"Trust gap" between banks and consumers: Westpac

by Phil McCarroll27 Sep 2016
The head of one of Australia’s biggest banks believes the industry needs to recognise it currently has a trust issue with consumers.

In a speech last week, Westpac chief executive officer Brian Hartzer Australia’s banking industry is currently failing to meet the standards the Australian public expects it to.

“We need to recognise, that as an industry, we have a trust gap. We need to recognise that we have not met the expectations of the community,” Hartzer said.

“People are saying things need to change. Things do need to change. The good news is they are changing,” he said.

Hartzer said much of the mistrust consumers currently have for the industry centres on incentives and Westpac has taken steps to improve in that area.

From October, Westpac will remove all product related incentives across all 2,000 tellers in its branch network and replace it with an incentive system based on customer feedback about their in-branch customer service experience.

Hartzer said Westpac’s changes were aimed at ensuring the interests of consumers are placed at the forefront.

“We are committed to closing the trust gap. We create value for Westpac when we help customers create value for themselves,” he said.

“That’s why I believe that over the long term, there is no gap between the interests of Westpac and the interests of our customers.”

Hartzer also said Westpac was in the process of incorporating the principles of the banking oath into its employee code of conduct.