I Hope the Reader will be Inspired by the Power of Whistleblowers: Q&A with Banking Bad Author Adele Ferguson

I Hope the Reader will be Inspired by the Power of Whistleblowers: Q&A with Banking Bad Author Adele Ferguson

About the author

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.

Banking Bad is about how corporate greed broke our trust and failed Australia. Can you tell us a bit more about the book?

It traces how we got to a point where our most venerable institutions were engaging in rampant misconduct and what can we do to stop it. It is told from an insider’s point of view with lots of heroes and villains.

As a journalist, you were instrumental in bringing about the royal commission into the banking and financial services industries. Can you tell us more about this?

I exposed a series of financial scandals thanks to brave whistleblowers and victims willing to speak up that were so shocking that Australians in a series of polls wanted a royal commission to clean up the sector. These stories included the CBA financial planning scandal in 2013 which exposed forgery, fraud and a management coverup, a weak regulator and a bank that tried to blame it on a few bad apples. These story inspired other whistleblowers in other institutions to come forward with documented evidence of similar wrongdoing.

What do you hope the reader will take away from this book?

I hope the reader will be inspired by the power of whistleblowers and every day Australians standing up and speaking out. They beat the big multi billion dollar institutions and got a royal commission.

What’s your daily writing routine like?

My daily writing routine is very organised. I start work early and keep going until I can’t write any more. Then I do it all again the next day, re-writing what I have written then continuing on.

Are you now working on another book? If so, can you share any details?

I’m not working on another book right now.

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                      Synopsis

                      For every person with a bank accountAgainst 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
                      Adele Ferguson
                      About the author

                      Adele Ferguson

                      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.

                      Books by Adele Ferguson

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