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Westpac: Creating a sustainable business - Sustainability and customers

Sustainability and customers


Satisfied customers are crucial to business success. But what satisfies a customer? In the not-too-distant past, all that people wanted from their bank was a safe place to keep their money. They tended to choose a bank and stick with it for life.

Those days have gone. Customers have more choices today than ever before in the way of financial services - both banks and other businesses such as credit unions and co-operatives. They also have far more information. Modern customers are financially savvy and very aware of their options. If a financial institution does not deliver what they want, they simply go elsewhere. Customers today expect excellent service as well as a good return on their investment. They want flexible products that meet their lifestyle expectations and they expect businesses to act in an environmentally-friendly and ethical manner.

Trust has become a crucial issue. Customers want a bank that they can trust to do the right thing for the community and the environment and the right thing by the people it serves. David Morgan says this means that banks must take a hard look at all of their practices, including their lending policy. They must ensure they do not lend money to people who cannot afford to meet the repayments. "Pinning our business on responsibility means we have a major role to play in helping customers understand their limits," he says. "It’s not about managing risk. It's about the quality of advice offered, being clear about the risks of over committing and not lending for the sake of making targets."



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