customers assisted during financial hardship*
Expanded community sector partnerships to improve external referral pathways for customers experiencing vulnerability
Delivered new tools and training for our people to support of customers experiencing vulnerability
We believe growing our business inclusively and serving the whole community is fundamental to addressing financial inclusion and equality.
Through the implementation of our Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP), we continue to provide access to suitable and affordable products and services and build our capability to better support customers experiencing vulnerability.
In FY21, Suncorp conducted an Accessibility Maturity Assessment to understand our strengths and opportunities relative to industry and community expectations. Work has commenced on high-priority areas and we are engaging external experts to help build our Accessibility Roadmap which will be incorporated into our next FIAP.
#Supporting customers experiencing vulnerability
Suncorp’s Customers Experiencing Vulnerability (CEV) strategy and roadmap has evolved and matured, strengthening our understanding of the unique needs of our customers and the capability needs of our people who support them. We continue to respond and take a proactive approach to identifying customers in vulnerable situations, as well as building strategies to tackle the underlying issues that contribute to vulnerability.
Suncorp is focused on empowering our people to appropriately path vulnerable customers to our dedicated hubs for specialised support. In FY21, we developed and delivered new tools and training to assist our people with the identification and support of customers experiencing vulnerability.
‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign
A campaign to create broader awareness among our customer-facing teams to recognise and respond to possible triggers of vulnerability such as scams, family and domestic violence, elder abuse, cognitive impairment and modern slavery.
Learn and thrive sessions
Monthly sessions designed to enhance the skills and knowledge of our people in the dedicated hubs. These include insights from consumer advocate experts and case study discussions about topics such as family and domestic violence, financial hardship, mental health, disability and homelessness.
This includes a partnership with Communicorp, Suncorp’s Employee Assistance Program provider, to explore vicarious trauma training options for our people interacting with customers. This training aims to help our people build awareness of the impacts and warning signs of vicarious trauma and develop self-care strategies to build resilience. A pilot group from our Customer Relations and specialised vulnerability teams has completed the training.
Training for Suncorp New Zealand teams
Suncorp New Zealand delivered first-in-New Zealand training in partnership with Shine and Lifeline Aotearoa, to build the capability of customer-facing employees in responding to severe cases of vulnerability, particularly where a customer’s safety is threatened.
In addition to the above, Suncorp has three levels of vulnerability, resilience and wellbeing training:
- Financial Inclusion Awareness for employees to build understanding of financial inclusion, resilience and wellbeing
- Vulnerable Customer Training for front-line teams, which aims to build capability to identify and help vulnerable customers and refer them to external partners for specialist support when required
- Specialist Capability Building and coaching for teams working with vulnerable customers every day, equipping them with skills to help customers in highly stressful situations, and strategies for their own personal resilience
All members of our specialist teams in Australia, who regularly work with customers experiencing vulnerability, have received intensive coaching, providing them with techniques to build their own personal resilience and wellbeing.
#Partnerships to support customers experiencing vulnerability
In FY21, Suncorp strengthened its support for customers experiencing vulnerability by extending our partnership with community organisation Uniting and expanding its CareRing referral service. The renewed partnership builds on Suncorp’s ongoing commitment to help customers impacted by financial hardship, mental health challenges or domestic and family violence.
The service includes a dedicated case manager for customers needing long-term assistance, referral pathways to community and health services, and financial assistance for specialist requests. Since July 2020, over 440 customers have been referred to CareRing.
Suncorp also partnered with not-for-profit debt solutions provider, Way Forward, to support bank customers who require greater and more holistic support to regain control of their finances and overcome their debts.
#Engagement and advocacy
Suncorp participates in a wide range of industry roundtables and community forums to share best practice and discuss solutions. We also advocated for greater awareness and measures to protect customers and worked to build the financial resilience of our community.
Consumer Advocate Day
Each year we bring together our senior leaders and external experts to discuss current and emerging customer and community issues, including support for people experiencing a range of vulnerabilities.
In FY21, representatives from Thriving Communities Partnership, Uniting and Financial Rights Legal Centre were among those participating in the forum, along with Senior Suncorp leaders. Insurance affordability, domestic violence, COVID-19 support, accessibility and community resilience were some of the many topics discussed on the day.
Thriving Communities Partnership
Suncorp is an active member of the Thriving Communities Partnership, a collective aimed at bringing together government, community and businesses to help drive greater inclusion, support and financial wellbeing for all Australians.
In FY20, Suncorp joined forces with Thriving Communities Partnership to release the Disaster Planning and Recovery Collaborative Research Report. The report focuses on the experiences of people and local businesses in Townsville immediately following the devastating monsoon in 2019. The community’s experiences post event will assist in forming a valuable understanding of how different interactions with essential services and other organisations can vitally affect people’s recovery following a crisis.
Leading the way to stop scammers
Scams cost Australians, businesses and the economy hundreds of millions of dollars every year and cause emotional harm to victims and their families. Many cyber criminals and scammers have seen COVID-19 as an opportunity, with people socially isolated in lockdowns and spending more time online.
To better protect our customers against the rise of scams in Australia, Suncorp took the lead in the banking sector to work with Queensland University of Technology (QUT). In FY20, Suncorp and QUT hosted a Scam Prevention Workshop that brought together more than 50 experts from across from across the justice, finance and government sectors to explore the impact scams have on Australians and how we can work together to better protect customers.
In FY21, Suncorp's ‘See Something, Say Something’ employee awareness campaign included scams. Additionally, a new scams awareness learning module was developed, including identifying and responding to scams.
Suncorp has shared its resources with other Australian banks to help them implement their own learning curriculum.
*Financial hardship: Excludes New Zealand.