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Westpac steps up commitment to support financial inclusion

25 November 2016

Westpac Group confirms its commitment to helping Australians better manage their money, with the release today of its first Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP).


Developed in response to Australia’s commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Plan is a roadmap towards Westpac’s vision of helping Australians manage their money, build their financial resilience, and participate in our economy throughout their lives.


Westpac Group Chief Financial Officer, Peter King, said he was proud Westpac is among the first 12 trailblazing Australian organisations to release a Financial Inclusion Action Plan.


“At Westpac, we believe service leadership extends beyond helping people achieve their financial goals. 


“It also means being there to provide support when customers experience financial hardship, helping to prevent them from falling into hardship in the first place, and removing barriers that may be blocking people from accessing banking.


“Our foundational Financial Inclusion Action Plan focuses on key areas where we believe Westpac can make the greatest contribution to financial inclusion in Australia. It brings together the work already in progress across Westpac Group, as well as setting out the specific priorities that will guide our initiatives over the next twelve months,” Mr King said.


The 15 commitments laid out in the Action Plan include enhancing Westpac Group's Assist service for customers facing hardship and tailoring of financial services for specific communities at risk of economic downturn; expanding Westpac’s suite of financial education programs, including targeted education for youth and women over 40; and supporting small business and social enterprise to grow through grants, microfinance loans, access to Westpac’s supply chain and financial education.


The FIAPs of the 12 trailblazer organisations were produced as part of an Australian Federal government and industry initiative, coordinated by Good Shepherd and Ernst & Young (EY).


“Financial Inclusion Action Plans harness the influence and resources of industry leaders like Westpac Group to build a more inclusive economy and ensure that, as our economy grows, we’re not leaving people behind,” said Delia Rickard, Independent Chair, FIAP Advisory Group.


“The organisations that have signed up to Financial Inclusion Action Plans, including Westpac Group have identified practical ways to support the financial inclusion of their customers, employees and the broader community. The initiatives these trailblazers have put forward are much more than nice sentiments and ambitions, they have tangible, measurable outcomes,” she said.