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28 Mar 2018

Commonwealth Bank mis-sold consumer credit insurance to about 64,000 customers who did not meet employment eligibility criteria for claims, the royal commission into financial services misconduct heard last week.

An internal update last year showed the number of possibly unemployed customers who had bought Credit Card Plus (CCP) insurance from 2008-15 had risen to 100,000.

Most of these customers were students, and pensioners were also sold the product.

“There were many customers who did not meet the criteria to whom we sold it,” Commonwealth Bank EGM Retail Products Clive van Horen said.

“We certainly failed to take what I would consider today to be reaso...

28 Mar 2018

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has strongly supported “comprehensive reforms” to improve the quality of advice given to retail consumers.

“The current regulatory framework unnecessarily constrains the ability of licensees to provide simple product information,” it says in response to a Productivity Commission draft report.

The report on competition in financial services recommends renaming “general advice” to avoid misleading consumers into believing they are receiving “personal advice”, and requests input on further changes that may be needed.

ICA says the regulatory regime for personal advice is expensive and time-consuming, and while it may b...

26 Mar 2018

A list of global insurance firms, including IAG, Allianz and Ping An, are reported to be interested in Commonwealth Bank’s insurance operations.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, a murderer’s row of insurers are rumoured to have held preliminary discussions with the Australian banking giant, should there be any strategic changes within its general insurance division.

IAG, Allianz and Ping An are said to have held preliminary discussions with CBA, according to a report in the publications Street Talk column, with sources suggesting that the general insurance business could be valued at $1bn.

Earlier reports from the publication sugg...

26 Mar 2018

We realise your need for an insurance broker that provides an abundance of knowledge allowing you to make informed decisions.

We realise your need for transparency, relative, timely and uniquely specific products and services for your business so you have peace of mind.

We realise you don’t want to be sold yet another product you don't really want, that’s why our day is spent minimising risks to your business so it continues to thrive.

We realise your need for uniquely specific solutions and risk management strategies to protect your assets and minimise potential losses which reduces liabilities and allows for your company and its employees to be taken...

25 Mar 2018

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared a catastrophe in southern NSW and southwest Victoria after weekend fires devastated property, while claims are being lodged after Cyclone Marcus hit Darwin on Saturday.

In NSW fire broke out near the coastal town of Tathra yesterday, destroying at least 70 properties, according to the Rural Fire Service.

Blazes in Victoria were fuelled by hot and windy conditions, particularly around Terang, Garvoc and Camperdown. Local media reported up to 12 homes destroyed, with livestock, sheds and machinery also lost.

ICA CEO Rob Whelan says the extent of property losses may take several days or more to be determi...

22 Mar 2018

Lloyd’s of London posted its first loss in six years after one of the costliest periods for natural disasters in a decade.

The world’s oldest insurance market recorded a pre-tax loss of £2 billion (AU$3.7 billion) in 2017 as major claims more than doubled to £4.5 billion (AU$8.2 billion).

Devastating hurricanes, including Irma which caused widespread damage in parts of the US and Caribbean, helped trigger an underwriting loss of £3.4 billion (AU$6.2 billion). That pushed the combined ratio to 114%, reflecting larger payouts for claims than the revenue generated from premiums.

“The market experienced an exceptionally difficult year in 2017, driven by chall...

21 Mar 2018

QBE’s Australian and New Zealand Operations division will bring its technology and transformation teams together within what’s to be called a “chief operations office” and will also create a new strategy team.

Steve Raynor will act as interim Chief Operations Officer, effective today, while a search is conducted for the expanded role, and a new chief information officer will move into the team.

Current CIO Tony Forward has accepted a redundancy and Val Matthews has been appointed in an acting capacity from March 29 while a recruitment process is conducted for the redefined position.

Australia and New Zealand Operations CEO Vivek Bhatia, who joined QBE at...

21 Mar 2018

WaterNSW has awarded a $14.5 million contract to engineering consultant GHD and joint venture partner Stantec to create a design for raising the Warragamba Dam.

Raising the dam about 14 metres would reduce the risk of massive damage in the densely populated and flood-prone northeastern region of Sydney by about 75% on average, according to the State Government’s Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Management Strategy, released last year.

It says the dam wall project is the infrastructure option with the greatest benefit.

GHD and Stantec expect to have a design concept completed by early next year. 

20 Mar 2018

Companies are still not spending enough to protect their assets from cyber threats, according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The regulator’s half-year market integrity report – citing findings from a study released last November – shows a disparity across businesses and insufficient investment in cyber resilience.

“Cyber resilience is widely regarded as one of the most significant concerns for the financial markets sector and the economy at large,” ASIC says.

“We will continue to review the technology and operational risk of our stakeholders and focus on malicious cyber crime in the context of rapid technological developme...

19 Mar 2018

Add-on insurance is becoming a significant issue being investigated by the royal commission on financial services misconduct.

Last week the Financial Rights Legal Centre told the commission it received about 7500 calls last financial year from consumers querying their insurance policies.

Most issues related to add-on cover and sales practices by car loan intermediaries, banks and other third-party distributors, the legal centre’s Co-ordinator Karen Cox says in a witness statement.

Common problems include consumers not realising they have consented to purchases, high-pressure sales tactics, unsuitable sales and add-on products that provide little benefit.


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