and lawyers  who relish to opportunity to foreclose on those who have been foolish enough to trust their banker as he leads them down the garden path.

Will the Banking Royal Commission expose their wrong doing? I very much doubt that it will do much to stop them. Bankers ar very astute at ripping off customers. Otherwise they would not have earned $29 billion last year between the big 4. $29 billion that I guess their customers lost.

GBAC Advisory  is in the process of establishing a Better Banking Network through which to assist bank customers to obtain better services at better prices and to manage their loans in a way that does not get them into trouble, starting with how affordable their borrowing is right from the start. All borrowers should realise that brokers are paid by and therefore work for, the banks, not the customers. Their services may come free to customers, but remember that you usually get what you pay for.

11th February 2018

The greatest challenge facing Australian business owners and farmers is that until they borrow money from a bank or other moneylender, they are in charge of their own destiny. From the  day they borrow to the day they clear the debt, they lose that control -

unless they arrange the loan with great care to ensure that they will always rertain control over their destiny.

GBAC Advisory has been helping business owners and farmers do that for decades in every state and territory of Australia and it has also helped many regain control after they had lost it to the bank.

When buying the family farm, think interest-free vendor loans from parents in return for continued occupancy of a house. Don't involve the bank! That is the surest way to lose the farm and it is quite unnecessary.

Feel free to phone Greg if you need assistance 02 9988 3312. If the answering machine is on listen carefully and do what it says.

10th February 2018
Most family businesses and farms depend a lot on govenment for the ability to run their businesses profitably. For that reason I share the following with readers in the hope tht it will lift their results.

I read an article in the Herald this week that asked the question “Are our politicians just in it for themselves?”

And I thought - What about the rest of us? Are we just in our businesses or farms for what we can get out of them – income, super, holidays, homes, cars, friends and acquaintances, opportunities, knowledge, experience, wisdom, wealth, lifestyle? Are politicians any different to the rest of us? Why would they be?

John Hewson led the Liberal party from 1990 to 1994 and was defeated by Paul Keating, so he knows a bit about politics and – he was a politician.

Below are extracts from his article in SMH this week. I thank Fairfax for their commentaries on government and acknowledge the importance of the press being able to reveal the dishonest and fraudulent practices that sometimes permeate politics to damage the nation.

Hewson says: “I totally agree with Shorten that “the most corrosive sentiment awash in western democracies is the idea that politicians are only in it for themselves.””

“As long as our politicians are still preselected the way they are, leading to a parliament dominated by apparatchiks focused more on point-scoring and blame-shifting instead of governing; as long as our ministers are mostly amateurs, few of whom have ever had a “real job”; as long as campaign funding is so opaque and corruptible and lobbying too is so opaque; and as long as those in government “kick issues down the road” rather than solve problems; that corrosive sentiment will fester.”

That tells it like it is. I don’t think it will ever change without voter intervention from business people and farmers in their capacity as voters. Peak bodies don't vote so they don't have the stnding that voters do.

He then goes on to say “The tragedy is that the two major parties know what needs to be done and how to do it, to genuinely clean up our politics and while they are prepared to talk about it, even to make “promises” to fix it, neither has ever done so, basically because each believes that they can exploit the present system more effectively than the other (party).”

Then, speculating on what the leaders of each major party is likely to do in 2018, he concludes,
“This will only compound the “corrosive sentiment” that “politicians are only in it for themselves”, that politics is “their game” and they will say or do whatever they have to, to win.””

Voters take note: This is a senior former politician speaking from experience. We would all be foolish to ignore his comments and believe the pleasant fantasy that most politicians are “in it for us”, relieving us voters of any responsibility for what the future brings, or to take an active role in guiding our governments.

The only ways that my experience over the past 30 years dealing with Australian politics and observing other democracies differs, is that - “what is in it for them “ is not their ONLY concern, but it is their major concern, a long way ahead of what is in it for the voters; and not ALL politicians are “in it for themselves”. There are notable exceptions amongst MPs. Are they, in that, so different from the rest of us? I do not think so. They are just like us – no better and no worse, no cleverer no sillier.

Once voters have clearly understood this truth – that of course politicians are primarily in it for themselves, those voters have discovered the key that unlocks the power of democracy and delivers it to the people. Here is why. It is simple logic:-
Votes are the exclusive right of voters alone; winning a majority of votes in their local electorate along with enough of their party colleagues doing the same to constitute the majority in parliament, is the ONLY way politicians can avail themselves of “what is in it for them” as the government which is a whole lot more than if they are in opposition, where they still have to win a majority of votes in their own electorate.

Therefore when voters want good government as they see it, the best way to obtain it is to use their votes as bargaining chips to achieve it. Letting local MPs know that your vote and that of others hangs on whether they do what you want is very effective. Why would you elect a politician who did the opposite of what you want? Those in safe seats can simply move outside the box and campaign in the nearest marginal seat if the government will not listen. But if asked nicely, well in advance with supporting evidence, the politicians will usually listen, because they will know that if they do not do what the voters want, there will be “nothing in it at all” for them, as they will be voted out of parliament.

One caution – never bluff. Voters should always do what they said they would do.

Professor Hewson claimed at the start of his article that “populism always fails in the long run.”
I totally disagree with him. His claim rests on the idea that a few hundred politicians backed by government staff, funded by donors, will have better knowledge of what is wrong and what needs to be done, than 16 million voters with all sorts of life, career, trade, commercial and professional experience, backed by another 10 million fellow Aussies.

“Populism “, or doing what the people want, will succeed when enough voters network their knowledge, experience and goals in a spirit of patience and tolerance, because as a body of people we have a great deal of knowledge, wisdom and experience amongst us. Further, we do know what we want and are prepared to pay for and we do know what we don’t want and are not prepared to pay for.

That is why I invented Votergram in 1986 to let voters tell EVERY politician what should be done, formed FairGO in 1990 to help voters campaign and have now formed voters.network to put real power to guide governments into the future with the Australian people in network hubs throughout Australia, led by trained Hub Leaders. They will help co-ordinate a process of discussion, discovery and democracy that will improve all Australian lives for generations of business owners and farmers to come, when most of us have moved on.

9th February
Many organisations appear to be tackling Australia’s social problems. When I visit their websites I am amazed at the appeals for donations, sponsorships , money to pay those who run them on top of government (taxpayers’) funding.
FairGO’s biggest campaigns for voters cost them no more than this to win – under $10,000 each to cut road toll by 75%, beat the ID card, Save the snowfields; under $2,000 each to ban smoking on planes, keep Hornsby hospital open, keep Neringah hospital. Personal issues under $200 each- cross-border disability care, respite care Sth Sydney, mental health care, damages claim, $10k debt write off, $9,000 credit card w/off, introduce victims' impact statements in court cases.
Small money, dedicated voters, solid arguments, informative Votergrams, receptive politicians. Those are the inexpensive solutions. You can make it happen without big money by leveraging off the resources of democracy. https://voters.network/join.php

8th February 2018
Don’t let the Bank Borrower's Blues get you down

Banking is in turmoils now as the banks count their billions in profits and the cost of the misdeeds that have made those profits possible.
Big banks continually cheat their customers because they can.
People in debt believe that they are captive slaves to those big banks.

What if there was an alternative? There is always an alternative!

It is a case of seeking it out. The old saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is truer now than ever.
Wise bank customers will use a number of banks so that they have several options no matter what they want to do.
Most borrowers fail to check the charge the banks will actually offer. It is little use checking the comparative rates shown online. Every bank keeps those as high as possible knowing that many people will not bother to negotiate rates or charges down.
Few realise that their broker is being paid thousands of dollars to bring them to the bank and that they, the customer are paying for that brokerage fee in their loan repayments.

When banks were first de-regulated I started the Moneygram service and ran it for years helping people borrow at the very best prices thanks to some special negotiating techniques.
Bank customers need strength of numbers and the quantities of money that brings, for banks to treat them really well.

In conjunction with the newly formed voters.network we are setting up a Better Banking Network to give small businesses, farmers, homebuyers and others some real options to put the billions back into their own pockets and return the banks to more modest profits.Every dollar of profit a bank makes is a dollar  the customer loses.

I'l keep you posted.

Banks bleed borrowers dry

Another report was made tonight of a bank bleeding a borrower dry in an unemploymewnt scam fostered by our politicians as they suck wealth from the many poor to the few wealthy.

We would be rash if we thought a Royal Commission would do that.

Rather, in conjunction with voters.network, we are establishing a Better Banking Network to allow customers to better evaluate what each bank offers and defend themselves against the Bankruptcy that can follow trusting a bank a bit too much. We have at least 2 qualified accountants to assist.

One of the best defences is to avoid borrowing whenever the same or better result can be achieved that way.People often forget that the bank becomes a "stealing  partner" in the business very often, taking a far larger share of profit than the working owner.

Similarly banks tend to take great advantage of Term Depositors, paying very low rates of interest and charging very high ones.When voters network for banking they have much more bargaining power.

It was that power to negotiate a cheaper loan or higher deposit rate that prompted us to invent the Moneygram in 1987 on bank deregulation. What a profit-builder for banks that bit of political favouritism has been, destroying the lives of thousands of trusting Australians in the process of boosting bank profits from hundreds of thousand to billions of dollars.

Banking is very serious business and should be undertaken with great care. Gone are the days when the first priority of the bank manager was to look after the customer's financial well-being. Today we are lucky if we see a bank manager. We are more likely to spend time sitting in a phone queue waiting for some explanation. Profit is king!

Contact us to hear more about the Better Banking Network. Whereas problems used to be pretty much confined to business and farm borrowers, there is a ticking time-bomb alongside many home loans today. The best way to defuse those bombs is to start to examine them early and work out where the trigger point is then how to safely defuse it. That is better than having it blow up in your face and lose you your home and all the money invested in the repayments.

Make 2018 the year in which you turn a loan into profit.

Banking royal commission - If money has been paid out of your bank account on direction of a person not authorised to operate on it, consult GBAC . You might get it back.

1 December 2017

Citizenship crisis brings banking royal commission

It took a citizenship crisis in parliament to make politicians heed the voters’ voices calling for a royal commission into banking organised crime. This has been the most astutely organised crime fin Australia for at least 50 years and particularly since banking deregulation 30 years ago.

Most of the politicians and political parties who have been partially funded by banks and bankers for decades, would not even imagine the fraud, theft, deception and dishonesty with which major banks have abused their customers to earn their million or billion dollar profits & massive pay packets.

It is not the bank staff that customers meet who are the corporate criminals, but many of the bank directors and senior management who direct their subordinates to earn more profits in any way they can and particularly by tricking trusting customers into unaffordable debt and then bleeding them of everything they can, or insurance policies on which claims are not paid, or into investments owned or controlled by the banks themselves.

Even as a former Chartered Accountant and bank auditor I have been staggered at the dishonesty of banks as I have worked since 1987 to assist bank victims all over Australia to achieve some degree of fairness from their financial abusers.

The royal commission teaches us Australian voters some invaluable lessons about how to make democracy deliver us more justice and better lives.

Tell all politicians what we want

Explain each reason carefully, concisely and repeatedly

Join with voters from as many different electorates as possible

Never give up until we win

Take an interest in many topics rather than concentrating on one single issue alone, so that politicians can come to understand us and our values better

Support the good honest MPs who stand up for the rights and lives of voters

Vote out the MPs who neglect voters, waste tax money by awarding over-expensive contracts to their buddies and who think only of the power that politics gives them

Act when the timing is right as citizenship has made it now

This is why we have now launched voters.network, following 30 years of success with the Votergram service and FairGO . Voters.network is a micro-business opportunity for all those who believe that government exists to serve all of the Australian people, rather than just a privileged minority. For others it is a chance to work together for empowerment on the many issues of common agreement.

I invite you to join voters.network free to rate monthly how well your local MPs are representing you and your goals. Then I hope you will upgrade and make the Advanced Access contribution which will fund the volunteer hub leaders (75%) and its administration (25%).

We are also establishing a network for bank customers to help them get a better deal from the most profitable banks in the world - those operating in Australia with protection from the politicians we elect and pay.

6 Nov 2017

Stallions, Bulls, Rams and Debt can be dangerous if not handled correctly

As a young boy I was taught never to turn my back on a bull or a stallion. I've learned the hard way that it is wise to keep an eye on a ram as well.

But what about debt? Can it really be as dangerous as the animals I have just described?

Well, yes, it can. The thing about stallions, bulls and rams is that they can come in pretty handy if you want to breed livestock. Most of the time they will be the most pleasant of animals. It is only if provoked, frightened or neglected that they can turn nasty.

Exactly the same applies to debt. If you pick up a bank loan after having worked out carefully how you are going to pay the interest on time and repay the debt as fast as possaible and certainly within the loan terms, you have advanced as well as buying the males and unloading them onto your paddocks.

From then on it is essentially a matter of training them to treat you the way you want them to. I like my bulls to be nice and friendly, a bit on the calm side. My best bull is very friendly. He has always come right up to me since he was a calf. Problem is he sometimes strays from his paddock.Of course it is only possible where a weakness in the fence arises, but it is a real pain in the neck for me and my extremly pleasant neighbours.

A bank loan can go astray too and for very much the same reasons. Some weakness arises like a dry spell or a price  fall and suddenly the amount owing is not where you expected it to be. Sometime a bank is provoked or frightened by the borrower failing to do what he coontracted to do.  Maybe the debt has gone off the graph. Far too often borrowers just accept that. They ring the bank and get an extension on the loan.

When my bull gets out I am drawing on all the credits I have to find him and put him back. Currently we are converting the bull paddock into something like Alcatraz. This bull is going to learn to stay where I want him.

How good it would be for many farm borrowers if their debts would stay where they want them. Sometimes it is just not possible. But it is possible the moment it strays from the balance that you determined it should sit at this month when you first applied for it, to bring it back into line. It can mean selling stock you did not plan to sell, or a bit of machinery that has been sitting in the shed unused these past 10 years.

It can mean a hold on spending for a month or two. It is worth taking any steps necessary to reduce the debt. Bad debts are bad news. You don't want to have to get into farm debt mediation and force the bank to write off some of your debt. That just makes the bank twitchy.

Debt requires as much management as fences, livestock, crops and spending. Take your eyes off it for a moment and it is likely to kick you in the back. How does debt do that?

Here are some tales from my clients:
The overdraft limit goes up because the bank takes interest out of there whether or not you want it to, and the interest goes sky high.
That makes the debt increase faster.
The bank adds a few extra charges because the debt is in danger of running amok and the bank may have to do extra reporting on it.
You ask for and receive an increase in debt. The bank gives you a bit more than you need and you are grateful for that, but you promptly spend it and of course a bigger debt means bigger interest each month.

Now you have a sore back because you allowed  the debt too much leeway.

You need to bring it back and yard it. Do whatever you have to, to  bring it down. Otherwise the chances are you are on a road to ruin.

There are three phases of debt:
Obtaining it
Managing it
Clearing it

There is so much work involved in applying for and obtaining loans that most borrowers forget that it needs managing and that means they do not get to clear it.

We have clients who have worked from dawn to well past dusk every day of every year entirely for the bank. They do not make a cent of profit by the end of the year and amazingly their accountants do not read the riot act to them.

One client said to me in relatioin to his long string of annual losses,  "They are just paper losses". "Don't be stupid", I replied "they are cash losses and you are working your guts out day in day out to lose money, because most of what you earn goes to the bank in interest." I took him through is financial statements and showed him how much cash he was throwing up against a wall.

It is true that farmers have hidden reserves in the value of crops, grain or stock not sold. The problem is that it is hard to know what they will bring when sold or what the running costs of the farm are going to be while they ware waiting to be sold.

We like to give our clients two sets of figures. When I worked for Price Waterhouse  as a youngster in their pastoral and tax sections they taught me that the tax return was prepared according to the tax act and the financial statements reflecting the true profit of an enterprise might be quite different. It is important not to reply on your tax return for information on how the farm or businesess is going and it is just as important to include with any loan application a set of management accounts as well as and reconciled to the tax return.

Never take your eyes off the stallion, bull, ram or debt for very long. They are all relatively easy to manage with constant supervision. Managing debt is dead simple, but it requires constant attention.

Do you want to create wealth or a better life by borrowing?

If so it is important to ensure that borrowing is going to make you richer, not poorer.

That means your profits and net assets need to increase while you are managing your debt. It does not matter whether it is a home, business, farm or credit card debt. The same principle applies it needs to work well for you.

If you are a qualified accountant or an ex-banker, you should have no trouble doing that for yourself. But if you are not, it may pay to engage an expert to help you to manage that debt to achieve your goals. Otherwise many borrowers discover that they have simply enriched the bank and impoverished themselves.

Whereas last century banks used to put their customers first, today profits are paramount. That is why some bank chief executives earn many millions of dollars a year and the banks count their earnings in billions. Every dollar a bank earns is a dollar a bank customer loses. The question is whether or not that customer has gained more value from the loan than it cost.

There is merit in having your own “Bank Manager” to manage your debt through to repayment. Yes. I did say “repayment”. It is a word that most bankers hate to hear. Once a customer’s debt approaches half way to being cleared the bank usually sets its staff to making sure the customer borrows some more money using the same security.

Here are some of the traps banks use to relieve customers of their money:-

1. They lend the customer so much money that the customer cannot afford to even pay the interest, let alone repay any of the debt. This will only happen when the borrower has enough assets to secure the debt several times over. This is called a “Ponzi” loan because interest can only be paid by borrowing more money to fund it. Eventually the debt rises due to the additional loans required to pay interest and the bank forecloses. It is very difficult for inexperienced borrowers to realise what is happening to them, like the frog being slowly boiled without realising it.

2. They lend quite inappropriate loans. For instance a loan requiring monthly repayments for a business that receives its income in one big annual repayment. The same applies to an interest-only loan that leads the borrower to forget that there is even a loan there, only aware of the regular interest payments. A soon as some slump descends on the borrower the bank demands repayment. The slump might be illness, loss of employment, drought or economic collapse. The bank will then ruthlessly foreclose and the borrower will often lose everything because the value of the security may well have fallen too.

3. They lend at low interest rates then increase the rate quickly and severely. This is common with credit card debt where the bank offers a very low rate to transfer debt to itself then lifts it to around 20% p.a.

4. They convince gullible and generous people to guarantee the debts of family members, putting up their homes as security and often losing them when the borrowers go broke or cannot repay the loans.

Never guarantee someone else’s loan, borrow more than you can afford to pay interest and annual loan repayments on, borrow interest-only or think that your bank is looking after your interests. If you do, get a professional Bank Manager to help you manage your loan. It is really a good idea in any case. It is not expensive and it can save a lot of heartbreak. So many bank customers end up losing their homes and everything they own just because they trusted their bank for loans that seemed easy to handle at the time they were taken out .

When we help clients manage their loans we keep them on the straight and narrow so that the loans never get out of control in the first place. As with most financial matters, the time for sound evaluation and planning is before accepting the loan. Remember that you are doing the bank a favour by taking an interest-bearing loan. Don’t think for a moment that the bank is doing you one.

If the bank does try to foreclose and sell you up, give us a call as soon as possible. Banks will write off very substantial amounts of debt when their conduct has been misleading, deceptive, negligent or downright dishonest & fraudulent. In recent times we have had banks write off $250,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000 to share the suffering with their customers for whom they did not act prudently at all. In one case the bankers were just plain straight out thieves.

I just have an aversion to people being treated unfairly, which is why I established the GBAC banking consultancy from my Chartered Accountancy practice in 1987. We fight hard to see that borrowers do get a fair go, even when they have been very unwise in their loan management.


Anyone is welcome to phone us on 02 9988 3312  oe 0428 417 496 for a chat. We have been advising borrowrs for decades with great success .