An ASIC investigation into loan fraud has resulted in a permanent ban of former National Australia Bank employees, Danny Merheb and Samar Merjan (also known as Samar Awad) from engaging in credit activities and providing financial services.
NAB alerted ASIC to the misconduct of its former employees, alleging that bank staff in the greater western Sydney area were accepting false documents in support of loan applications.
Mr Merheb was found to have recklessly given NAB false payslips, letters of employment, bank statements and statutory declarations in respect of home loan applications. Ms Merjan was found to have knowingly and recklessly given NAB false payslips and letters of employment in respect of personal loan and credit card applications.
The false information and documentation submitted by Mr Merheb and Ms Merjan were primarily provided to them by a third person who had no association with NAB.
ASIC also found that:
- Mr Merheb falsely attributed a loan as being referred to NAB by an introducer who was a friend in order for the friend to receive commissions dishonestly;
- Ms Merjan assisted the third person in the creation of two false documents, which she subsequently provided to NAB in support of lending applications; and
- Ms Merjan was twice offered cash by the third person to process lending applications.
ASIC’s investigation is continuing.
Mr Merheb and Ms Merjan were permanently banned on 29 June 2018. They both have the right to lodge an application for review of ASIC’s decisions with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
On 16 November 2017, NAB announced a remediation program for home loan customers after an internal review, prompted by whistleblower reports it had received which found that some home loans may not have been established in accordance with NAB’s policies.
NAB identified that around 2,300 home loans since 2013 may have been submitted with inaccurate customer information and/or documentation, or incorrect information in relation to NAB’s Introducer Program.