An MP has asked CBA to disclose the engagement letters between the bank and Deloitte, saying he has concerns with the CommInsure review and that CBA may be covering up misconduct.
During a hearing yesterday, CBA chief executive Ian Narev told the House of Representatives standing committee on economics several times that the CommInsure-commissioned Deloitte review was considered by APRA to be robust and independent.
But Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite said he was concerned that only 10 per cent of the claims reviewed were TPD claims, which typically have a higher denial rate.
“I understand that there were three engagement letters provided to Deloitte. We would like you to provide the engagement letters,” Mr Thistlethwaite said.
Mr Narev said while he was happy to review the letters and see if they are appropriate for reproduction, he does not believe the committee should have any concerns.
“We have an independent expert who has made it clear that it believes the sample was robust and we’ve got a regulator who is completely independent and has described the report as independent and robust,” he said.
Mr Thistlethwaite, however, accused CBA of hiding behind the report.
“That’s the thing ... You find someone that you say is independent to hide behind. You find an organisation to hide behind to back you. You claim legal privilege on documents that otherwise prove cases against you,” he said.
“It’s more of this cover up. It’s the case that nothing’s changed.”
Mr Narev responded by saying that the other two CommInsure reports, conducted by EY and DLA Piper, will not be released publicly to protect customers and employees.
“The sole reason that we have maintained privilege is because customers and employees were encouraged to speak openly. As you can gather, given the positive nature of the conclusions, our preference would always be to release them,” he said.
“However, people will only be encouraged to speak openly on certain matters if they are guaranteed the reports will be privileged.”
Last week, CBA also defended the CommInsure review after Maurice Blackburn claimed it was not comprehensive enough, and that no claims staff were interviewed as part of the review.
Also last week, the committee grilled NAB for not terminating a former financial adviser.
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