ANZ Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith said ANZ’s approach to corporate responsibility reflected the bank’s values and its long-term commitment to customers.
“Our approach focuses on doing the right thing by our customers and the communities we serve. It has helped to make our customers the most satisfied of all the major banks,’’ Mr Smith said.
The Money-CANSTAR CANNEX award assessed the breadth, depth, innovation and scale of each entrant’s corporate responsibility strategy and ANZ was recognised for its initiatives, which include:
Offeringflexiblerepaymentarrangementstocustomersexperiencingperiodsoftemporary financial difficulty, particularly as a result of the economic downtown.
Partneringwitharangeofcommunityorganisationstoimprovethefinancialskillsandsavings of adult Australians through programs such as Saver Plus, MoneyMinded and Progress Loans. Saver Plus (developed with the Brotherhood of St Laurence), for example, assists low-income earners to save for education expenses, matching every dollar saved with another dollar up to $1000 per person. More than 70 per cent of participants are still saving several years after completing the program, according to research by RMIT University.
Employingmorethan220youngIndigenoustraineesinbranchesacrossAustraliaoverthe past three years, with plans to lift employment of Indigenous Australians to up to 10 per cent of entry-level roles in ANZ’s branch network by 2011.
DevelopingandsupportingprogramssuchasMoneyBusinesstoimprovefinancialcapability among Indigenous communities as part of ANZ’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
Introducing social and environmental management policies to guide lending decisions for large corporate clients and projects. These policies cover the greenhouse and energy, forests, water and mining and minerals sectors.
Pursuing environmental targets, including reducing ANZ’s consumption of electricity, waterand paper, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of waste sent to landfill.
Mr Smith said: “Despite challenging times for banks generally, we are proud to have maintained the highest standards in corporate responsibility and we will continue to do so as ANZ becomes a super regional bank.’’
Chair of the Money-CANSTAR CANNEX judging panel and Chief Executive Officer of Green Cross Australia Mara Bun said: “We congratulate ANZ for taking Indigenous engagement seriously, providing world-class support for low-income earners by helping them to save and manage their money confidently and significantly supporting renewable energy with project finance.”