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Freedom Insurance CEO exits amid inquiry

Freedom Insurance has suspended sales, its CEO is leaving and it will cut staff following damaging revelations at the banking royal commission.

The life insurance distributer announced on Tuesday night that chief executive Keith Cohen had left the company while chief financial officer Jenny Andrews also intended to depart following a review of its operations.

Freedom also immediately suspended sales of direct insurance products and planned to reduce its staff to approximately 90 employees.

Craig Orton, who joined the company in February, will take over as the new chief executive, the company said in the statement.

The company's 350,000 customers should be unaffected by the changes, the statement said.

Freedom said the restructure would cut annual operating expenses by at least $15 million.

The insurer was found to have engaged in dodgy tactics during the royal commission, including pressuring a man with Down syndrome into buying insurance over the phone.

The company encouraged the sales agent involved to sell aggressively, the inquiry heard.

Senior counsel assisting the royal commission Rowena Orr QC recommended several misconduct findings against Freedom over its dealing with vulnerable consumers.

The company was accused of using "extremely heavy-handed" retention strategies to hold on to customers, the inquiry heard.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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