Message from the Group CEO FY22
Steve Johnston, Chief Executive Officer
8 August 2022
As I reflect on my 17 years at Suncorp, the past three as your CEO, I am regularly reminded of the important role our company plays in the lives of our customers and the communities we serve.
I recall visiting Innisfail soon after Cyclone Larry destroyed everything in its path in 2006. As a new recruit I observed then how central our company was
to restoring lives and livelihoods. I learnt that while business success should be measured in terms of profits, dividends and valuations, equally important
for a business like ours are the lives we restore, the futures we assure and the communities we rebuild.
Roll forward to March 2022, and my visit to Lismore after the east coast flood event was equally confronting. Observing the damage on the ground and through the eyes of our customers was heartbreaking. What made me so proud was that each Suncorp team member knew the role they would play in putting lives back together.
This is what we mean when we say we are guided by our purpose of building futures and protecting what matters. It’s also why we feel that by engaging our people with our purpose, we will deliver for our customers and, in turn, create long-term value for our shareholders.
#Our FY22 performance
While the Group’s net profit after tax of $681 million and cash earnings of $673 million are down from the previous year, the underlying strength of our business is reflected in record growth, improved margins and customer metrics.
This demonstrates the progress we have made against our strategic priorities across each of our businesses to reinvigorate our well-respected brands, digitise our businesses, become more efficient and ultimately improve how we serve our customers. Detailed information about our progress can be found on
pages 12-13 of this Report.
It’s disappointing that the 35 separate natural hazards events and global investment market volatility we experienced in FY22 have combined to reduce profits
and, in turn, your dividends.
Unlike weather events, the flow on effects of volatile investment markets on our business are less well understood. Like most insurers we invest in a range of
asset classes including government bonds, high quality corporate fixed interest securities and equities. When yield curves steepen and credit spreads widen, as they have recently, accounting rules require us to report mark to market losses. However, given we hold these assets to maturity the majority of these losses will unwind over the FY23 year. This, and our strong underlying performance means we have been able to reaffirm our FY23 targets.
While business success should be measured in terms of profits, dividends and valuations, equally important for a business like ours are the lives we restore, the
futures we assure and the communities we rebuild.
#Enabling our people
This year we have realised the benefits of a well embedded purpose and operating model, with a united leadership team and clear alignment of all our people to our insurance and banking businesses. Pleasingly, our engagement scores have remained consistently in the top quartile of our peer group.
During FY22, we appointed Bridget Messer to the role of Chief Risk Officer to complete our executive leadership team.
We have enhanced our investment in our people, with a focus on attracting and retaining talent and building a workforce fit for the future. We also elevated our hybrid model of working to maximise productivity while enabling flexibility in the way we work, ensuring our customer, teams and individual needs are met.
Our new purpose-built head office facility in Brisbane, Heritage Lanes, provides a central workplace that supports our hybrid working approach, while also enabling us to quickly adapt as operating conditions change.
#Supporting our customers
Suncorp’s commitment to driving a customer-led culture, backed by seamless customer experiences and products and services that deliver value, has
never been greater.
We have made good progress in supporting our customers and communities off the back of the severe weather events experienced across Australia
and New Zealand. As at the end of the financial year, we had completed approximately 57 per cent of the 130,000 natural hazard-related claims received
throughout the year.
Our response is covered extensively throughout this report, including the role of our newly established Event Control Centre, the onboarding
of approximately 1,000 new claims team members dedicated to our recovery efforts, and our on-the-ground support of customers. Our response was
enhanced by investments in our digital and data capabilities, which improved the ability for customers to lodge claims online and for us to deploy resources
and assist them faster than ever before.
Our Customer Advocate office continued to play a critical role in ensuring the needs of our customers experiencing vulnerability are met and the
appropriate support provided.
This year, we launched our third Financial Inclusion Action Plan which extends on our progress to date in improving access to suitable financial products
and services and building capability that supports the financial wellbeing of our people, customers and communities. In particular, Suncorp is committed to
playing a leadership role to break down the barriers to gaining insurance.
#Investing in our communities
In FY22, Suncorp invested $9.8 million in the community, including $1 million to assist in the long term recovery efforts of flood impacted regions across
Queensland and New South Wales. This year we formed partnerships with Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal to help us build greater community resilience.
We also extended our partnership with Suncorp Stadium, which will see us continue as naming-rights sponsor of this iconic site of many sporting and
cultural events for up to ten more years.
#The year ahead
Our focus remains on building on the strong momentum across our three businesses to deliver on our strategic initiatives and meet our FY23 commitments. We know achieving this will allow us to accelerate opportunities for further efficiency and innovation to meet evolving customer needs and underpin the success of Suncorp.
We are committed to supporting the ongoing flood recovery and helping our customers to get back into their homes and rebuild their lives. We will take a
leadership position in advocating for a more resilient Australia through improved public infrastructure, subsidies to improve private dwellings and an overhaul
of planning laws, backed by action on climate change.
We will also engage constructively with stakeholders over the coming year as we look to receive approvals and complete the sale of our Bank to ANZ. We remain deeply committed to supporting the Bank until the transaction is complete, and also stand firm in our ongoing commitment to Queensland.
I thank all of our teams for their dedication and support of our customers, and also extend my appreciation to all of our shareholders for your
continued confidence in our company.