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Royal commission receives insurance submissions as work starts

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The royal commission on financial services misconduct says 6% of public submissions received to date relate to general insurance.

Senior Counsel Assisting Rowena Orr told the opening hearing in Melbourne today that more than 385 submissions have been received through an online form and the commission is encouraging further responses.

“The number of submissions received per week has increased each week the online form has been available,” she said.

Banking concerns have attracted most submissions, at 49% of the total, followed by superannuation. About 6% relate to the life and total and permanent disability insurance market.

Ms Orr says 110 submissions were from Queensland, 106 from Victoria, 95 from NSW, 49 from WA, 17 from SA and the remainder from Tasmania, the NT and ACT.

The royal commission has also contacted financial sector companies and groups, and has received 48 responses from entities including insurers, banks, super funds, consumer groups, dispute resolution groups and regulators.

Ms Orr says the commission is reviewing the work of various inquiries into the sector and will monitor reviews still under way, and may seek their input.

“We are conscious that ongoing work of other bodies may be useful to the work of the commission,” she said.

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne criticised some early responses from major institutions regarding the nature, extent and effect of past misconduct, with some unable to meet a deadline to provide follow-up information.

The first round of public hearings will focus on lending, with further rounds and topics to be advised on the royal commission’s website during the year.