Financial sector union wants Commonwealth Bank to apologize to staff who sold failed insurance
Commonwealth Bank was approached for a response but declined to comment. The bank intends to plead guilty to the charges.
The exchange between its outgoing CEO, Matt Comyn, and former CEO Ian Narev about the product was recorded in a handwritten note from Mr. Comyn which became known as the “note from Garry Kasparov” when she was entered into evidence at the Hayne Royal Commission.
Mr. Comyn recorded his objections to the sale of the product in the note and argued for the suspension of its sale. However, Mr Narev dismissed his assessment and reportedly told Mr Comyn to ‘temper your sense of justice’.
The contents of the note now form part of the 32-page Agreed Statement of Facts between the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the CBA.
The insurance policies in question were known as “consumer credit insurance”, or CCI, and were supposed to cover interest payments on loans in the event of the customer’s inability to pay. Their design was similar to a UK product called “payment protection insurance”, or PPI, which cost UK banks almost £40bn in refunds.
CCI policyholders were considered ineligible if they had been recently unemployed or hired on a casual, temporary or seasonal basis within the previous six months. However, the ABC stopped asking qualifying questions in 2011. The bank withdrew the proceeds in 2018, just two weeks from the royal commission hearing.
FSU’s Ms Angrisano said staff selling the policies under the direction of supervisors had “carried the brunt” of the bank’s greed, which had a “devastating effect on the mental and physical health of staff”.
“They are expected to sell loans to their friends, sruik their employers at their kids’ football games, and never express critical thought about how their employer behaves,” he said. she declared.
Bank staff had been unfairly branded by the Royal Commission as ‘greedy and exploitative opportunists’ when in fact they were victims of an industry captured by ‘a toxic sales culture’ which disdained and degraded their personal ethics , according to Ms. Angrisano.
“Workers were the ‘forgotten people’ in the fallout from the Hayne Royal Commission. While the focus has been on unreasonable financial industry practices and policies that break the law, the effects of these policies and practices harm frontline staff.