ABA third progress report highlights progress towards ABA reforms
20 January, 2017
Westpac Group welcomes Ian McPhee’s third quarterly report on the progress made by the banking industry in implementing the ABA’s Six Point Plan.
The report finds the industry is making good overall progress on the Plan, with some initiatives advancing faster than others. Some initiatives, particularly those involving third-parties, could take longer to achieve than originally estimated.
A case study included in the report highlights Westpac’s focus on making changes to improve customer outcomes. Westpac was the first bank to remove all product based incentives, including referrals, for its 2,000 tellers across the Westpac branch network.
Westpac Group Deputy CEO Phil Coffey said Westpac is committed to achieving the objectives of the ABA’s banking industry initiatives.
"Westpac will continue to focus on implementing the ABA initiatives to restore community trust, and achieve meaningful change across the industry,” Mr Coffey said.
Westpac has been a strong advocate for an independent review of product-based payments and commissions, and welcomed the release of the issues paper by Mr Stephen Sedgwick AO earlier this week.
“Westpac expects to implement the final recommendations made by Mr Sedgwick once the final report is published in March 2017,” Mr Coffey said.
Some of the milestones achieved in the last quarter, include:
- Customer Advocate: Westpac appointed Mr Adrian Ahern as Westpac Group Customer Advocate, to enhance Westpac’s dispute resolution framework, and provide an additional level of confidence for customers in ensuring the dispute process is fair and transparent;
- Whistleblower Protection: Westpac updated its Whistleblower Protection Policy to align with the ABA principles and our own best-practice initiatives. Westpac also introduced an externally managed telephone hotline for whistleblowers to improve access for people connected to the Group, such as contractors and employees of service providers; and
- Productive relationships with our regulators: Westpac updated its policy to include clear guiding principles which will continue to enhance productive relationships with its regulators, including ASIC.
Westpac will continue to work with the ABA and industry to implement the Six Point Plan to protect customer interests, increase transparency and accountability, and build public confidence in the banking sector.