PASSWORD RESET

Magazine of the Socialist Party, Australian section of the CWI

Shock horror, AMP put profits before customers!

The bleeding obvious was revealed last month when an executive from the financial services company AMP revealed that the business had prioritised profits ahead of its customers!

During questioning at the banking royal commission, AMP’s head of financial advice, Anthony Regan, admitted that the company had been involved in a seven year scandal whereby they charged customers for financial advice that they never received.

“It’s clear that we preferenced the interests of shareholders, in that exchange, at the expense of clients” Regan said. While the financial press feigned horror at the news most people already knew that the big private banks and financial institutions were rip off merchants.

Regan also admitted that AMP had misled the Australian Securities and Investments Commission about their dodgy practices at least 20 times. AMP’s board also interfered with the drafting of a supposed independent report about the matters. Since these revelations were made several senior AMP executives have been forced to resign.

In addition to AMP, the big four banks have also been found to be involved in the ‘fee-for-no-service’ scandal. The five institutions are now paying out a total of $216 million in refunds to more than 300,000 customers. While this is a significant amount it won’t put much of a dent in their billions of dollars of profits.

When it comes to corporate crime the double standards are astounding. Ordinary people are regularly charged, put on trial and jailed for the most minor of economic crimes. At the same time big business executives responsible for swindling hundreds of millions of dollars rarely even see the inside of a courtroom let alone a jail cell.

This class bias is part and parcel of capitalist society. Far from being limited to AMP, the entire system is based on putting profits before people and the laws are designed accordingly. Socialists demand that the banks are put in public hands under democratic control, and that big business thieves are punished for their crimes.

By Dean Roberts