CBA advisers will complete training in providing financial advice to women by June 2017 as part of the bank’s Financial Inclusion Action Plan, which also commits to training staff on providing goals-based financial guidance.
In response to Australia’s commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, the big four banks have submitted Financial Inclusion Action Plans (FIAP) aimed at driving financial inclusion, resilience, equality and growth in Australian communities.
In its recently released FIAP, CBA promised to “train financial advisers on financial issues that impact women - with all CommBank-employed advisers to complete training in financial advice for women by June 2017”.
CBA have also committed to training “select staff to conduct quality, needs-based conversations with customers focused on identifying customer goals and needs”.
By June 2018, “selected frontline staff [will] undertake the Financial Health Check (FHC) training and accreditation module”, CBA said.
“Where a Financial Health Check is conducted, customers disclose goals and needs, enabling customer centric suggestions to be offered to provide convenience, save them money and time, make them money or protect their assets or income,” CBA said.
In its FIAP, ANZ committed to offering a free financial advice package “for people who demonstrate less than $50,000 in superannuation savings".
“Advice sessions will be conducted for 100 women with a review of the outcomes/benefits of free financial advice,” ANZ said.
Further, Westpac announced it will be increasing lending to businesses owned by women and indigenous Australians, while it will also aim to have 50 per cent of its internal leadership positions held by women come FY17.
NAB said that, by September 30 2016, it will have released an evaluation tool that measures the financial resilience of customers and will also have conducted research aimed at improving the understanding of financial abuse among Australians.
“Despite our nation's strong economic growth, around two million Australians are currently experiencing a high level of financial stress or vulnerability and one in four people found it difficult to access financial services in the past 12 months,” NAB said.
The FIAP launch report said, “Economic modelling shows that by working together over the next 10 years, the FIAP program can enable large numbers of people to progress away from financial crisis and hardship.
“The emulation effect of a modest group of 30 organisations embedding committed actions into business as usual practices, could contribute towards a GDP uplift of $2.9 billion, government savings of $583 million and increased household wealth of $11.8 billion per annum.”
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