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One in - All in | Message from the National Secretary

Sweeping changes proposed to pay, targets, management culture, performance measures in banking.

Yesterday I welcomed the Sedgwick Report into pay and culture in Australia’s banks and I will now call on each bank to urgently meet with FSU to agree an implementation plan that rebuilds public trust and confidence in our industry.

A shortcoming of the Sedgwick process is that it does not have the backing of legislation that will ensure across the board change. Implementing Sedgwick’s recommendations is a voluntary choice for each individual bank and that’s why we need to meet with the decision makers in each bank early to lock down a plan that works for banks, customers and staff.

The Sedgwick Review was commissioned by the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) on behalf of the banks, using the ABA's terms of reference. The Review was limited to an examination of the bottom three tiers of retail banking jobs and was not provided with remuneration details of any staff above branch manager.

Despite this, Steven Sedgwick took on the advice of FSU members who provided evidence that the biggest thing eroding trust was management culture. The culture of unrealistic targets, understaffing, biased performance reporting, aggressive pressure tactics and threats to job security dominate on a day to day basis and without changes here, all other reform was doomed to fail.  

The Report and all of its 21 recommendations has been embraced by the CEOs of Australia’s leading banks. 

Welcome elements of the report include;

  • An end to humiliating sales leader boards
  • Acknowledgement that NPS is poorly designed as a genuine measure of customer satisfaction
  • An overhaul of performance scorecards
  • An end to re-purposing financial measures as behaviours
  • Changes to target setting
  • Changes to management culture
  • An overhaul of senior management and executive pay models


An issue of immediate concern is Sedgwick’s recommendation to overhaul incentive schemes for bank employed mortgage lenders while preserving the sales and trailing commission model for 3rd party brokers. The recommendation says that this should be done in a competitively neutral way. Without immediate guarantees that employed lenders will not be disadvantaged there is a real risk of an exodus of lenders to the broker channel.

Changing the pay model without simultaneously changing the management culture risks actually making things worse. It could see the removal of the carrot in the form of incentives and an even higher emphasis on the stick in the form of threats and punishment for falling short of financial targets regardless of the reasons. Key to genuine reform that improves bank employees’ lives will be ensuring that the management culture changes at the same time as the pay model.

There’s plenty of work to do to make sure that this works for staff as well as customers and banks. We’ll all have a aprt to play in getting this right.

I’ll keep you informed of our progress in meeting with key bank leaders. In the meantime share your stories about pay, management culture, targets, performance measurement of related issues by emailing me at fsuinfo@fsunion.org.au and put “Attention Julia” in the subject line.



Contact Details
Finance Sector Union Member Rights Centre
Ph: 1300 366 378

Authorised By: Julia Angrisano, National Secretary
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