The Commonwealth Bank has been doing it tough - so although that they have lost a fortune of investors money - Their superannuation scheme is one of the poorest performing financial funds.
In 2000 I had invested a small fortune in the CBA Superannuation fund thinking it was a good investment after talking to the Commonwealth Bank Financial advisor - big mistake.
In August last year the amount invested and retained by the Commonwealth Bank Financial Services (Sic) had grown 60% over the last eight years and I was charged $800 setup costs plus an annual administrative fee. (My other industry based fund had grown twice that rate and cost less to set up).
In 2004 I had taken out a Gold credit card before my return departure overseas. During my travels my Wallet along with my passport and Gold credit card were stolen - A Victim of a train pickpocket racket. I managed to get my passport back but required a new passport and was fined $50 by the Australian Government for being a victim of a crime (My Commonwealth Gold Credit card was never seen again) Having reported the Credit card stolen the Commonwealth Bank informed me that they could not forward a new Card to me overseas as the Gold card had to be picked up from the bank. -- Some use that was as I was OS. I was told that the account would be closed as the card had not been issued and that the balance of the account would be transferred to my linked saving account). OK I was without a Gold credit card - The bank did managed to send me a normal credit card`without the Gold imprint and without requiring it to be picked up at the bank - why they could not send the Gold Card I still do not know.
Imagine how I felt when on my return three years latter I discovered that not only had my Gold Credit Card not been cancelled as I was told it would be, but the Commonwealth Bank continued to debited my account $100 annually for a card that I had no access to or no benefit from. The Account did not appear on my telephone banking menu and I rightly assumed that the account had been closed. What's worst is that the Award Savings Points - The scheme that is designed to suck you into spending and using Commonwealth Bank's Credit - was not transferred to my other account - I had thought the two cards were linked to the same Award Saving points. No that would be too simple and straight forward, the Commonwealth Bank does not like things to be efficient - It goes against their code of ethics in doing Business.
To further undermine confidence in the Bank's operation, annoyed at the poor quality service and the fact that the Bank failed to close my account as indicated and debited me for a service they did not provide, I decided to withdraw all my investments from the Commonwealth Bank before they lose the lot.
I had lost all confidence in the bank and decided to contact the bank again last week to ascertain the current level of my investments.
On contacting the Bank I was told that my superannuation account had lost value, thanks to the USA lead world economic recession. My investment held in trust with the commonwealth Bank was now 20% less (Overall reducing the value my superfund to an annual increase of 4% per annum (Down from 8%) on my original investment, even less if you consider compound interest.
Well that was the last straw. I had lost all confidence in the bank and its administration and investment strategy. I would have done better managing the money myself. I wanted out.
On inquiring how to go about withdrawing my money and transferring my investments to another financial service the CBA "customer service officer" I spoke to was not very helpful or apologetic for the fact that the Bank had lost me thousands of dollars in fact they were going out their way to make it difficult for me to access my money or transfer my account.
It seams that the Commonwealth Bank is a no-care institution and accept no-responsibility for their mistakes and denies any liability.
For those that do not know the Commonwealth Bank, it is Australia's largest commercial bank. I joined the bank 45 years ago along with millions of other school children who were encouraged to bank with the Commonwealth though a child education programme, I later set up a State Bank of Victoria account only to find that I was back into the Commonwealth bank when the State Bank collapsed and the Commonwealth bank took it over.
The Commonwealth bank has not, in my opinion, done a good job managing its investments the loss of my investments and award points is a good example of the problems facing the bank.
They are good at paying staff and directors large salaries and high annual bonus but when it comes to dividends and service they are second rate.
The extent of my loss at the hands of the bank has alarm bells ringing. Other Industry Superannuation funds have fared much better then the Commonwealth bank. I would not be surprised if there are many people out there who feel as I do and who want to withdraw their investments before it is too late. We can expect a run on the bank if they continue to act as they do, they will soon find they will need to liquidate their own asserts and layoff the overpaid staff (Management of course will continue to receive large bonuses which are expected and not tied to the banks performance.
The services offered by other banks are much more professional and in keeping with the public's expectations. My advice would be to think seriously about your investments and think twice before placing trust in a bank that does not care about their customers or their investments. Loyalty... forget it they have no idea of the true meaning of the word.