IN the 1950s, as a 15-year-old, I joined the staff of a bank in Mildura with an Intermediate certificate in my pocket.
In the 1980s, after the banks had been deregulated and had got into trouble financially, I met a friend who I had worked with in the bank, and who had then become a branch manager, and asked him what went wrong.
He said the banks had changed their policy of hiring 15, 16, 17-year-olds with Intermediate certificates, and offering them lifetime jobs, to employing graduates, giving them three-year contracts and paying bonuses.
The new employees set about aggressively writing up new loans, and going close to the wind. At the end of their contracts, many left with their bonuses, the bank then discovered they had many bad loans on their books.
The only difference between then and now is that there has been a royal commission to shine a spotlight on those enterprising people.
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