Denise Brailey

Denise Brailey is an Award-winning consumer advocate and President of the Banking & Finance Consumers Support Association (BFCSA).


For the past two decades she has been a tireless campaigner, championing the cause of older and low income Australians who have fallen victims to banking and finance scams. 


In 1993, Ms Brailey commenced a series of investigations into property scams. To help in such investigations she achieve:

1996 – 1998 Advanced Diploma of Accountancy from TAFE.

1997 – 2002 Attended Murdoch University and completed three degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts – Criminology.
  • Bachelor of Arts – Political Science, International Studies.
  • Bachelor of Legal Studies.


In 1998 she became aware of the existence of a scam which affected over 3000 mainly retirees whose average losses were around $100,000. Missing funds escalated to over $120 million, in what became known as the “Finance Brokers Scandal” in Western Australia. Ms Brailey reported that “no-one paid much attention to the original key indicators of mass fraud and the devastation to the financial well-being of ordinary Mums and Dads.”


Ms Brailey's actions were responsible for six State inquiries including a Royal Commission. She obtained the support of IMF (Australia) Ltd in funding a case against the Finance Brokers Supervisory Board which eventually proved successful and resulted in nearly $90 million in compensation and recovery dollars being paid to the affected investors by the WA State Government in 2007.


In 2000 she travelled to Tasmania and Queensland to lobby for consumers who had lost money in Solicitor Mortgage Scams in circumstances similar to the WA Finance Brokers Scandal. She help set up of a Senate Inquiry into the Tasmanian Law Society and millions of dollars were recovered for those people who had asked for assistance.


During 2003, Ms Brailey travelled to the Eastern States, to visit hundreds of victims of what later became known as Loan Application Fraud. Ms Brailey claimed had been set up by Australian bankers who favored “the Broker Model.” This activity involved Low Doc Loans as a supposedly “legitimate” product but later produced a plethora of complaints against the banks. Most of the victims of this scam were in debt to the tune of $400,000 per person.


Although Ms Brailey met or kept contact with ASIC officials, she was alarmed at the fact that the regulators had gathered enough intelligence to warn Mums and Dads yet were failing to release details.


In 2004 and with the assistance of Neil Jenman she organised buses to Canberra and taught consumers to stand up for their own rights. She organised simultaneous rallies outside the offices of the regulators in every capital city and publicly suggested that “there was little or no consumer protection in Australia with regard to financial products and services.”


People began to listen. During the next few years, Federal and State legislation was changed for the better as a result of her dedication and passion into consumerism. Over 11 Inquiries held in several Parliaments throughout Australia due to Ms Brailey’s continued efforts, including:

Five State based inquiries:

  • Les Smith Inquiry into Real Estate Agents Board WA 1997
  • Gunning Inquiry into all four Boards and the Department of Fair Trading WA 1999.
  • Travers Parliamentary Inquiry into Finance Brokers WA 2000
  • Temby Royal Commission into Finance Brokers WA 2001. 
  • Gallop Review into Missing Documents 2002


And following Federal Inquiries:

  • Senate Inquiry into Tasmanian Law Society Tas 2000.
  • Ministerial Council on Consumer Affairs Inquiry into Property Spruikers 2003.
  • Senate Inquiry into Property Investment Advice 2005.
  • ASIC Review into its own procedures and complaint handling process 2007
  • Joint Inquiry into Banking and Competition 2010


As the consequence of these initiatives and on the outcomes of the Inquiries, Denise has achieved a significant improvement in the supervision by Government in matters of Consumer Protection with consumer credit now the subject of Federal legislation, overcoming the previous inconsistency of having different consumer protection laws in every State.


Currently there are at least five ongoing investigations being carried out by the WA Police Major Fraud Squad, resulting in charges being laid against those accused.

Nominated for several awards during the decade, she received the WA Consumer Protection Rona Oakley Award for individual achievement in 2010.


Ms Brailey continues to lobby for regulatory reforms in the area of enforcement of law. Some of the legislative provisions and safeguards which could have prevented these losses have been available to the regulators for the past two decades.


In 2001 Ms Brailey estimated that losses from all of these reported activities had risen to $1.5 billion. In 2005 she upgraded her findings to be around $5 Billion. In 2012, she believes that $50 Billion is a conservative estimate effecting mostly pensioners and low income families. Losses of $18 million for Nigerian Scams, pale into insignificance, armed with the combined losses of failed MIS projects and Low Doc Loan Fraud.


In 2012, Ms Brailey is determined to bring Consumer Protection issues to the forefront of our thinking. As several reporters have commented: “Perhaps we should all be listening.”

The Banking and Finance Consumers Support Association (inc) has been created (circa 2012) by a dedicated team of people who believe in what Ms Brailey has achieved to date.

BFCSA (Inc) is the catalyst of united consumer collectivism and in response to staggering financial losses amid current cries for assistance. 

In 2003, Ms Brailey lobbied for legislative changes relating to Property Spruikers, unaware until some years later this army of spruiking retiree customers for investments was being funded by the Major Banks. She also found links between developer clients of banks enticing retirees to lose superannuation in high profile investments. BFCSA (Inc) is run by members and remains unfunded by Government. Ms Brailey uncovered the Australian Mortgage Scandal via Loan Application Fraud in 2001, and later the Major Banks ‘acting as one’ in the use of a serviceability calculator to develop highly exaggerated incomes. These frauds are still hidden from the customers causing Ms Brailey to start lobbing for a Royal Commission into Banking and Finance and into Regulators in 2001 when she realised these were massive frauds run by a Banking Cartel of 16 persons, resulting in the existence of a dangerous Control Fraud.

As a result there have been 23 Parliamentary Inquiries, which produced further headlines on why white collar crime has been rife in Australia, involving bankers, lawyers, accountants, developers, real estate agents, ratings agencies and auditors. Finally, after 18 years on pushing for the Royal Commission into the Banking and Finance Sector, and lobbying ALP in Mch 2016, the Royal Commission was finally announced 4th April 2016 by the Labor Team. In December 2017, the LNP announced a ‘watered down’ short version RC, of that which was proposed.

Undeterred, Ms Brailey is determined to gather over 100,0000 people from all political persuasion, including members of other groups such as the Citizens Electoral Commission to assist in their cries for reform to bring in Glass Steagall regulatory control of Banking provisions for the first time in Australia and stop ‘Bail In’ policies that benefit banks but not citizens.

Ms Brailey’s voluntary career, that has spanned over 25 years in consumerism, she has been responsible for over $300 million recovered so far by lobbying for funding for a number of class actions for recovery of losses. Over 43 white collar criminals have received custodial sentences ranging from 5 - 10 years for white collar offences due to her work.

She believes in collectivism for consumers, using both social and main stream media. She has spent the past 18 years on pushing for the Royal Commission into the Banking and Finance Sector. Her next goal is for a second Royal Commission into Banking and Financial Advice, to start after the next election or an extension of the current one, with broader Terms of Reference. Currently she is critical of the express RC Term of looking only to see if the massive current white collar scandals in banking linked to property advice are “below community expectations.” She is calling for an extension of the Royal Commission of at least two years and the widening of the TOR to enable compensation and custodial sentencing for those responsible for the greatest scandal this country has ever experienced: “The Crime of the Century.”

ABC 7,30 Report by CLAIRE MOODY - Nurse's $3 million in loans raises questions about banks' lending practices 12 March 2018

and - speaking with Karl Fitzgerald on The Renegade Economist radio program. PODCAST (27 mins)