ANZ CEO Australia Mark Whelan said: “We are pleased the value of Saver Plus has again been recognised by the government with its new commitment in the 2015 Federal Budget. This funding is critical so that we can continue to help people build their financial capabilities, better manage their money and save for their children’s education.
“Since it started 10 years ago, Saver Plus has helped more than 26,000 low-income people save a combined $15 million. During this time ANZ has provided more than $10 million in matched funding to participants,” Mr Whelan said.
Rob Hudson, acting Executive Director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence said: “The Brotherhood of St Laurence has long recognised that financial literacy and access to affordable financial services is a cornerstone for disadvantaged Australians to build a good life for themselves in the modern economy. Saver Plus helps put people in control of their household finances and improves their long-term wellbeing.
"This funding will allow us to build on these exceptional outcomes and reach a further 16,000 Australians through 60 communities across the nation over the next five years, with the support of our fellow community partners Berry Street, The Benevolent Society and The Smith Family,” Mr Hudson said.
Saver Plus was developed by ANZ and The Brotherhood of St Laurence in 2002 in response to research that demonstrated a correlation between levels of saving and financial literacy. The program helps people on lower incomes to develop long-term saving habits and reach a savings goal and is delivered in partnership with Berry Street, The Benevolent Society, The Smith Family and other local community agencies. Program participants set a savings goal and receive financial education and support in reaching their goal. Once they reach their savings goal, ANZ matches their savings dollar-for-dollar up to $500.
According to the 2015 research report ‘Saver Plus: A decade of impact’ conducted by RMIT, 87% of participants continue to save the same amount or more up to three years after completing the program, 87% were better able to plan for the future and 93% reported that achieving their goals increased their self-esteem.