Commenced transition to the revised General Insurance Code of Practice in Australia, with the provisions relating to support for customers experiencing vulnerability and family violence already delivered
Further implemented Banking Code of Practice and supported the ABA Banking Reform Program
#Advocating for the things that Matter
In 2020, Suncorp integrated its approach to advocacy as a core pillar of our company strategy.
We promote regular, two-way dialogue about our opportunities and challenges with our stakeholders, which helps inform the decisions we make and enables us to understand what matters most. We advocate for effective responses to the topics of most significance to our stakeholders and business with a focus on affecting positive change. Our advocacy and our actions as an organisation work together to build the resilience of our customers, communities, people and industry by focusing on financial, social and natural hazard resilience. Being transparent and actioning evidenced-based insights from customers, governments and community groups to create measurable impacts underpins our approach.
#Engaging with Government & Industry
Through our engagement with government we seek to deliver enhanced outcomes and positive changes for our customers and other stakeholders.
We are committed to conducting these activities transparently, ethically and honestly. In accordance with our Political Donations Policy Statement, Suncorp does not make any cash donations to political stakeholders or organisations.
During the year, Suncorp made 20 submissions to government inquiries, consultation processes or draft legislation in Australia and New Zealand.
We continue to work through our industry associations including the Australian Banking Association (ABA), the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), the Insurance Council of New Zealand, and the Financial Services Council in Australia and New Zealand, to address systemic issues, improve standards and ensure better outcomes for our customers and stakeholders.
Suncorp worked through our industry associations – the ABA and ICA – to develop and implement support packages for our small business banking and insurance customers impacted by COVID-19. We also worked with the relevant authorities to allow our impacted wealth customers access to their superannuation under the Australian Government’s early release of superannuation initiative.
#Royal Commission into Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry
Suncorp is well progressed in implementing the Royal Commission reforms relevant to our business and customers.
Suncorp provided input into the Australian Government’s consultation on Royal Commission recommendations – including those relating to the hawking of financial products, claims handling as a financial service, deferred sales models and the enforceability of industry codes.
During 2019–20, Suncorp executives appeared before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics as part of its Review of the Four Major Banks and other Financial Institutions. Our former CEO Banking & Wealth appeared in November 2019 and former CEO Insurance in April 2020.
Suncorp continues to advocate for measures that will improve the affordability and accessibility of insurance, especially for those who live in areas of high natural disaster risk. During 2019-20 we continued to participate in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Northern Australia Insurance Inquiry process. We also made submissions to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, the NSW Government’s Independent Bushfire Inquiry, the Victorian Inspector-General for Emergency Management’s Inquiry into the 2019–20 Victorian Fire Season, and the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee’s Inquiry into Lessons to be learned in relation to the 2019–20 bushfire season.
#Increasing Competition in the Banking Sector
Suncorp, along with other regional banks, continues to advocate for greater competition in the Australian banking sector. We believe that addressing structural inequalities for smaller banks in the banking system will improve competition and provide better access to banking products for all consumers.
#Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Scheme reform
We continue to advocate for better insurance cover for consumers and fairer competition in CTP schemes across the country.
Scheme reform allowed competitive underwriting with a limited number of insurers in South Australia from 1 July 2019, with AAMI quickly establishing a market-leading position. In the Australian Capital Territory, a new scheme that offers insurance cover for all people injured in motor accidents was approved for implementation from 1 February 2020, providing treatment, care and income benefits for up to five years.
We continue to push for reform that will provide coverage for all Queenslanders injured in motor accidents through engagement with the government and other stakeholders. In New South Wales we work with the government to ensure the stability of the scheme and improve customer outcomes.
#New Industry Codes
Suncorp was actively involved in updating the Banking and General Insurance Codes of Practice in Australia. We implemented the updated ABA Banking Code of Practice on 1 July 2019 and have continued to enhance processes, products and services to provide greater rights and protections to our customers. The transition to the 2020 General Insurance Code of Practice commenced on 1 January 2020. Implementation of new requirements regarding vulnerable customers and financial hardship was brought forward to 1 July 2020, to assist customers impacted by COVID-19. Suncorp is on track to implement the new requirements in accordance with the required timeframes.