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Commonwealth Bank Life Insurance
One of Australia’s biggest banks is facing 87 criminal charges for allegedly obtaining life insurance through unsolicited calls.
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CommInsure, a wholly owned subsidiary of the bank at the time, made unsolicited phone calls to the bank’s customers selling a life insurance product called Simple Life. Get
The life insurance arm of one of Australia’s largest banks – Commonwealth Bank – is facing 87 charges of illegally selling products through unsolicited calls, according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
In a statement posted on its website, ASIC alleges that CommInsure, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank at the time, made phone calls soliciting the bank’s customers to sell a life insurance product called Simple Life.
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ASIC says these calls were made between October and December 2014 through telemarketing company Aegon Insights Australia. According to ASIC, Aegon provided customer contact details to the Commonwealth Bank’s database.
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Each of the 87 charges carries a maximum penalty of AU$21,250, meaning Commonwealth Bank could face fines of up to AU$1,848,750 ($1.2 million) if all charges are proven in court.
In a statement posted on its website and provided to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), the Commonwealth Bank said it self-reported the issue.
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“The alleged offenses relate to the telephone sales of Simple life insurance products by CMLA in the period October 7, 2014 to December 16, 2014, a practice that ceased at the end of 2014,” the statement said.
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“These matters were the subject of an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. CMLA reported violations of anti-hawking provisions to ASIC.”
ASIC says it will not comment further on the allegations, as it is “a criminal matter before the Court”.
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The case is set to be heard at the Downing Center Local Court in Sydney on November 19.
“CBA and CommInsure are reviewing the matter and CBA does not intend to comment further at this time,” the bank said in the statement. The refunds are in addition to the $10 million the Commonwealth Bank last year agreed to repay. Credit: WA News
COMMONWEALTH Bank will refund an additional $16 million to credit card and credit insurance customers after it found more people were sold policies they wouldn’t be able to claim on.
Australia’s biggest bank said on Wednesday it would stop selling more credit cards with its Personal Loan Protection and contact customers who may not qualify for payments due to their employment status at the time they bought the policy.
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CBA’s head of retail Matt Comyn, who will take over as chief executive on April 9, said the bank could not reduce the sale of policies to the right customers.
The refunds are in addition to the $10 million Commonwealth Bank last year agreed to pay after selling the same credit card insurance to 65,000 students and unemployed people who were ineligible to claim it.
“While it is essential in the nature of insurance products that many customers do not claim on them, and indeed they hope that they do not, we must ensure that they are at least well entitled to do so,” Mr. Comyn. said.
CBA said about 140,000 Credit Card Plus, Personal Loan Protection and Home Loan Protection customers will receive refunds, including interest.
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The bank will still sell home loan insurance, while AIA – which is buying CBA’s life insurance business CommInsure – will eventually replace other policies with new products.
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