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Westpac keeping eye on Australian sales incentive change

Westpac is removing sales incentives for its frontline staff in Australia as part of its work to rebuild trust with customers – but says the situation is different in New Zealand.

Monday, September 26th 2016, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

It was revealed this week that the bank wanted to change practices that could be seen to be creating conflicts of interest.

From October, Westpac in Australia will replace its system of rewarding tellers for the number of referrals they make to sales staff. Instead, their incentives will be tied to customer feedback about service quality.
A New Zealand spokeswoman said the change would not apply in this country.

“The change at Westpac Bank Australia is for the teller role only. Westpac NZ equivalent roles do not have specific sales KPIs. Performance for those equivalent roles is evaluated on service-type measures.   We will keep a watching brief on the changes announced this week in Australia.”

As part of the review of the Financial Advisers Act, it is likely that the way banks deal with customers in New Zealand will have to change.

Everyone offering advice will have to be a financial adviser or agent of a financial advice firm and disclose their remuneration.

There will also be a new obligation for firms to ensure their staff pay is not structured in a way that incentivises them to sell a product in a way that does not put the customer first.

Tags: banks financial advisers Westpac

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