Misleading Financial Review Headline

2 July 2004

The following letter was sent to the Australian Financial Review today:

Your rather tabloid headline "Banks and brokers lock horns" (AFR, 2 July) is a disservice to the content of your journalist’s story.

As the story itself reported, "the (Commonwealth) Bank had been approached by a number of major broking groups in recent months about adopting a flatter commission structure because of broker concerns about a potential negative consumer reaction to unwarranted churn of mortgage loans".

The Bank's Executive General Manager, Mortgages and Investments was then directly, and correctly, reported saying "A couple of brokers have been interested in discussing with us whether we would be interested in examining that proposition. The answer is yes".

How this could be interpreted by your headline writer in the way it was is beyond my understanding. The headline creates a completely misleading impression that the journalist’s story does not support.


Bryan Fitzgerald

General Manager, Group Corporate Relations

Commonwealth Bank of Australia