Time to resolve for storm victims

THE group representing investors in the failed Storm Financial says victims will be buoyed by the call from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for banks to have meaningful settlement talks with former Storm investors.

Mark Weir, co-chairman of the Storm Investors Consumer Action Group, said activists had been calling on other banks for months to follow the lead of the Commonwealth Bank and talk to victims who lost billions of dollars.

More than 100 Rockhampton-based investors were among the victims, including one family who lost $8 million.

Mr Weir said yesterday that ANZ and NAB had responded well.

“But we note the continued reluctance of the Bank of Queensland, Westpac, Macquarie and Suncorp to engage with their Storm-affected customers in any meaningful manner,” he said.

He said the Commonwealth Bank has publicly acknowledged its shortcomings in its dealings with Storm and had worked with the action group on a resolution scheme that appeared to be operating quite well.

“We are reserving our overall judgement on the scheme, however, until we see the outcome of deliberations regarding the critical margin lending issue,” he said.

The group is eagerly awaiting the results of ASIC’s year-long inquiry into the collapse of the Townsville-based Storm.

“It’s time now to resolve these outstanding issues so our members can regain their dignity and quality of life,” he said.

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