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Westpac Welcomes ABA's Seventh Progress Report

18 January, 2018

Westpac Group today welcomed independent reviewer Ian McPhee’s penultimate quarterly report on the industry’s progress towards implementation of the ABA’s Better Banking Initiatives.

Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer was pleased to see recognition of Westpac’s integration of our customer advocate function with other elements of the industry initiatives.

“Westpac’s Customer Advocate forms a crucial part of our vision to be one of the world’s great service companies. The Customer Advocate has been assisting customers for almost one year now, and we are pleased the Advocate has been called out in the report for providing new avenues for us to help vulnerable customers.”

Further, the report recognises the delivery of the revised Banking Code of Practice, after extensive consultation with consumer groups and other industry stakeholders. The Code is the first of its kind to be submitted to ASIC for approval. The revised Code has dedicated sections for small business and inclusive banking, and will form an integral part of the industry’s commitment to putting customer interests first.

Mr McPhee also recognised Westpac’s good progress in implementing the Sedgwick Review’s recommendations on remuneration and incentives. “After substantial reform to our remuneration practices for personal bankers and tellers since September 2016, we’re continuing to work hard to ensure our employee remuneration practices are designed to achieve good customer outcomes,” Mr Hartzer said. In particular, the report recognised the reform package prepared by a Combined Industry Forum, which represented different groups connected to Australia’s mortgage broking industry, to improve consumer outcomes and confidence in mortgage broking.

Westpac continues to work towards full implementation of the Better Banking Initiatives, with a focus on the Sedgwick recommendations and transition to the new Banking Code of Practice.