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CBA skips Senate hearing over CommInsure scandal

Commonwealth Bankof Australia refused to attend a Senate hearing in connection with aprobe into alleged improper conductat the bank's life insurance unit, CommInsure, including the manipulation of medicalrecords of clients and denying payouts for legitimate claims, The Sydney Morning Herald reported May 7.

In a letter to the Senate, CBA Managing Director and CEO IanNarev denied he refused to face scrutiny and pointed out the lack of senators fromother political parties available to attend the hearing. Only two Labor senatorswere available for the hearing.

The hearing was scheduled for April 28 and the bank was givennotice one week prior to the event.

Meanwhile, lawyers of Benjamin Koh, whistleblower and formerchief medical officer at CommInsure, filed a formal request with the AustralianPrudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commissionto investigate certain employees at the bank for breaches of the whistleblower protectionslaw.

Koh earlier claimed he was dismissed from the bank for raising concerns. He also saidsenior bank officials dismissed his concerns regarding wrong practices at the insurer.Narev denied both accusationsin his letter.