ANZ scraps staff sales incentives

ANZ has scrapped sales-based bonuses for frontline retail staff, moving to a customer service focused bonus programme.

Wednesday, August 8th 2018, 12:49PM

by Dan Dunkley

The move, announced today, comes partly in response to the Royal Commission in Australia, which highlighted financial mis-selling practices at Australia’s biggest lenders. It follows months of scrutiny on bank commission to staff and third parties, such as mortgage advisers. The ANZ changes will not affect third party mortgage advisers, but signals a wider cultural shift away from sales commission. 

Antonia Watson, ANZ’s managing director for retail and business banking, said the decision had been taken after a trial period at some of its call centres. Previously, ANZ handed out staff bonuses using a system based 25 percent on sales and 75 percent on non-sales targets.

Watson said: “The environment is clearly changing and the feedback we’re getting and what we’re seeing in Australia suggests this is the right approach, regardless of how direct or indirect our sales targets were or how minimal.”

Watson said sales incentives raised questions about staff motivation: “We trust our staff to do the right thing by our customers and we know they consider customers’ genuine needs when they talk with them. Removing sales targets altogether will give our customers total confidence that we’re focused on doing the right thing by them.”

She added: “We have a culture in ANZ New Zealand where staff are focused on the well-being of our customers. If our customers are satisfied and get ahead in their lives because of the products we’ve given them then it’s in our long term interests too.”

The move will fuel the debate over the distinction between sales and advice. Commission for Australian mortgage advisers has come under the spotlight following the Royal Commission. Australia’s Productivity Commission recently called for an end to trail commission for mortgage advisers. While in New Zealand, the committee responsible for amendments to the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill has been criticised for not distinguishing sales and advice.

Tags: ANZ Commission Mortgage Advisers

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