#Building futures and protecting what matters
Building futures and protecting what matters – it's not only our purpose but has also been our focus for over 100 years. It's based on a strong conviction: we are building a sustainable and responsible financial services Group, helping our customers, people, shareholders and communities to prosper.
What began as a horrific season of natural disasters, including bushfires, floods and hail, would seemingly have been enough for devastated communities. A global health and economic crisis was to shortly follow, making the 2019-20 financial year not only a defining year, but an extraordinary year, likely not soon forgotten.
Suncorp however entered this uncertain year in a sound financial position, demonstrating our resilience with stable growth and a capital position that remains strong. We’ve been focused on running our business, helping our customers and ensuring we have a strong balance sheet to be in the best position to respond to our environment.
Also this financial year, Suncorp permanently appointed Steve Johnston as Chief Executive Officer. We reaffirmed our four key priorities: improving the performance of our core businesses, improving operational efficiency, leveraging our investments in data and digital, and embracing regulatory change to build trust and improve customer outcomes. We also announced a new operating model on 1 July 2020, as we changed our perspective on what’s possible as we look towards the future.
We proudly invested $10.3 million in local communities, saw a 7.2% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, our people volunteered 11,500 hours and our teams successfully managed more than 80,000 insurance claims.
Throughout the year, our 13,500 people continuously rose to the occasion and stood with our customers through one of their toughest years on record yet.
Here's our Year in Review snapshot of the year that was.
Though the events of 2019–20 will be remembered by all of us and will be some of the most defining in Suncorp’s history, the resilience of our business has been demonstrated with a capital position that remains strong, and stable growth in our core business portfolios.
The events of 2019–20 have fundamentally changed our perspective on what is possible. While we acknowledge the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 will be long lasting, the challenges have also created opportunities to accelerate our transformation plans.
#Supporting customers and communities during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in broad-ranging health and economic challenges for communities across the globe. At Suncorp, we've responded quickly to protect the health of our people and also support our customers during such a vulnerable time.
Since the crisis began, Suncorp has been evolving its ways of working, developing new solutions and support packages to ensure customers remain protected and their financial needs met during these challenging times.
Suncorp responded proactively to the rapidly changing economic environment offering vulnerable customers a range of hardship packages to support those facing financial challenges as a result of the pandemic.
We've also implemented a range of protective measures safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our people, customers and community. As part of our COVID-19 response, we transitioned 90 per cent of our workforce to working remotely and moved hundreds of our people to customer-facing and business-critical roles.
We also proudly provided support to vulnerable members of the community via our partnerships. In April we donated $1 million to The Smith Family in Australia and $100,000 to SHINE in New Zealand to help disadvantaged children continue their education.
Suncorp Group's $1 million donation to The Smith Family has seen approximately 650 families receive a new laptop for schooling at home, giving them access to a digital device, internet connection and technical support to help navigate schooling at home.
#Responding to natural hazards
Suncorp believes investing in resilience infrastructure will reduce the impact of natural disasters, resulting in safer communities, stronger economies, and a more sustainable insurance industry.
Suncorp proudly delivered an industry-leading claims response to the 2019–20 summer of natural disasters. We successfully managed more than 80,000 insurance claims following several widespread natural hazard events, including the catastrophic bushfires across Australia, a severe weather system resulting in flooding along the east coast, and destructive hailstorms in Melbourne, Canberra, and Timaru, New Zealand.
Following the devastating bushfire season, our Customer Support Teams, comprising banking and insurance specialists, were deployed to affected communities as soon as it was safe.
The teams provided face-to-face support for customers, helping them to lodge claims, access emergency funds and find temporary accommodation. We are proud of our role in quickly resolving claims, engaging local trades and suppliers to rebuild homes and businesses, and injecting crucial funds into impacted communities.
Suncorp also donated $560,000 to support communities affected by the catastrophic events and a further $160,000 to double match the donations of our employees.
Suncorp also implemented a policy of unlimited paid emergency response leave for employees who are members of volunteer organisations when they are called upon to assist during an emergency or natural disaster.
After bushfire destroyed businesses and homes in NSW, one of the many impacted was Club Malua.
Our Vero claims team has worked closely with Club Malua to ensure its members still have a place to gather.
#Our operating model
COVID-19 has driven changes such as the faster adoption of digital channels by customers, increased innovation and more agile ways of working, but it has also changed our perspective on what is possible as we look towards the future.
On 1 July 2020, Suncorp announced a new operating model and leadership structure to drive further improvements across our core insurance and banking businesses, and to accelerate our digital and data-driven transformation.
The changes were designed to reduce duplication, improve decision-making through clearer accountability, and embed more efficient and agile ways of working across the organisation.
Suncorp Group comprises of Insurance Australia, Banking & Wealth, and Suncorp New Zealand. The operating functions are responsible for product design, manufacturing, claims management, and distribution. The core businesses have end-to-end responsibility for the statutory entities within the Suncorp Group.
The Insurance Australia business is a large part of the Group, presenting significant opportunity for transformation of revenues and costs. Accountability for this now rests within two areas: one focused on customer and distribution; and the other responsible for all aspects of claims management and operations.
The Banking & Wealth business will have greater end-to-end accountability for performance, with the changes aimed at driving innovation through faster decision-making, greater digital capability, and the ability to improve the cost base.
At Suncorp New Zealand, improvements have been made to remove silos, centralise customer operations, and streamline the core insurance functions of the Life business.
The Group strategy and technology teams have been brought together to drive a digital-first approach and to fast-track digital and automation opportunities.
To create sustainable value, Suncorp adapts to evolving market conditions. We take a long-term view and actively respond to changes in the economy, society and the environment. We manage our impacts to ensure the sustainable growth of both our business and the communities in which we operate.
We seek to innovate and optimise economic, social and environmental outcomes throughout our business and value chain.
Suncorp conducts business in a way that protects and sustains the environment. We continue to reduce our environmental impact and are committed to transparency about our environmental performance. While climate change presents both strategic and financial risk, it also presents opportunities for our organisation and community.
Suncorp is committed to playing our part in reducing carbon emissions, preparing for the physical impacts of climate change and supporting the transition to an economy that achieves net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
This year Suncorp proudly became a member of the RE100 global corporate renewable energy initiative that brings together hundreds of businesses committed to 100% renewable energy in an aim to accelerate a global shift to clean energy and zero carbon grids.
Describes our approach to the long-term sustainability of investment returns and management of environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities in our investment portfolios, our approach to impact investing and the governance of proxy voting activity.
Outlines the standards expected of our suppliers in Australia and New Zealand, ensuring our supply chain is cost-effective, innovative, responsible, fair and manages ethical business practices, human rights risks and workplace conditions, product safety and impacts on the environment appropriately.
Through our Storm Ready Streets program, we worked with community partners to raise awareness of natural disaster risk and rewarded Queensland households, residents and businesses to actively prepare for extreme weather.
#Our people and communities
Suncorp is committed to investing in the financial, social and natural hazard resilience of our people and communities. We're proud to be there for them in times of need.
We aspire to have an inclusive culture and diverse workforce where our people and the causes they care about are actively promoted and their involvement in the community is supported.
We continue to build our inclusivity by providing an environment where everyone can be themselves, and feel valued, involved and respected for their perspectives and contribution.
We're investing in the cultural capability of our people to better serve customers and the broader community, and through partnerships with Clontarf Foundation and Multicultural Australia, we are creating employment pathways for Indigenous Australians, refugees and migrants.
These partnerships provide job-readiness, career mentoring and financial literacy workshops for young Indigenous students and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Flexibility is also an important part of our culture. Even before COVID-19, more than 80 per cent of our workforce regularly took advantage of flexible working practices. As a result, Suncorp has a more engaged workforce, reduced absenteeism and workplace stress, and a greater ability to respond to the changing environment.
#Diversity and inclusion
This year, Suncorp strengthened its partnership with the Clontarf Foundation, hosting career exposure days and work experience opportunities to improve education and employment outcomes for young Indigenous men.
Through Suncorp’s partnership with Multicultural Australia, more than 56 employees participated in cultural awareness training, cultural immersion, career mentoring and volunteering opportunities, which all help our people to better serve our diverse customers and work within diverse teams.
Suncorp’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are networks created by our people, for our people. They foster a diverse and inclusive workplace and bring employees together around a common purpose, interest or background.
Suncorp continues to take great pride in being an industry leader for workplace gender equality, with a focus not just on leadership roles but all levels across our organisation. In 2019-20, Suncorp was recognised as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency for the seventh consecutive year.
Suncorp’s Davor Strbac has won Veteran Employee of the Year at the Prime Minister’s Veterans Employment Awards, for his outstanding perseverance and contribution towards veterans and Defence families.