VIC Can I Sue Commonwealth Bank for Compensation?

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28 January 2016
My case relates to the misleading and negligent advice provided by the Commonwealth bank in relation to a personal loan matter. This was soon followed by almost a year of negotiations between Commonwealth Bank and the financial ombudsman service. This resulted in:

> A substantial, unmeasurable amount of emotional and financial stress on both myself and my partner.
> Absence from work due to a decline in mental health.

These cause of events were caused by Commonwealth Bank committing the following actions:


> Before the loan was awarded Commonwealth Bank provided a false sense of hope and security towards the approval of this loan. Providing strong verbal guarantees that the loan had been approved and was waiting for final sign off.

o This resulted in confidently providing notice to the relevant parties in which the loan was intended for and signing documents which could not be void if the loan was not approved.

o Commonwealth Bank reneged on all previous statements of the loan being approved in principal, refused to grant the loan and almost left my partner and me not only homeless but blacklisted.

> Providing misleading information and advice from the very beginning in terms of my loan obligations and the best interest of both parties including a false definition of ‘variable’ loan.

o This advice caused a fall into arrears without being made aware of doing so.

December 2012 a financial ombudsman case was created

> During the time in which the financial ombudsman case was open Commonwealth Bank continued to conduct debt collection activities which were prohibited at such time.
> Created and suggested unreasonable solutions to the dispute.

August 2013

Looking positively forward, the following solutions were agreed upon and finalised.

> A full and final settlement contract was created in August 2013 for the customer to pay a full and final settlement of $1,500.00 into the Commonwealth Bank SPA account prior to 13 September 2013
> A verbal statement provided that all payments made in August 2013 would be factored into this payout figure.
> As Commonwealth Bank should not have listed a default on the respondents credit file as the loan was in negotiations for some time that all existing defaults were to be removed.

The above statements were followed accordingly:
> Two payments were made in August 2013 which were assumed would be included in this agreement.
> The remaining payments were made to total $1,500.00 by the cut-off date of 13 September 2015
> The loan was confirmed to be paid off and settled following a phone call shortly after this date
> The financial ombudsman complaint was closed

March 2015

Upon attempting a credit increase with GE Money, the request was declined due to an outstanding default on my Dunn & Bradstreet credit file.
> An enquiry was lodged with the Commonwealth Bank as to why they had not removed the default as promised.
> An investigation was undertaken by a customer solutions specialist.

This concluded the following:

> I was informed verbally that they can see the notes on their end, that an agreement was in place and the history of this case proved that all outstanding defaults were agreed to be removed. As a result, it was advised Commonwealth Bank would resolve the issue on their end and adhere to their agreement.

January 2016

A letter was received from ‘Pioneer Credit’ informing that Commonwealth Bank had sold the loan on the basis that I did not make the full and final payment as promised. Upon speaking to Commonwealth Bank the following was concluded:

> No notes were written that I had been advised that August payments prior to the signing of the agreement would be considered
> That a final payment was made 18 August 2013 which exceeded the cut-off date despite bank statements advising that the final payment was made on 11 August 2013
> Commonwealth bank can see manual payments have been entered but cannot see the amounts which lead them to presume payment was not made instead of investigating this further

o This resulted in the respondent having to search through bank statements for several hours

The conclusion

> Commonwealth Bank have obviously sold the loan and are not willing to resolve or negotiate this matter
> A financial ombudsman case has once again been reopened
> Pioneer credit are threatening collection and legal action
> A credit ombudsman case has been opened for Pioneer credit
> My credit file has been destroyed this entire time without knowledge of such
> No knowledge or information was provided to indicate this loan is still outstanding despite enquiries being made
> One notice of default was sent prior to selling the loan but sent to the wrong address

Fighting for compensation against
> Financial and emotional stress and strain on myself and my partner
> Poor, inaccurate and misleading advice spanning many departments and many years
> Negligence
> Failure to uphold their side of the contract
> Failure to notify of outstanding debt
> Destroyed credit file for years


Well-Known Member
19 April 2014
Hi Simone,

Has FOS been able to help you out? Given the complexity, you may need to engage a lawyer to provide you with personalised legal advice for your specific circumstances.