FIRST Union, the Union for bank workers in the private sector, welcomes the release of the joint Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Financial Markets Authority review of conduct and culture in New Zealand’s retail banks.
The Union has long campaigned for the removal of sales targets from the New Zealand banking sector, because of both the negative effect they have on workers and the risk they create for consumers. Stephen Parry, National Finance Sector Organiser for the Union says:
“We are pleased that the RBNZ and FMA have endorsed the removal of sales targets as a significant, although not necessarily sufficient, step towards creating a customer-centric culture within the banking sector. As a Union we are also reassured that the review has set a high bar for the banking sector and identified that none of the recent reforms announced or implemented in the New Zealand banking sector have gone far enough to create a sustainable culture of good conduct. We look forward to reviewing the FMA’s specific recommendations on target and incentive structures in a further report due to be released later this month.”
“The Union has campaigned for years around issues of sales targets and sales culture within the New Zealand banking sector, and it has until recently being a deeply frustrating exercise. Simply put, the banks are profit-making entities and will always prioritise profits over other interests unless they are constrained by regulatory intervention or public scrutiny. The Australian Banking Royal Commission has seen the beginning of a shift in a positive direction, and it is important that this momentum continues, and that improvements made are protected by regulation. The Union echoes the concern raised in the RBNZ and FMA review about the lack of clear regulatory framework for culture and conduct within retail banking, and calls on the Government to consider legislation to fill this gap.”