big 4 bank loan application and privacy breach

Discussion in 'Business Accounting, Tax & Legal' started by ramblin72, 2nd May, 2020.

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  1. ramblin72

    ramblin72 Well-Known Member

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    I am looking for some general advice on a situation I just experienced. I decided to apply for the BetterBusiness Loan for my business. My business isn't suffering significantly with Covid but I thought the loan conditions were favourable enough to apply and use it to expand my business as my business is increasing a bit over this period. I didn't need the money to continue operating...I was only applying as an opportunity. I applied a while ago.

    I finally got a call from the bank today and the loan officer asked me what I wanted the money for. I explained it was for items for expansion..specifically 4 items. The officer said the loan is mainly to help businesses who are affected by covid. I am paraphrasing here but I did not misinterpret anything when I say they basically told me to say the money was for wages so the loan could apply to me in a more favourable light so it was seen as directly covid loss related. The person said their job was to get my application 'over the line'.

    They then said if my loan application failed at their level, it would go to another level where they would need my business tax returns. If it failed at that level, my loan application would then go to another level of approval where my BAS's are required. If my application failed at that level, they would get credit experts involved to assess my financials more indepth. While the person was saying all this, I was thinking...I don't need the money and I have better things to do than paperwork for money I don't need. I also thought the more involved my application gets, the more people get involved and the more exposed I would become to telling the lie this person is encouraging me to tell....being that the money was to cover essential wages instead of my original request for items to expand my business.

    I didn't say anything to this loan officer at the time because I thought they might start in with a spiel to convince me to keep going with the application. I didn't want to start listening to a hard sell. So I just went through the motions with their chit chat. The loan officer said my application failed over the phone. I'm not sure why as the questions were about liabilities, which my business has none and never has. The officer said they would email me the paperwork that I needed to fill out for the next stage of approval. I planned on just emailing them back when I got the email and saying please close my application and then it would be finalised in writing that I closed the application.

    After the phone call, I said to my husband, I understand now the reasons for the royal commission. That was the most dishonest, fraudulent conversation I've ever had....and with a big 4 bank. I was pretty shocked at the suggestions to me. Again...there was no misinterpretation from me. I am an accountant so understand financials and the purpose for information.

    The documents arrived in email about an hour later and I opened the spreadsheet template that was provided and I saw prefilled info. At first I thought it was dummy info for me to follow but the more I read, the more the data seemed a bit too real. So I googled the ABN and it's a real business. The spreadsheet is full of the personal details of an applicant - name, address, phone, email, DOB, his loan request amount, his reasons, his business details, marital status, number of kids, his PPOR address and value, his investment property address and value, the make/model and value of all his multiple cars, his savings, his super, his home contents value, his credit card and balance, his personal living expenses. I was getting sicker in the stomach the more I read and thought if this was me...I can't even describe the level of anger I would feel knowing this loan officer has sent this spreadsheet to who knows how many people.

    I was tempted to email the loan officer and let them know, then I thought maybe it's better to contact the bank and complain about everything including the dodgy suggestions they made for me to put on the application. Then thought how sad it is that I trust none of them and think just the guy who has his details in this spreadsheet should know so he can deal with it himself. I won't do that, but I was angry enough at this loan officer that it crossed my mind.

    I did think it was possible they had a bad day and made a mistake but if only that was the only stupid thing they did today. The fact they also encouraged me to apply fraudulently for a loan...knowing that even if my application was to get denied at their level, that it would be bumped up stairs so I would have to keep perpetuating the same lie that the loan officer had encouraged me to come up with....in that the loan was for wages and not for the 4 items I originally mentioned. I should add too that the person encouraged me to apply for 3 times the original amount I was applying for.

    Anyway, I'm not really sure what to do now. I can see that the loan officer's actions about my loan application were wrong and will bow out of the application now, but what about people who are falling for this person's spiel and potentially making false applications thinking that their suggestions are allowed. And what of the man who has every part of his financial life sitting on an unknown number of computers right now because of this person who didn't clear a spreadsheet out.

    Any suggestions from clearer minds are welcome. This is a big 4 bank I am referring to.
     
    Last edited: 2nd May, 2020
  2. Owlet

    Owlet Well-Known Member

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    The person on the other end was trying to help you. I find it interesting that you are labelling them dodgy when it was you who applied for this when not affected by Covid.
     
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  3. Archaon

    Archaon Well-Known Member

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  4. ramblin72

    ramblin72 Well-Known Member

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    Can you explain what you mean? The loan was not advertised as intended for covid-loss reasons. I just checked again on their website now and it does not say you have to be negatively impacted to apply.
    I explained my intent for the loan to them clearly with a list of items and quoted costs. I am happy for them to clarify on the phone that the loan was intended for covid-loss reasons. That then becomes news to me and a reason to bail out of the loan application process. But instead the loan officer suggested I say I wanted the money for wages and not the items I had listed.
    My apologies if I haven't explained something correctly.
     
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  5. Peter_Tersteeg

    Peter_Tersteeg Well-Known Member Business Member

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    The bank will have a fraud department, or take it to AFCA.
     
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  6. Antoni0

    Antoni0 Well-Known Member

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    How much more obvious does it need to be ?

    cma.PNG
     
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  7. Rolf Latham

    Rolf Latham Inciteful (sic) Staff Member Business Plus Member

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    Complaints and Privacy officer at the lender.

    Comm treats its privacy and ID etc pretty seriously, they have 770 million reasons to do so

    Once a month we would have a scenario like this, where we let the person know and burn the email.

    Sounds though like in this case CBA could easily put in place a process to mitigate but not eliminate such risk

    ta
    rolf
     
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  8. ramblin72

    ramblin72 Well-Known Member

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    That's not the page I applied on.
     
    Last edited: 3rd May, 2020
  9. ramblin72

    ramblin72 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to everyone for your replies.
     
  10. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Seems pretty simple - just contact the bank and let them know about the error in sending the file with the personal details. Then delete the email so you protect the privacy of the person on the form.

    They will also have a recording of the conversation with the loan officer.
     
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