CBA told Senate Committee it has already dealt with concerns

THE Commonwealth Bank has told a Senate committee investigating allegations of misconduct in the bank's insurance arm it has already addressed the concerns.

A submission from the bank to the Senate was released this week ahead of a hearing in Sydney yesterday.

Labor committee member Senator Chris Ketter accused the bank of avoiding the committee by refusing to appear and instead proposing to give evidence next week, Federal Budget week.

In its submission, the bank said it had addressed CommInsure whistleblower Dr Benjamin Koh's allegation that insurance assessors had manipulated medical reports to deny some customers' claims.

The bank wrote that of five CommInsure clients in question, two were already paid, another two were paid this year and the last case was assessed on guidelines.

Dr Koh was dismissed after raising concerns through the media earlier this year, but the bank's submission said he was dismissed for "serious and repeated breaches of customers' privacy".

It said Dr Koh had emailed more than 200 unencrypted files from a work email to a Gmail account, including "sensitive" corporate information.

The bank pointed out it had set up a claims review program to decide whether any customers' claims need to be further investigated.

It is unclear when, or if, senior bank executives will front the committee.

Chief executive Ian Narev told a recent business breakfast that in some cases customers felt dissatisfied because they were being "unreasonable", "acting improperly" with the bank and hoping to embarrass it into settling.

"In that minority of cases the right outcome is take the criticism, do the right thing, and stick by the rights of our customers and our shareholders," he said.


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