Simply Energy hit with $20,400 penalty over door-to-door sales; CBA profits hit $4.62 billion: Midday Roundup

Simply Energy hit with $20,400 penalty over door-to-door sales; CBA profits hit $4.62 billion: Midday Roundup

Energy retailer Simply Energy has paid a $20,400 fine to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission following allegations of misleading door-to-door sales conduct.

The latest fine comes after similar action by the ACCC against a number of other energy companies including Australian Power & Gas and AGL.

The ACCC alleged that during 2014, Simply Energy employed door-to-door sales staff to persuade consumers to switch from their existing electricity provider.

On two separate occasions, these sales staff allegedly told consumers that there was an ‘urgent problem’ or ‘something wrong’ with their existing electricity supply when it wasn’t the case, breaching the Australian Consumer Law in the process.

“Consumers have a right to expect that door-to-door sales representatives will not make false or misleading representations, or otherwise engage in unlawful sales tactics,” said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims in a statement.

 

Commonwealth Bank profits hit $4.62 billion

 

The Commonwealth Bank has reported an increase in its first-half profits to $4.62 billion, with bad debts falling and solid revenue growth.

The result was boosted by the bank’s net interest income growing by 6% to $7.89 billion, while its interest earning assets increased by $49 billion to $739 billion.

Following the announcement, The Age reports Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev has called for a “coherent long-term plan” for the Australian economy following the mining boom.

“Weak confidence is a significant economic threat,” Narev said.

“Businesses need the certainty to invest to create jobs, and households need a greater feeling of security. That requires implementation of a coherent long-term plan that clearly addresses target government debt levels and timeframes, infrastructure priorities, foreign investment, business competitiveness policies and, above all, job creation.”

 

Shares down on open

 

Aussie shares have traded lower this morning, despite gains on Wall Street overnight.

According to Tristan K’Nell, head of trading at Quay Equities, local investors are “taking a breather with a very busy day in corporate earnings to digest” yesterday.

“Overnight headlines were around Greece with the market optimistic of a solution, however this was offset by continued weakness in the oil price,” K’Nell said.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was down 29.7 points at 12.14pm AEDT. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed 139.55 points higher, up 0.79% to 17868.8 points. 

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