Bank responds to 60 Minutes over two-tier marketing

5 April 2004

The Commonwealth Bank sent the following response to the 60 Minutes program (Channel 9) in relation to the broadcast aired on Sunday 4 April.

The Bank is extremely disappointed that 60 Minutes did not inform viewers that the Federal Court of Australia found that the Bank was under no obligation to disclose its valuation to Mr and Mrs Gleeson.  The Bank provided this information to the Producer of the Program.

The Bank’s true position in the matter relating to Mr and Mrs Gleeson was fully aired in a recent Court case taken against the Bank.  The Bank successfully defended an action brought by the ACCC in the Federal Court in relation to a loan to the Gleesons who purchased an investment property as a result of marketing undertaken by a third-party.

The Judge who heard the proceedings found that the Bank was under no obligation to disclose its valuation to this client. Her Honour said that the Bank’s terms and conditions "clearly advised the Gleesons that the Bank would not be disclosing its valuation" and that "if they had any doubt about any matter they were advised to seek the services of a financial counselor or legal adviser".

Her Honour also said, "that the Gleesons had been alerted to the prospect that it was not a good investment" and pointed out that Mr Gleeson had spoken to real estate agents about the property and to his accountant in that period.

We would like to point out that the Bank requires customers to acknowledge in writing that they have considered the merits of seeking a professional valuation and financial advice when purchasing investment properties.