Storm Financial victim loses $3.4m in collapse

Bob Birks lost $50,000 in the Storm Financial collapse.
Bob Birks lost $50,000 in the Storm Financial collapse. Nev Madsen

A TOOWOOMBA man, who lost $3.4 million in the Storm Financial crash, won't hear a word against the company which set him on the path to economic ruin.

At the age of 68, the man is being forced to sell up everything he owns and has just applied for the aged pension.

He is one of thousands of self-funded retirees facing bankruptcy after Storm went into voluntary administration on January 15.

A loyal defender of the company's Townsville-based owners Emmanuel and Julie Cassimatis, he believes the Commonwealth Bank acted wrongly - selling clients out at the bottom of the market.

He is not alone. Ask another Toowoomba victim, Bob Birks, whether he would invest in Storm Financial again and the semi-retired man, who lost $50,000 in the company's collapse, would answer “yes”.

Both men are contributing to a fighting fund to demand a senate inquiry into Australia's banking and financial services industries.

They each researched Storm for 12 months and were provided with “thorough” 100-page documents before investing a large chunk of their savings.

The $3.4 million loss victim, who describes himself as a bushie refuses to be beaten, even as his bank calls up asking for its money back.

“We've survived the beef crash, a cyclone which devastated our farm and a fire which decimated our business. We've been up dry gullies before.”

Mr Birks' situation is less desperate. Prior to Storm's collapse, he and his wife were advised to cash in their stock, an action which saved them a further $40,000 in losses.

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