Former Storm boss Emmanuel Cassimatis, has accused ASIC and the Commonwealth Bank of colluding to perpetuate a “blame Storm message”.
Cassimatis has outlined in a submission to the Senate inquiry into ASIC, the reasons behind the collapse of the financial planning group, categorically blaming “those beyond Storm management” and while he was remorseful over the loss of Storm clients and his own financial ruin, he has argued that, the collapse may have been avoided if it weren’t for a “lack of cooperation by the CBA and ASIC in providing all of the facts relating to their involvement”.
Cassimatis alleges that the demise of Storm Financial was a “textbook example of manipulation by ASIC of evidence to facilitate predetermined outcomes.” The former CEO added that the “corporate regulator refused to accept evidence of wrongdoing by CBA in the form of a systemic product data defect with margin loan records that assisted Storm’s entry into administration.”
Cassimatis has taken aim at the CBA commenting that the CBA covered their failures rather than admit them from the highest level and “to this end the CBA had to ensure its blame Storm message was heard whilst at the same time Storm’s protestations were suppressed.” He has added that in order to facilitate this message the “CBA needed the assistance of ASIC to keep Storm at bay.”
Cassimatis has also alleged that Storm advisers presented evidence of CBA breaches to ASIC but the “corporate regulator refused to meet with the Storm advisers to view such evidence” and in 2012, CBA announced that it had agreed to a $136 million settlement for CBA customers who invested through Storm.