THE COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA
Is the CBA's Grahame Ledwidge incompetent and just an unknowing friend of thieves?
To develop a 5.5 acre 22 lot subdivision at Belmont in Brisbane, John Bright's relationship/credit manager at the CBA Carindale James Pitman gave him a defective loan agreement.
Two essential items were missing - title and deposit were not offered.
Bright complained to Pitman who handled his substantial business accounts.
Pitman was short of staff and busy and said “Do you want the loan or don't you? Just do as the loan agreement says.” He meant “Sell without title or deposit.”
A contract was devised by Bright's solicitor Adam Sambrook as a 'contract to a contract', and 9 contracts were signed for a total of $785,000 each at from $75,000 plus, half went to family and friends.
Pitman accepted them, but loans manager Grahame Ledwidge in Queen St Head Office would not.
He said “Rip them up!” and offered no other option. Bright appealed to Pitman, who referred him back to Queen St. Pittman was then sacked, and Ledwidge took control, his bias clear. He said “Now I am in charge of your portfolio of accounts. You will answer to me.” His demeanour was threatening with no reason except guilt over his and the CBA's error.
Another manager called in earlier for discussion was transferred.
Gary Craven at Carindale wrote a letter saying a $10,000 deposit would do.
Chris Watts mediation expert in Queen St became involved and said $2000 would do. He also said “This is a bank circus I don't wish to be part of” and “We must protect our mothers at all cost.”
Pittman later said “You must search the bank to find someone to listen to your story. Only then will justice be done”, and at Westpac “I cannot speak out. If I do I will lose my new job at Westpac.”
CBA solicitors Clark & Kann in their affidavt later agreed. Warwick Sauer said “If you don't have title, you can't transfer title - that would be legally impossible. What do you think Paul?” Paul Morgan replied “I think it is legally impossible.” However Bright's solicitor Adam Sambrook had found a way, and had come up with a 'contract to a contract', to do as the loan agreement stated and as Pitman directed, with no deposit and no title.
As proof of Ledwidge's direction to rip up the 9 contracts, Bright's accountant Tim Allen ripped up his contract with payment of $10,000 by Bright, and called it a 'damages confession'. The other 'contracts to a contract' still stood, but were not accepted by the CBA. Some never got to buy the land they signed and some paid a deposit. What did Ledwidge expect Bright to do that the CBA could not do properly?
Later on, Ledwidge denied he had said “Rip them up!” and claimed he said “Seek legal advice!”
Ledwidge also said “You should have known (what I meant)”.
Pat Shanahan a Colonel put in charge of the Qld Law Society for Law Reform said ”Ledwidge should have said ' Redraft the contracts (with a deposit), have them signed and rip up the old ones' ”
Bright had followed Adam Sambrook's direction to have the 9 'contracts to a contract' signed, and confirmed this with his long time accountant Tim Allen, when Tim Allen ripped up his contract as a 'damages confession'.
Why did Ledwidge not rewrite the loan agreement?
If the 9 or so 'contracts to a contract' were not satisfactory, what was wrong with them?
No explanation was offered.
Watts was satisfied because the value was there for the prospective buyers.
Ledwidge was not, because there was no 'hold' technically over the buyers with no deposit, and his apparent wish to make the project as difficult and as expensive as possible for John Bright.
To make worse a problem he greatly contributed to, Ledwidge even increased the bank loan rate from 10% to 16% at a time of falling interest. The $25,000 compensation offered to just one party is hardly sufficient for the damage Ledwidge caused. It is fraud to pay one only of 9 aggrieved persons.
To show his disdain for the 3 generations of Brights that had banked with the CBA, and his prejudice against John Bright, Grahame Ledwidge allowed overpayment of inflated invoices of about $255,000 on a $358,000 contract. Why? Was this CBA policy or a 'frolic of his own'? He did this over Bright's protests and to the contractor Robert Wilson, ignoring the bank's engineer's JF&Pike's quoted price. Wilson was a standover man who wanted to run Bright out of time and money to claim the 22 blocks as a creditor. He attempted this by continual intimidation and even thuggery and violence, and by keeping the plumber and drainer (never paid in full), and electrician offsite for 6 months, and invoices show this, to stretch a 4 months job out to 16 months.
Contact Ada Bright, 1 Manley Drive, Montville Qld 4560, second defendant of many.