Grow financial wellbeing

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Overview

Our aim is to enable all New Zealanders to be financially secure and independent.

Improving financial wellbeing is an important theme for us against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission’s released research in October 2020, showed one third of people were earning less than they were pre-COVID.
The report showed 36% of households were in serious or some financial difficulty and 41% of households were having limited ability to withstand life events that impact on income. We are yet to see the impacts of the latest lockdown.

We want all New Zealanders to be financially secure and independent, enabling them to reach their full potential. Increased economic participation and inclusive prosperity is beneficial to everyone.

How will we achieve this?

1. Financial capability.

Grow the financial capability of our customers, communities and our people.

2. Inclusive financial services.

Help New Zealanders to avoid exploitation and be part of the mainstream financial system.

3. Diverse supply chain.

Help New Zealanders participate in the economy and grow their financial independence.

Financial education workshops.

Our interactive workshops help people feel more confident about making decisions about money. We work with a range of organisations such as schools, employers and community groups to help New Zealanders become more financially capable. In addition to our face-to-face workshops, we’ve also reached 1,626 participants nationally through online classes. Since Managing Your Money was launched in 2006, we’ve reached more than 90,000 participants through our workshops.

The map shows where we've run our face-to-face workshops.

Our 2021 highlights.

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Westpac employees take financial education to their communities.

In 2021, 77 of our people were trained as facilitators, bringing our facilitator network to 257.

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Partnerships for prosperity.

Our goal is to use our strength as a lender and a business leader to help create a fair and equitable society, where everyone has a chance to succeed.

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The changing world of banking.

The world is rapidly changing and the needs of our customers are changing with it. Digital traffic has increased significantly and online banking has brought a range of transactional functions to our fingertips, anytime and anywhere.

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Protecting against fraud and scams.

Scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with criminals taking advantage of people spending more time online, particularly during the pandemic. We launched a new card game, Stash the Cash, to raise awareness of scams in a fun and engaging way.

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Bank accounts for released prisoners.

We are committed to improving access to banking for members of our community who are at risk of financial exclusion. We have been fortunate to work together with partners to achieve greater outcomes for released prisoners.

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Helping our deaf and hearing-impaired customers.

We are committed to improving access to banking to all members of our community. We became Aotearoa’s first bank to offer free in-branch sign language interpreters to our deaf and hearing-impaired customers

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Helping our customers when they need us most.

Family and domestic violence is a multi-faceted societal issue that requires everyone working together to tackle it. It has been exacerbated when families have been confined to their homes because of COVID-19 restrictions. We have zero tolerance of violence – we were the first organisation to earn the DVFREE Tick which recognises the efforts of employers to address domestic violence by creating a supportive workplace. We have more recently started exploring how we can support our customers.

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Helping our customers facing financial difficulty.

Financial difficulties can be triggered by any number of things - relationship breakdowns, redundancies, illness, injuries, or even having a child. Getting financial and budgeting support from an independent Financial Mentor can ease these unexpected financial pressures, which is why Westpac has partnered with FinCap, a non-government organisation which supports 200 free financial mentoring services.

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Supplier inclusion and diversity.

We recognise the opportunities our supply chain creates to influence society as well as the ability to support and grow our local communities by utilising inclusive and diverse sourcing decisions.

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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Material issues addressed

  • Financial wellbeing
  • Digitalisation of banking services
  • Customers experiencing vulnerability and hardship

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