Mark Weir is facing losing his home after the collapse of Storm financial.
Mark Weir is facing losing his home after the collapse of Storm financial. Barry Leddicoat

Storm collapse fighter faces losing home to bank

A PALMWOODS couple facing eviction from their family home have accused one of Australia's big four banks of bullying tactics.

Mark and Ann Weir have described the past four years as a rollercoaster of emotions as they battled Westpac Bank over a loan debt.

The Weirs lost their life savings when Storm Financial collapsed in 2008.

Mr Weir said Westpac had offered to pay off the remaining 38% of the housing loan, but the compounding interest would cripple them, resulting in them having to sell the home.

He believes Westpac had acted without compassion towards their unavoidable financial circumstances brought on by Storm Financial.

As Storm Investors Consumer Action Group co-chairman, Mr Weir believes his proactive stance on the financial collapse put a target on his back.

A Westpac Bank spokesman denied the claims and said the bank had been in discussions with the Weirs since at least April, 2009 about their loan and financial circumstances.

"When we got into strife, we thought the bank would stand by us or at least give us a decent hearing," Mr Weir said.

"However, what we have experienced could only be described as corporate bastardry."

Mr Weir and the committee undertook an aggressive fightback campaign aimed at highlighting the plight of Storm investors and what he called "shabby behaviour" of the banks involved with Storm.

"The banks were initially stricken with denial and inertia but eventually the Commonwealth Bank started the ball rolling with a public admission that mistakes had been made and then, followed by ANZ and NAB, initiated individual forms of resolution schemes aimed at assisting with their Storm Financial-affected customers to deal with financial distress," Mr Weir said.

"Two notable exceptions in this process are the Bank of Queensland and Westpac, who continue to play hard ball with their distressed customers.

"Ann and I are both turning 70 this year. We have considerable health issues and next to no prospects of obtaining gainful employment, yet Westpac have offered us a paltry take-it-or-leave-it deal that will result in us losing our family home."

In 2011, the case between the Weirs and Westpac went before an ombudsman where an independent financial expert initially ruled in favour of the bank.

A Westpac spokesman said the bank remained sympathetic to the Weirs.

"We regret that we have not yet been able to achieve a mutually satisfactory resolution," the spokesman said.

"Senior Westpac executives have met with Mr and Mrs Weir.

"We have fully investigated their claims, offered various forms of financial hardship assistance, and participated in dispute resolution processes in an effort to resolve this dispute.

"Should Westpac commence formal recovery processes, that will be done as an absolute last resort to a long and involved process."