Commonwealth Bank of Australia pleads guilty to making unsolicited calls for selling financial products

On Tuesday, as per a statement from Australia’s corporate regulator, the life insurance arm of Commonwealth Bank of Australia has pleaded guilty to 87 counts of breaching a law banning sales staff from making unsolicited calls to sell financial products.

The development comes in the wake of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) charging the CommInsure unit of CBA, Australia’s biggest lender, of breaking an “anti-hawking” law in October 2019, accusing it of selling life insurance policies known as ‘Simple Life’ over unsolicited phone calls between October and December 2014.

According to a statement from ASIC, CommInsure sold life insurance policies through telemarketing firm, Aegon Insights Australia, by providing customer contact details to Aegon from CBA’s existing customer database.

“The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. CommInsure will be sentenced at a later time” said ASIC.

CBA was not immediately available for comment.

Incidentally, Australian banks banks have increasingly come under regulatory scrutiny following a government-backed inquiry in 2018 which exposed widespread misconduct in the financial sector.

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