CBA's CommInsure pleads guilty to 87 counts of hawking

CBA's CommInsure pleads guilty to 87 counts of hawking

A subsidiary of Australia's largest bank has pleaded guilty to making unlawful and unsolicited phone calls in breach of the Corporations Act.

Commonwealth Bank (ASC: CBA) subsidiary Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited, trading as CommInsure, has pleaded guilty on 87 counts of the practice known as "hawking" betwen October and December 2014.

CommInsure is yet to be sentenced but the maximum penalty for each charge is $21,250, meaning it is potentially liable to pay a fine of $1.85 million.

The calls were made through CommInsure's agent Aegon Insights Australia, selling life insurance policies known as Simple Life.

CommInsure provided customer contact details to Aegon from CBA's existing customer database.

The CBA customers had not requested to be contacted for the sale of Simple Life by CommInsure, or persons on CommInsure's behalf, or to receive marketing information from CommInsure.

In all of the 87 calls charged, CommInsure did not comply with the requirement to offer the customer the option of having the information required to be included in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for Simple Life read to them prior to the offer to issue or sell the product.

The case was brought to court by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

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