ANZ remains focused on improving customer outcomes and making changes to governance, culture and remuneration to support that goal.
While many of the actions we have taken to improve customer outcomes, including in relation to remediation, commenced prior to The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, the release of Commissioner Hayne’s final report and its subsequent recommendations for change has led us to further examine how we serve our customers and run the bank.
Reducing the time taken to refund customers when we fail
Recognising that we have failed our customers by taking too long to identify and fix issues, in 2017 we introduced customer remediation principles to guide our work to fix systemic errors and refund impacted customers more quickly.
We are committed to ensuring the approach we take to remediation is fair, responsible and efficient for our customers. This approach, together with an increase in resources and infrastructure, is reducing the time taken to pay customers back – in some cases cutting the time to make the first customer payment by more than 50 per cent.
We are currently resolving issues with over 2.6 million retail and commercial customer accounts. At the end of March 2019, we had successfully made remediation payments to approximately 420,000 customer accounts.
Our retail and commerical Responsible Banking team is a centralised group dedicated to undertaking this work. The size of this team has increased in the past year from 130 people to over 200. In addition to working on complex remediations, the team provides guidance, support and infrastructure to over 300 people working on smaller remediations, initial investigation and issue resolution.
A common process and governance framework has been developed to guide the team. In addition, ANZ is continually improving data capabilities to more readily source information, such as customer and account details to enable us to refund customers more quickly.
We recognise the importance of learning from our remediations to prevent similar issues from reoccurring. ANZ is also delivering a customer remediation education program focused on remediation prevention, education and lessons learnt.
Alerts on significant remediations have also started to be issued to senior leaders across Australia division. This is done to highlight the impacts on customers when we fail.