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Fleeced investors linked to the members alliance investment property group can walk away from unflinished homes




EXCLUSIVE

THE bank that did most of the lending to clients of the controversial investment property group Members Alliance will let people walk away from unfinished homes.

And the building authority that has rejected insurance claims even where it is suspected investors were defrauded has been ordered to review its processes.

Following revelations by News Corp Australia, ANZ Bank is believed to have told borrowers it is willing to assume total responsibility for incomplete houses. The move comes after the bank was exposed for approving progress payment forms Members Alliance is suspected of having forged. This is despite in some cases the doctoring being obvious dates werent changed when old forms were submitted for later stages of construction.

The bank is negotiating with at least 20 borrowers, offering resolutions ranging from letting them walk away to reversing all interest charged.

We are currently working with each customer on a case-by-case basis with the starting position that customers who are the innocent victim of fraud wont be left out of pocket, a spokesman said yesterday.

Meanwhile, the housing minister for Queensland where most Members Alliance construction occurred said he wanted to speak to investors shut-out of the states home warranty insurance scheme because of fraud.

The minister, Mick de Brenni, said: I will be asking the Commissioner of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission for more information about particular decisions regarding prepayment exclusions for the Home Warranty Scheme and to review the process for those cases where it is suspected that people have been subjected to fraud.

Reporter John Rolfe and cartoonist Warren Brown explain the inner workings of a major group of investment property-spruiking businesses now under investigation by police and others.

Many investors claims have been rejected because the QBCC has ruled loan drawdowns where work wasnt actually done to be prepayments which are not covered by insurance.

The behaviour that has been suggested in these cases is reprehensible, Mr de Brenni said.

His moves will put pressure on authorities in NSW where most of the other Members Alliance properties are to apply a more lenient approach to claims from dudded investors.

More have come forward since News Corp Australia revealed last month that police were investigating suspicions of fraud.

There are now multiple investors who say paperwork submitted in their name to another major bank was forged.

And there are fresh claims by investors who say they told their lender to release funds after receiving photos supposedly showing building had been done only for it to emerge the work had not been completed.

The original story by News Corp Australia said the Phoenix Taskforce was also investigating Members Alliance. The taskforce, which includes the Australian Taxation Office and Australian Securities and Investments Commission, probes cases where it is suspected a company deliberately liquidates to avoid paying creditors, taxes and employee entitlements.

Eighteen Members Alliance group companies owe the ATO $29 million, according to their liquidator.

Global stocks steady as investors await us election results


GLOBAL stock markets remained steady following strong Wall Street gains yesterday, as investors focused on the final hours of a tight US presidential race.

Germanys DAX was 0.1 per cent lower at 10,449 and Frances CAC-40 was down by the same rate at 4,458. Londons FTSE 100 was stable at 6,805.

Wall Street looked set for a subdued opening, with futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poors 500 down 0.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively.

FOLLOW LIVE ELECTION UPDATES HERE

Hillary Clinton appeared to gain an edge over rival Donald Trump but analysts said the race was too close to call and traders hedged their positions.

This is going to be a coin flip, Ash Alankar, portfolio manager at Janus Capital Group, told i The Wall Street Journal/i. Everything is going to trade on the US election, just like everything traded on Brexit.

Ms Clintons position improved after the FBI announced its review of newly discovered emails found no evidence to warrant charges. Unease had ratcheted up in recent weeks over signs the race was tightening.

Global markets gain ahead of the US electhis site pic.twitter.com/yfvXLsEEKP

Ms Clinton is seen as more favourable to trade while Mr Trump has unnerved markets by calling for controls on imports and immigration. That triggered the longest losing streak for the S&P; 500 since 1980.

Markets are moving toward pricing in a Clinton victory, but not fully, given the painful lesson from Brexit, Mizuho Bank said in a report. We expect market volatility to increase somewhat tomorrow as US exit polls and elections results start streaming in.

Chinas exports fell again in October in a fresh sign of weak global demand that is complicating Beijings efforts to shore up economic growth and reduce reliance on trade and investment.

Stocks, bonds and currency markets freeze as voters head to the polls this site 🔓 pic.twitter.com/ojY0ffcVKm

Exports contracted by 7.3 per cent from a year earlier while imports fell 1.4 per cent. Similarly downbeat figures emerged from Germany, where exports dropped 0.7 per cent in September over August, while imports fell 0.5 per cent in season- and calendar-adjusted terms.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5 per cent to 3,147.89 points and Hong Kongs Hang Seng advanced 0.5 per cent to 22,909.47.

Seouls Kospi added 0.3 per cent to 2,003.38, Indias Sensex rose 0.1 per cent to 27,500.95 and Sydneys S&P-ASX; 200 gained 0.1 per cent to 5,257.80. Tokyos Nikkei 225 was nearly unchanged at 17,171.38. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Southeast Asia also rose.

The dollar rose to 104.53 yen from Mondays 104.39 yen. The euro gained to $1.1064 from $1.1042.

Benchmark US crude dropped 18 cents to $44.71 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 82 cents on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 15 cents to $46.00 in London after adding 57 cents the previous session.