David St Pierre, the former Westpac home finance manager and mortgage broker accused by Today Tonight of selling low-doc loans to elderly pensioners whose funds have seemingly ended up in an alleged investment scam, has been suspending by his broking firm 1300 Home Loans, which is investigating his activities.
John Kolenda, CEO of 1300 Home Loans, says St Pierre was suspending on Friday, August 10, ahead of the expose, which aired on Channel 7’s current affairs program on Monday 13 August.
St Pierre’s 1300 Home Loans page comes up with error messages, but a cached version is still visible.
“David St Pierre has been suspended pending a full investigation by ourselves,” Kolenda told Property Observer.
Kolenda says St Pierre held accreditations with all the major lenders in the country – mortgage brokers must be accredited with a lender to offer their home loans – and had left Westpac of his own accord.
St Pierre is also listed as a member of the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) – the peak industry body representing mortgage brokers.
MFAA chief executive Phil Naylor says it is his understanding that St Pierre was not a mortgage broker at the time the alleged loans took place but joined the MFAA subsequently.
“However, in light of the allegations, our disciplinary process is investigating his situation,” he says.
Today Tonight claimed David St Pierre, a former loan manager who worked for 20 years at Westpac, facilitated pensioners and nursing home residents to take out 30-year loans for as much as $440,000 with their funds seemingly ending up in a property investment scheme that promised returns of 15% that allegedly then never got off the ground.
In a statement to Property Observer, Westpac said that a “number of people, including a small number of Westpac customers, appear to be the victims of a sophisticated scam and are suffering financial hardship as a result of borrowing to invest in the scam”.
“Westpac is committed to providing appropriate compensation to those customers who have borrowed money from us and who have been the victims of the apparent scam.
“We believe that the apparent scam was committed by individuals who were never connected with Westpac’s business.
“The matter is presently before the police.
“We are strongly encouraging all Westpac customers who believe they are victims of this apparent scam to lodge a formal complaint with the Police so that a full and proper investigation can be undertaken.
“The home finance manager who facilitated entry into the loans is no longer employed by Westpac.”
Property Observer contacted David St Pierre for a comment but had not received a reply by the time of publishing.
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