#Suncorp's Office of the Customer Advocate
Suncorp’s Office of the Customer Advocate champions the voice of the customer across the organisation and provides objective assessments of the fairness and integrity of Suncorp’s customer processes, decisions and practices. The Customer Advocate is focussed on delivering insights and advocacy that drive fair outcomes for customers in alignment with community expectations.
Despite increased numbers of insurance claims as a result of the 2019-20 Australian bushfires, floods and storms, and the ongoing financial pressures of drought and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Suncorp maintained its focus on delivering better customer experience and complaint service levels, resolving 95 per cent of our complaints received by our customer-facing teams within five business days in 2019-20. The New Zealand business used analysis of external dispute resolution outcomes and industry themes to strengthen its complaints reporting.
Suncorp is investing in an enterprise-wide approach to complaints management, including improved systems and capability building across the Group to enhance the quality of our controls and data and the delivery of timely and meaningful outcomes for our customers.
#Improving our business practices
In 2019–20, we transitioned to the improved General Insurance Code of Practice and made further enhancements in the Bank to support customers and commenced implementation of our Responsible Banking & Insurance Policy.
Suncorp worked closely with the Insurance Council of Australia to shape the updated General Insurance Code of Practice and led the industry in implementing improvements ahead of the 1 July deadline. Key improvements include:
- transparency of premium changes for retail and small business customers and simpler communications that help consumers understand any changes in their policies and premiums
- enhanced support for customers experiencing vulnerability and hardship through process improvements, system updates and specialist training for our teams, suppliers and distributors
- launch of a Domestic and Family Violence statement that includes greater protections for survivors with measures to protect the contact details and addresses for joint policy holders and the garaged address of any mobile assets held by the survivor
- specialist support services for customers who are subject to domestic and family violence, including fairer claims outcomes for those impacted by violence, addictions or mental illness.
Following implementation of the Australian Banking Association’s Banking Code of Practice (Code) on 1 July 2019, Suncorp has continued to enhance its processes, products and services to provide greater financial protections to our customers. During 2019–20 Suncorp:
- ceased charging default interest on agricultural loans while farmers are affected by drought or natural disaster
- extended protections to small business loan guarantors and clarified the restrictions on non-monetary defaults on small business loans
- removed fees relating to informal overdrafts and dishonoured transactions on basic, low fee or no fee accounts for concession card holders, with basic accounts unable to become overdrawn in most situations
- removed account-keeping fees associated with personal and business deposit accounts.
#Read more about Responsible Financial Services
*Level 1 complaints: Handled by customer-facing teams. Excludes New Zealand
*Level 2 complaints: Managed by Customer Relations Team. Excludes New Zealand
*ESG – environmental, social and governance
*Financial hardship: Excludes New Zealand and Australian Life Business. General Insurance ‘Peace of Mind’ support calculated at a policy level