The programme arms Kiwis with financial wellbeing tools to navigate increasing costs
ASB is set to roll out community bankers across New Zealand to provide customers with targeted coaching and seminars to help them with their personal financial needs.
ASB’s community bankers aim to connect customers with financial wellbeing tools to help them navigate increasing costs. They will work with customers in areas they’d like additional support –either one-on-one or in small groups depending on their needs.
The programme was introduced on the back of ASB’s highly successful community bankers pilot held in Northland, Waikato, and Auckland in 2021. The pilot saw more than 1,000 customers receiving “care calls” during lockdown periods and 2,000-plus customers helped by phone.
Adam Boyd, ASB executive general manager retail banking, said the remit of community bankers now includes financial wellbeing seminars and in-person support for vulnerable customers, new-to-employment seminars covering how to budget, pay bills online, and workshops for customers who are speakers of other languages.
“It was clear during the pilot that customers really valued the opportunity to meet in person with a community banker,” Boyd said. “With cost-of-living concerns, the time is right to extend the focus of the programme to ensure we’re helping build financial resilience.”
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Community bankers were also trained to recognise and respond to customers experiencing family violence, which can manifest as financial control between partners or family members.
“Community bankers can help customers understand their options and will connect them with other community agencies if this is appropriate,” Boyd said. “They can also guide customers through Support Finder, ASB’s tool that can help customers understand their eligibility for financial support from government agencies.”
Community bankers are currently available across the North Island, and in the central and southern regions of the South Island, doubling the number previously available.
“Our community bankers are mobile and able to travel to wherever they are needed,” Boyd said. “This will be especially helpful for customers who find it difficult to get to their local branch or are based in remote locations. We are currently recruiting for a Nelson-based community banker to fully round out our nationwide coverage. Community bankers are here to help. Whether you’re just starting out in the workforce, or you’ve been a long-time customer, our community banking team can provide extra support to help boost your financial or everyday banking skills.”