The major bank has appointed a Commonwealth Ombudsman to the newly created role of customer fairness adviser, which is designed to “help improve fairness” of the bank’s products and services.
The role will be filled by Colin Neave AM, who has previously held positions as Chief Ombudsman of the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Australian banking industry ombudsman, chairperson of the Legal Services Board of Victoria and vice chair of the Australian Press Council.
Mr Neave was also recognised as a member of the Order of Australia in June 2005 for his service to public administration and to the banking and finance industry.
Commenting on the appointment, ANZ chief executive officer Shayne Elliott remarked: “This is a significant new appointment designed to help us more consistently deliver fair and responsible banking to our retail and small business customers.”
“Colin’s deep experience in financial services, examining and resolving the most difficult of issues, makes him the ideal person to provide us with frank and independent assessments of the fairness of our products and services,” he explained. “This includes the impact that they have on customers, particularly those in vulnerable situations.”
Mr Elliott elaborated that Mr Neave’s initial focus will be on helping ANZ to listen and better understand key retail and small banking issues, by speaking to the bank’s customers and relevant stakeholders including regulators and NGOs.
“As a first step, Colin will help us establish our remediation principles so that we have a consistent set of standards we stick to when things do go wrong,” Mr Elliott said.
Mr Neave will also be responsible for conducting a Fairness Review of the bank’s core retail deposit and credit products to ensure they continue to operate fairly, including their fees and charges.
He will be based in Melbourne and will commence with ANZ early in 2017.
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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