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Unwell, broke and grieving: What years of fighting with the bank means for this farmer

Unwell, broke and grieving: What years of fighting with the bank means for this farmer

Bundaberg cane grower Ronald Feierabend has had a coronary heart attack, a most cancers diagnosis and misplaced his father in the future of his long-running strive in opposition to with his bank and now he’s on the brink of losing his farm.

Key functions:

  • Mediation and interior buyer advocacy have didn’t settle the long-standing dispute between Mr Feierabend and Suncorp Bank 
  • Advocates dispute thousands of conditions raised at the Royal Commission are peaceable unresolved
  • In line with guidelines, the Australian Monetary Complaints Authority is under overview 

Mr Feierabend said he was in the assignment of refinancing his loan after flooding in 2013 when he noticed the budgets the bank was counting on to estimate his farm’s profitability were different to the ones he supplied.

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It overstated his profits and understated his losses.

Attempts to resolve the topic have failed and it is now headed for a showdown in the Supreme Court.

“Unfortunately, we have been to mediation twice, we have been thru the buyer advocacy at Suncorp Bank,” Mr Feierabend said.

“Both CEOs have said there is nothing harmful with their dealings.”

Suncorp Bank would no longer verbalize on Mr Feierabend’s case, however in an announcement, a spokesperson said the bank was dedicated to working with its customers.

“When a buyer is unable to fulfill their financial commitments we stumble on all accessible alternatives often over many years to wait on, together with taking into fable compassionate conditions,” the assertion said.

“Nevertheless, in conditions the effect financial conditions can no longer be resolved, it can most likely well also goal even be essential to lift the relevant actions to settle their preparations.”

Royal Commission hopes dashed

Mr Feierabend accused the bank of pushing to evict him from the farm, even whereas he dealt with effectively being points and the death of his father.

“There’s been so much of issues that have came about,” he said.

“We have got had coronavirus, I’ve had a death in the household … serving Supreme Court documents on my birthday, I’ve been identified with most cancers myself.

Mr Feierabend said he had hoped the novel Royal Commission into the banking sector would salvage getting a settlement more straightforward, however he said there had been dinky run on legacy conditions love his.

“If something, after I test with other other folks that deal with other banks, it is sliding back to the effect it was before the Royal Commission, if no longer worse,” he said.

A Suncorp Bank branch in Brisbane CBD

Suncorp Bank says it does lift compassionate conditions into fable (

ABC Radio Brisbane: Anna Levy


The Suncorp Bank spokesperson said the bank worked within all legislative requirements and most effective note, together with the Banking Code of Banking Observe.

“As a bank with solid roots in Queensland and agribusiness, we understand how no longer easy financial points could most likely well also goal even be and are dedicated to working with and supporting our customers,” the spokesperson said.

Suncorp told customers who were unhappy with the assignment to lodge a criticism with the Australian Monetary Complaints Authority (AFCA).

Losing faith in AFCA

AFCA was formed two years ago to handle complaints that could most likely well have beforehand been handled by the Monetary Ombudsman Provider, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.

Craig Caulfield co-founded a community called Bank Warriors to indicate for customers caught up in a dispute with a financial establishment.

Mr Caulfield said there were thousands of unresolved legacy conditions love Mr Feierabend’s.

“The Royal Commission had 10,000 submissions and finest 27 of those folk obtained to ventilate their case,” he said.

“So, you would possibly want to most likely well take into consideration there’s peaceable 10,000-odd other folks that have had misconduct or malfeasance or detriment precipitated to them and their case hasn’t been ventilated.

“AFCA’s no longer essentially a accurate choice … whether it is a ways a tiny narrate AFCA’s very lovely, however we’re speaking claims under $10,000 — often farmers’ claims can mount to $1 million or more.”

Call for ‘equity of hands’

Mr Caulfield called for the introduction of an ‘equity of hands’ in disputes, which would require banks to give equal funding and lawful trip to the complainants and for complainants to finest settle for a settlement if the final end result was in their favour.

“Going to court docket isn’t any longer a accurate choice because most oldsters which will be in a first-rate dispute with a bank shouldn’t have the money to strive in opposition to,” he said.

“Where they are settled, either they’ve had some media or publicity that the banks must keep a ways off from or they’ve been in a field to salvage entry to lawful trip — they’ve stumbled on the funds to be in a field to effect apart up a huge fighting fund and the banks have had to lift them critically.”

AFCA is now under overview by the Federal authorities, as required by guidelines, with a tale due by the end of June.

Mr Caulfield has told the authorities to salvage adjustments.

“We need a brand novel physique.”

A man with short, blond hair, wearing a dark suit and sitting in an office.

AFCA Ombudsman David Locke says complaints are on the upward thrust.(



AFCA under overview

AFCA welcomed the overview of its functions and performance and said the establishment of the authority represented necessary reform of financial products and services complaints choice in Australia.

A spokesman for AFCA said the authority was an goal and goal ombudsman that worked with each enterprise and complainants, starting up with conciliation and mediation.

“AFCA tries to resolve complaints in the most lovely, effective and atmosphere pleasant methodology doable,” the spokesman said.

“Our folk are professional at assisting complainants and financial corporations with our external dispute choice assignment.”

The spokesman said AFCA had issued choices in legacy conditions, and complainants who were dissatisfied with the assignment could most likely well register it with the Independent Assessor.

Chief Ombudsman and chief govt David Locke said he was proud of what AFCA had completed in its two years of operation.

Unwell, broke and grieving: What years of fighting with the bank means for this farmer