Archive for the 'Targets' Category

Global unions taking on financial regulation, targets

Global finance union UNI, of which Finsec is a member, has been involved in some recent initiatives to support better regulation of the finance sector, and to promote responsible sales of finance products.
UNI, with other union groups, participated in the consultation on good practice principles for supervisory colleges of multinational banks by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. These colleges were established by the G20 with objectives of closer cooperation and cross-border supervision.

The union groups said financial regulation and supervision has been characterised by de-regulation, exploitation of loop-holes, regime shopping and ineffective supervisory structures, especially regarding multinational banks. In short, any proper system of checks and balances was and still is missing.
See more at :

UNI (and Finsec) has also been lobbying for change in the area of sales targets, with the development of a model charter on responsible sales of financial products. The charter sets out how to make sales fairer for both staff and customers.

Read the charter here:

Click to access Charter%20-Final,%2011.6.-en.pdf


Verkaufsdruck, Nein Danke!

If like the Gossip, you’ve lost most of your high school German – it means “Sales Pressure, No Thank you!”

German bank workers recently achieved a good win on changing targets in collective bargaining – that management should avoid performance pressure, and targets should be formulated so that they are fair, reachable, specific and take account of the needs of customers.

Fairer targets? Ja ja!

Bank workers worried about customer debt levels

The results from our Trans-Tasman bank workers survey show staff are uncomfortable about their customers’ ability to meet the financial obligations of the products they are made to sell them. Sixty-three percent reported their targets went up annually, and 77 percent said their employer did not reduce their targets when economic conditions were more difficult.
Finsec Campaigns Director Andrew Campbell told NZPA that there was a very practised and systematic approach to the selling of products which left no stone unturned.
“I’ve had a bank worker say to me that they were closing the accounts for someone who was deceased for the family, and the manager said to them afterwards ‘why did you not try to sell them life insurance? It’s a perfect time, a recent death in the family, to emphasise that product’.”
“We’re not saying ‘we want targets gone tomorrow’, we understand that will probably have to be systematic, but we think there can be a much fairer system that is not about pushing debt on to customers and stressing out staff in the process.”
Other survey results highlighted issues of understaffing in the industry. 63% of respondents think their worksite doesn’t have enough staff and 43% think customer service has got worse.

Finsec members taking on unfair targets

Finsec members at ANZ National and Westpac are taking strong messages about targets needing to change to the bank forums this week.

Surveys of members have made the priorities for change clear – decreasing the number of targets to meet would make a huge change, and there need to be more supportive management practices instead of bullying. Staff identify that the biggest barrier to reaching targets is that their current levels are unrealistic.

Continued staff and customer pressure on sales targets is paying off – Westpac is already moving to team targets, and the BNZ is reviewing their call centre targets in light of negative staff and customer feedback.

Customers dissatisfied with banks, says survey

The first results from Finsec and the FSU’s survey show high levels of customer dissatisfaction with the Australian owned banks, and highlight the need for the government to step in to make banking in New Zealand fairer.

The public polling shows a high level of support for a charter of Better Banking being proposed by the two unions.

“It is time for the banking industry to change. More customers are dissatisfied than satisfied with their banks. Customers say they want better staffing levels and an end to the target based pay systems that reward bank staff for selling debt products,” said Finsec Campaigns Director Andrew Campbell.

Key survey results:
86% want banks to stop off-shoring New Zealand jobs

42% thought their bank was getting worse at showing a commitment to employing New Zealanders

78% think there should be changes to how bank staff are paid and that sales targets should be de-linked from remuneration

For a summary of the results on the Trans-Tasman better banking campaign go to

Media interest in survey results

Finsec’s survey of bank customers has generated significant media interest, and stimulated debate on banks’ behaviour and the need for greater regulation. Check out the links below and have a look for yourself. Keep an eye out for the results of the bank staff survey, which will be released soon.

A target for the weekend

Finsec President Kelvin Pycroft is urging Finsec members to take a couple of minutes out of their weekend to fill out our Trans-Tasman campaign survey at to ensure the campaign starts off well.

“With very low participation by NZ bank workers we risk sending a message to the banks that targets and understaffing are issues in Australia but not in New Zealand,”  said Kelvin.

Kelvin says the survey provides a very good way for bank staff to express their views on the issues facing our industry, and that filling in the survey takes less than five minutes but could have a big impact in the future.

“I did the survey at home because that was easiest for me – I just took the address from the Sunday Star-Times article. I also forwarded the link to some friends, and asked them to fill it out as customers. I was happy to do that because the questions are very fair and balanced.”

“Finsec members need to get on the computer, at home, at work or at the library – in order for us to get a true and accurate picture of the impact of targets. If you don’t fill it out, the message you’re sending is that targets are not a problem or are only a minor problem. This message is not consistent with the concerns we hear every day about the negative effect of targets.”

Kiwi and Aussie battlers call for Better Banking – complete the survey today

“Our Trans-Tasman survey on banking needs all Finsec members and all their friends and families to take part,” said Finsec Campaigns Director Andrew Campbell. “We can make our workplaces fairer and better by making the most of this historic campaign.”
The Finsec and FSU campaign was launched this weekend, and attracted media coverage on both sides of the ditch – see the link below for the Sunday Star Times story.
Campbell said that NZ bank workers and customers had some catching up to do to match Australian participation in the story. “Very few Finsec members have completed the survey. It is essential that every Finsec member completes the survey and shares it with their friends, and we need a major drive to do this in the coming week.”
Go to now! If you can’t complete the survey at work, you may need to forward it to your home email. And while you’re at it, share the survey with your friends on facebook and forward it to everyone in your address book.

Trans-Tasman targets campaign kicking off this Sunday

Finsec is launching our Trans-Tasman campaign with the Finance Sector Union of Australia this weekend. Finsec members signed off on teaming up with bank workers in Australia to work together on the big issues like targets, and staffing.

There will be more to come on this next week but you might want to make sure you get along to the dairy and grab a copy of the Sunday Star-Times this weekend to check it all out!

Westpac weathering recession well, but needs to change sales culture

This week’s profit announcement from Westpac shows that the bank is weathering the recession well, but that the whole banking industry needs to rethink their sales culture, says Finsec.

“While Westpac have seen a drop in their profits in the midst of the downturn, they are still a profitable business in good health,” said National Organiser Michael Wood. “This is evidenced by the 4% increase in core earnings.”

Wood said that the massive 236% increase in impairment charges highlights a problem that Westpac and the other banks need to confront. “Finsec members at Westpac and at the other banks know that the banks have been reluctant to change their ‘sell,sell,sell’ culture and the sales targets that create pressure for staff to sell debt products to their customers.”

“This is more evidence that the sales culture is not only bad for staff and customers, its also bad for business,” said Wood. “Only last week union members met with Westpac at our targets forum, to try and make these targets fairer and more realistic. The ballooning provision for bad debts show that the banks need to urgently rethink their focus on selling debt to customers who can’t service it.”

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