David Stuart

Commonwealth Bank dismisses employee with depression

BEYOND Blue chairman Jeff Kennett has lashed out at the Commonwealth Bank over the treatment of one of its employees, who was dismissed after suffering a severe mental breakdown, but left to wait years for an insurance payout.

The bank is facing fresh allegations of unethical and unscrupulous behaviour in its life insurance business, CommInsure, as it tries to rebuild its reputation after a damaging scandal in its financial planning division.

Four Corners now understands the corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, will investigate CommInsure's practices after it was revealed over the weekend the insurer was relying on an out-of-date heart-attack definition to deny trauma claims.

Mr Kennett said the bank had "a great deal to answer for" over the treatment of employees like Matthew Attwater, 32, who was "ill-health retired" after suffering from major depression, following a brutal domestic violence incident.

Mr Kennett described the bank's actions as disgraceful and said there was no excuse for its behaviour.