Brauer sad and mad over banking 'jerks'

Brauer sad and mad over banking 'jerks'


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Queensland grazier Wendy Brauer (right) has told a banking inquiry about the "jerks" at Rabobank.

Queensland grazier Wendy Brauer (right) has told a banking inquiry about the "jerks" at Rabobank.

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Wendy Brauer is still really mad, having trusted a bank specialising in agricultural finance.

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Wendy Brauer is still mad she trusted the banking "jerks" and bought another central Queensland cattle farm in a deal that ended up costing her family.

Mrs Brauer and her husband Adrian took up their bank manager's proposal to buy a property to breed calves near their 2000-hectare cattle farm Kia-Ora, despite having temporarily relocated their family to the US.

The Rabobank manager had a conflict with the 2009 sale as he represented both the Brauers and the seller, while the family proposing to buy another section of Jamberoo were prospective Rabobank customers.

He also conducted the property valuations, the banking royal commission heard.

Mrs Brauer estimates buying Jamberoo left her family at least $1 million in the red.

"It's been a great financial and emotional cost," she told the commission's Brisbane hearing on Wednesday.

Mrs Brauer said she was still really mad, having trusted a bank specialising in agricultural finance.

She was also really sad, after recommending the bank to others in their small Queensland town.

"I recommended these jerks to other people and said what a great experience they were and how understanding they were.

"They put us backwards.

"They came hunting for us. They came looking for us to buy this block.

"And 12 months later they wanted us to pay them back more than what we had borrowed. I don't understand."

The Brauers leased the farms out while they were in the US.

Then the Kia-Ora lessee left after severe flooding from December 2010 to January 2011 wrecked his crops, leaving the Brauers in a pretty dire financial situation when they returned to Australia.

They had expected to be able to access $300,000 to buy cattle for both properties on their return.

But Mrs Brauer said they were told by a new bank manager they could only have those funds if they paid $3 million within two years.

They ended up having to sell Jamberoo, with the $2.4 million proceeds to go to Rabobank as part of a $4 million refinancing deal.

The Brauers have since refinanced with another bank.

The commission heard Rabobank no longer let its bank managers conduct valuations.

Australian Associated Press

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