Bank Tellers relieved that sales targets are gone for good and need to see a change.
Members of FIRST Union who work in the banking sector felt vindicated by the FMA and Reserve Bank of New Zealand announcement that all banks had committed to remove sales incentives from frontline staff and their managers.
FIRST Union General Secretary, Dennis Maga said the FIRST Union membership had been campaigning for two years to remove the sales targets. “The sales targets caused front line bank staff significant and impactful stress on the job. Our members took this issue up because sales targets were wide spread throughout the industry. This announcement is a good thing but members need to actually see change on the frontline now.”
Bank workers felt conflicted from the strong pressure to sell financial products or be disciplined for not doing so and at the same time knowing that sometimes customers were not in a secure enough financial position to be undertaking debt the products incurred them.
“We have been working hard at all banks, through collective agreement negotiations and other formal discussions to have sales targets removed from the industry. Our members feel their concerns around the targets are vindicated by this FMA announcement and will relieved once the targets are gone for good” said Mr Maga.
FIRST Union welcomes this report as an important step in addressing the concerns and frustrations of frontline workers. Mr Maga said, “In recent surveying, 55% of our members in major banks said the pressure to sell was the same or worse from this time last year. Talk is great but we need action.”
“What is needed now is proactive and ongoing monitoring by industry regulators to ensure that the plans to remove sales targets as well as address systemic risk and cultural weaknesses in the New Zealand banking sector are actively enforced. This includes incorporating the perspectives and experiences of frontline workers.”
The FMA and RBNZ concluded in last year’s report that the approach to managing conduct risk was weak throughout the banking industry and that the 11 banks reviewed had not sufficiently put customer outcomes at the heart of their business.
The report highlights the need for change at the executive and governance level of the banking sector. In light of David Hisco’s recent resignation following the public release of his personal expenses, this review serves as a timely reminder to the CEOs and top banking official that they need to be leading by example.