‘A hell of a lot of people have had their lives ruined’: small business deflated after royal commission

As the banking royal commission gears up for its fourth round of hearings starting on Monday, small business owners are voicing their disappointment at the brief two weeks allocated to the sector.

Elizabeth Furneaux was one of 630 people who made submissions to the royal commission relating to small and medium businesses’ dealings with lenders.

Mrs Furneaux and her husband Paul, were hoping for a chance to tell their story and are disappointed that chance has passed.

“We didn’t hear anything back,” Mrs Furneaux said. “I think there were too many submissions. It’s been disappointing, we all know it should be going longer. There are so many people out there. I tell you what, a hell of a lot of people have had their lives ruined from all of this.”

Mrs Furneaux and her husband Paul have a long running dispute with the National Australia Bank stemming from a $240,000 business loan they took out in 2006 which they used to help establish a cafe in the Victorian coastal town of Philip Island.

The matter had been the subject of extensive litigation including in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and VCAT, with no adverse findings against NAB.

Mrs Furneaux said they lost everything and now live in rental accommodation. “We had everything taken from us,” she said. Read more

Cara Waters – Brisbane Times – 18 June 2018