How to score a ‘free’ car
Commbank chief Matt Comyn is sorry ... He’s sorry his insurance guys ripped off terminally ill parents who took out life insurance with the bank
He’s sorry his financial advisors ripped off retirees for millions of dollars with fraudulent advice.
He’s sorry the bank ripped off dead customers, by charging advice fees for no service.
And now he’s sorry that his bank teller staff scammed school kids’ Dollarmites accounts.
You’ve got to hand it to the CBA, their fraud has a kind of … circle of life to it, right? This week we learnt that thousands of children’s Dollarmites accounts were fraudulently manipulated by CBA staff, so they could earn bonuses and meet aggressive sales targets.
Hang on a minute: Why would the bank link sales incentives to those cute-looking little Dollarmite accounts? Because their Dollarmites program is easily the most successful marketing campaign in Australian history. In fact, one analyst has suggested Dollarmites was worth an astounding $10 billion to the bank.
How? Simple. The CBA pays schools a token kickback for signing up students. Yet it’s chicken feed for acquiring a long-term customer. Especially when Choice Magazine says 35 per cent of those Dollarmites end up staying with the CBA.
For well over a decade I’ve been calling out the Dollarmites program. Having Australia’s largest issuer of credit cards teaching kids about money, is like having Ronald McDonald teaching kids about nutrition. Besides, the Dollarmite Youthsaver accounts terms and conditions are rubbish. Parents would be better off saving for their kids in a high interest online savings account, and throwing their edumarketing in the bin.
Look, I’ve dedicated my life to delivering independent financial education, and I can tell you that kids don’t learn much from the Dollarmites cute cartoon mascots like “Cred”, who rides a skateboard and is “a real cool dude”.
Rather, it’s when Cred morphs into a credit card, and is mailed out to fresh-faced 18-year-old cool dudes, that their real education begins. There are well over five hundred thousand kids who are unwittingly enrolled into the CBA’s marketing database.
As parents, it’s time for us to tell the Commbank that their sleazy circle of life has to stop right now:
It’s time to ban Commbank from our classrooms. Sorry, not sorry. Tread Your Own Path!
HELP! I’M PAYING MY ADVISER $ 70K A YEAR
My four-year-old son has cerebral palsy due to negligence at his birth; I sued the hospital and won $6 million. The lawyers gave us three days to made a decision as to where to invest the money. We were given two options: NAB or Perpetual. Both made presentations that we admittedly didn’t really understand.
His money is now in a trust fund with Perpetual and we pay about $70,000 a year in fees (I think). They told us that it will cost about $1 million in fees over my son’s lifetime. I do not know how to help him or even what our legal rights are.
I have been told by people there’s the possibility that, if we were to try to move away from Perpetual, they might get lawyers to sue us, using our son’s money! Where do I turn to get the best advice for him?
I’m so sorry this has happened to your family. Let’s get this clear: you have your son’s best interests at heart. Perpetual have their best interests at heart.
What your lawyers should have done is advise you to employ a totally independent fee-for-service financial adviser to guide you in choosing the best provider for what is a very important service.
Obviously there are ongoing costs involved in professionally administering an intensive disability trust for the rest of your son’s life. Yet what concerns me is that you don’t have a handle on what your son is actually being charged.
So, I’d suggest you gather up all your paperwork and see a lawyer who specialises in disability trusts. Ask them to do three things: First, have them calculate all the fees your son is being charged annually.
Second, have them compare these costs against three other reputable trustee services.
Third, and most importantly, have them analyse whether you received appropriate advice in order to make an informed decision on behalf of your son.
I will personally do whatever I can to ensure the heads of Perpetual give your case the careful consideration it deserves.
THE BAREFOOT INVESTOR HOLDS AN AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL SERVICES LICENCE ( 302081). THIS IS GENERAL ADVICE ONLY. IT SHOULD NOT REPLACE INDIVIDUAL, INDEPENDENT, PERSONAL FINANCIAL ADVICE.
The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need (Wiley) RRP $29.95