QBE launches financial inclusion plan to back its vulnerable customers

  • By Anna Shaw

QBE Insurance has rolled out its Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) to support the needs of vulnerable customers and communities, and assist customers facing hardship.

A FIAP is an agreed strategy of practical actions that an organisation or business will undertake to improve financial inclusion and maximise the opportunity for financial resilience and inclusion objectives to be addressed.

In Australia, FIAPs are organised through a partnership with Good Shephard Microfinance, and there are 40 organisations that have joined the FIAP program, across financial services, energy companies, not-for-profit organisation and insurance providers.

The FIAP that QBE has signed up to is made up of 29 programs with the aim of improving financial resilience and inclusion for QBE customers, employees, suppliers and community partners, and increase the accessibility of services.

“We know that many Australians are doing it tough right now. The drought, the bushfires and now the COVID-19 crisis have created significant hardship for many in our community, and it’s more important than ever that we work together to support those in need in our society and build resilience and financial inclusion for the future,” QBE chief executive officer Vivek Bhatia said.

Through the FIAP, QBE is focused on a customer central approach, whereby financial inclusion is facilitated through simple and easy to understand insurance products that anyone can access.

QBE has also reinforced a commitment to a workplace that is inclusive and supportive through the creation of pathways of assistance that people can access when experiencing situations of family difficulties, domestic violence or mental health impacts.

“We are also strengthening the ability of our people to support customers experiencing vulnerability, particularly in the area of financial acumen,” Bhatia said.

“Building this will support the financial wellbeing of our own people, and help us recognise and respond tocustomers most at risk of financial exclusion by referring them to critical support networks for assistance.

We recognise these difficulties can have a significant impact on an individual’s financial wellbeing.

“Through strategic partnerships we are providing intensive training for our on-the-ground first responder network across our sites which can provide discrete, respectful, and empowering support and critical resources to help our employees experiencing these difficulties”.