Banking Bad

Whistleblowers. Corporate cover-ups. One journalist's fight for the truth.

by Adele Ferguson

On Sale: 05/08/2019


About the Book

For every person with a bank account

Against all the odds, Australia held a royal commission into the banking and financial services industries. Its revelations rocked the nation. Even defenders of the banks were blindsided.

Few people were more instrumental in bringing about the commission than journalist Adele Ferguson. Through her exposes in print and on television, she pursued the truth about funds mismanagement, fraud, lack of probity, and the hard-sell culture that took over the finance industry after deregulation in the 1980s. But it wasn't just light-touch regulators and crooked bankers growing fat on bonuses she put under the spotlight. It was also their victims - men and women who had lost everything, and had no recourse when they discovered empty accounts, egregious fees, forged documents and broken promises.

Now in Banking Bad, Ferguson tells the full story of the power imbalance, toxic culture and cover-ups. She describes the long fight for justice by whistleblowers, victims and political mavericks, and she looks at the outcomes of the royal commission - the falls from grace, the damaging hubris, the scathing assessment of the regulators, and the colossal compensation bill - an estimated $10 billion.

Finally, she asks whereto from here? In May 2019, the Coalition government, which resisted calls for a royal commission, was re-elected. Bank stocks surged and lending regulations were loosened. Will it all be business as usual from now on, or have our financial executives learned that their wealth cannot come at the expense of ordinary Australians?

This is a book for every person with a bank account.


'If you want a glimpse of the reality distortion that multi-millionaire bankers live in, you need to read Banking Bad.' - Scott Pape

'Ferguson's pacey writing style gives the book the air of a corporate thriller.' - Michael Rowland, ABC News Breakfast

'And for those of who anticipate that corporate Australia will lapse back into the state of complacency and misconduct revealed in the APRA CBA Report and the Hayne Royal Commission, ... should read the whole book for themselves - for no other reason than that it so clearly identifies the issues of governance and culture that seems to have escaped them for so long.' - Graeme Samuel, Professorial Fellow in the Monash Business School and former chairman of the ACCC

'[Adele] recounts a colourful cast of bullies, thieves and crooks being rewarded extraordinary sums to rip off customers.' - Money Magazine

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781460711439
  • ISBN 10: 1460711432
  • Imprint: ABC Books
  • On Sale: 05/08/2019
  • Pages: 416
  • BISAC1: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Personal Finance / General


Adele Ferguson is a multi-award-winning senior business writer and columnist for The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review. She is a regular guest reporter on ABC's Four Corners and 7.30, and is the author of the bestselling unauthorised biography Gina Rinehart: The untold story of the richest woman in the world. With more than 20 years' experience, Adele is one of Australia's most awarded journalists. She has received eight Walkley awards, including a Gold Walkley for her joint Fairfax Media and Four Corners program ‘Banking Bad'; two Gold Quill Awards, including one for her exposé of CBA's CommInsure; two Gold Kennedy Awards; a Logie; and the Graham Perkin Journalist of the Year award. Her series of investigations into the banks over the past five years helped bring about the royal commission into the sector. She was recognised for services to journalism with an AM in 2019.

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