CommBank ceases to reward branch staff for product sales

Alison Banney 13 October 2017 NEWS

CBA 738

CommBank will now reward branch tellers for excellence in customer service, not sales.

Australia's largest bank has today announced it will no longer provide financial reward to its branch tellers for selling products. Instead, CommBank will incentivise its staff with commissions for providing excellence in customer service, and meeting the needs of its customers.

The bank will move 2000 branch tellers to the new remuneration plan, abolishing any links to rewards being paid as a direct result of sales outcomes. The bank said this new plan will be backdated to begin from 1 July this year, meaning all previous financial measures have been removed from its branch tellers' performance records.

The move is a direct response to an independent review into the remuneration processes in the country's retail banking sector, the Sedgwick Review, implemented back in April this year. The review unveiled the problematic sales-based culture present within the banks, where tellers are incentivised to aggressively sell products to customers despite the product not being in the customers' best interest.

In his review, Sedgwick wanted to see a stop to sales-based targets and incentives. He proposed 21 recommendations for the banks saying if implemented in full they "...will assist in addressing a trust deficit that has emerged in the banking industry."

CommBank executive general manager Angus Sullivan said the bank is committed to implementing the Sedgwick Review recommendations by the 2020 deadline. "We understand that there is always more to do, and we have been actively participating in the independent review by Mr Sedgwick and the Australian Bankers Association," said Sullivan.

"The new remuneration plan will support and encourage our teams to have better quality conversations with customers, understand their needs and provide the best possible service. This will further strengthen our customer focus and align the way we reward our people with industry standards and community expectations."

Close to 200 Bankwest branch tellers will also move towards the new remuneration strategy this month. Following the Sedgwick Review in April, ANZ publicly announced its commitment to implementing the recommendations.

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