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Westpac banker threatened clients over tax returns

Katarina Taurian
Katarina Taurian
27 July 2018 1 minute readShare
Angry banker, threat, fist

A former Westpac banker has been slapped with a ban after telling customers they would have to falsify loan documentation in order to avoid handing over their tax returns.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned NSW-based Marten Pudun from engaging in credit activities.

Mr Pudun knowingly or recklessly gave false documents and information to Westpac to help his clients obtain home loans, according to a statement from the corporate regulator.

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In one of 24 instances, Mr Pudun requested that the employment positions on customers’ payslips be changed from director to marketing manager and IT programmer.

“Mr Pudun said in an email that he did not want the ‘deal to stuff up’ and if the customers were referred to as directors, Westpac may ask for tax returns,” ASIC said.

 

ASIC found Mr Pudun also breached Westpac policy in sharing personal client information, such as internet banking passwords.

Westpac has since contacted the 161 affected customers, and taken measures to secure their document trails and online accounts.

This latest publicised compliance action comes as ASIC faces increasing pressure to catch out dodgy advice and banking practices, particularly from the likes of the major banks.

In April, Westpac admitted to bad SMSF advice when its distraught and financially devastated clients appeared at the royal commission. The bank has since pulled out its SMSF loans offering.

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Westpac banker threatened clients over tax returns
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Katarina Taurian
Katarina Taurian

Adam Zuchetti is the former editor of MyBusiness and a senior freelance media professional, specialising in the fields of business, personal finance and property. In 2020, he also embarked on his own business journey – inspired in part by the entrepreneurs and founders he had met through his journalistic work – with the launch of customised pet gifting and subscription service Paws N’ All.

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