Friday, March 12, 2004

The four billion dollar man

For the two months or so I have been working on a story which went to air on SBS TV's Dateline on Wednesday 10 March. As you can see if you follow the link there is no transcript on the SBS site "on legal advice".

The story is about an Australian company, Commercial IBT Pty Ltd. It has a banking licence in the offshore financial centre of Labuan, Malaysia. It describes itself and the bank this way...

COMMERCIAL IBT BANK, Licensed Offshore Bank (030085C), a licensed bank in Labuan Malaysia ( is involved in investment banking and provision of financial services including corporate finance and advisory, private banking, trade finance and fund and asset management.

We provide innovative financial solutions, support and auxiliary services ONLY to wholesale clients, sophisticated investors, substantial corporations and institutions globally.

Our commercial and entrepreneurial approach has seen success in our specialist divisions.

We have a good network in the Australia-Pacific, Asian and United States regions and specialise in providing investment opportunities in these regions.

We strictly observe and preserve our clients' confidentiality and as such we are very private. We therefore do not publicise nor advertise any deals or projects unless requested by our clients.

In Australia, COMMERCIAL IBT is a low profile financial institution involved in corporate finance, general investments and other financial services. For further information please go to

We are a full member of the Asian Bankers Association (ABA). The Asian Bankers Association, one of the service councils of the Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry, is a regional association and membership of financial institutions based or have operations in the Australia Asia-Pacific region. The Association aims to provide a forum for advancing the cause of the banking and finance industry in the region and promoting regional economic cooperation.

Or that's what it used to say.

The morning after my story went to air that description vanished from its website, replaced with: "This page is currently being updated". Here is what is there now.

The website for Commercial IBT is here. The homepage for the bank here.

UPDATE 23.04.04:

Ratings Agency Malaysia suspends Commercial IBT's rating.